Alex Smith doesn’t exactly have the reputation of a gunslinger, but on Thursday night when the Kansas City Chiefs face the Philadelphia Eagles, expect some lofty numbers from the QB who has been labeled as a ‘game manager’.
The label is pretty accurate, but it shouldn’t be received with a negative connotation. Smith doesn’t take a lot of gambles and protects the ball very well, which is exactly what the Chiefs need after leading the league in giveaways last season.
The former No. 1 overall draft pick is great at taking what the defense gives him, and the Eagles’ defense should be giving away plenty in their matchup. The Philly D will be working on short rest after getting abused by Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers for 539 total yards with 33 first downs.
The Eagles’ defense should be worn out after the Chargers kept them on the field for over 40 minutes, with constant pressure from their own hurry-up offense. The Chiefs have a no-huddle offense in their back pocket, and there is a good chance we will see it after the success San Diego had with theirs.
In a fast-paced game against a questionable defense, Smith will be the main benefactor. Andy Reid is the first head coach to take full advantage of Smith’s abilities since he was drafted in 2005. Surprisingly he, not Jamaal Charles, is the center of Kansas City’s offense this season. Charles is by far the best weapon, but everything revolves around the quarterback in KC.
Smith can make things happen with his feet and even led the Chiefs in rushing last week with 57 yards. Making plays any way he can with minimal risk is his game under Reid. The conservative QB won’t be taking many chances downfield as he will look to keep the Chiefs’ giveaways at zero, but his numbers won’t depend on big plays. Smith will find success by exploiting the holes in Philly’s porous defense and picking them apart one play at a time.