Nobody in the NFL has been more valuable to their new team than Alex Smith has been to the Kansas City Chiefs. Now with the an undefeated record, the Chiefs were 1-8 at this time last year and just four days removed from their first lead of the season. There are several factors in Kansas City’s turnaround that has made history across all major sports, but the biggest has been the addition of Smith.
Ridiculously bad quarterback play was the Chiefs’ biggest problem in their laughable 2012 season. Though Smith is not putting up jaw-dropping numbers like Peyton Manning, he has been a good cure for the team’s biggest ailment. Smith has so far compiled 2,184 total yards and 10 total TDs with just four INTs. Most importantly, his 1.3 percent interception rate is the best in the NFL.
Compare those numbers to the Matt Cassel-Brady Quinn combo that put together 2,090 total yards, seven total TDs and 15 INTs through nine games. The 2012 Chiefs ended at the bottom of the league in turnover differential and giveaways, while the 2013 team are currently best in both categories.
A lot of people deserve credit for the massive improvement from Kansas City, most notably the defense, which has surrendered the fewest point per game in the NFL. The defense was extremely talented last year as well, and now they’re thriving with an offense that doesn’t hand their opponents the ball so often. Smith’s ability to protect the ball has been a nice boost for them, but the crew that leads the league in both takeaways and sacks has definitely done their part too.
With inconsistent play from the offensive line and the pass-catchers, Smith has done an incredible job of making plays with his feet and finishing games strong. While his numbers may not earn him a trip to the Pro Bowl, Kansas City is 9-0 largely because of the difference under center, and the fans should be more than happy with that.
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