Alex Smith is often labeled as a game manager because he doesn’t compile the huge yardage and touchdown totals that some of the league’s top quarterbacks do, but considering he now owns a 30-8-1 record as a starter since 2011, maybe game-winner would be a more accurate label.
The Kansas City Chiefs have now clinched a spot in the playoffs, and one of the biggest differences between this season’s 11-3 team and last year’s 2-14 squad has been the play at the quarterback position.
Smith has been finding ways to get wins despite underwhelming help from his receivers and inconsistency from the offensive line. The Chiefs’ pass catchers have been dropping catchable passes all season, and the offensive line, though now vastly improved, struggled for much of the first half of the season. Despite running for his life, Smith did enough to get the job done while protecting the ball better than any quarterback in the league.
Smith’s contributions as a leader and ability to make the guys around him better have also been vital for Kansas City, and the team is extremely fortunate to have him. In an offseason with few good options for teams seeking a quarterback, Smith was by far the best, but does he belong in the category of the greats?
He definitely has the opportunity to be. Yardage and touchdowns are inferior ways for measuring greatness. Wins are what matters, but winning in the playoffs is what counts the most.
The Chiefs haven’t won a playoff game since 1993, and for Smith to be in the category of the greats, he needs to lead Kansas City to at least one postseason victory. Smith has done everything in his power to help his franchise make a historic turnaround. No matter what, this season will be remembered around Kansas City for a very long time. If Smith can lead a run to the Super Bowl, it will lock up his status as a great quarterback and he be remembered by all football fans.