Alex Smith has gotten a well-deserved reputation for being a game-manager, who relies heavily on his defensive unit and running game to win football games for his team. While quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning make headlines for their gaudy passing statistics, Smith has cruised along looking like an average-at-best signal caller. The Kansas City Chiefs took a calculated risk when they signed Smith as a free agent in the offseason, and tonight Smith almost justified the Chiefs’ faith in him tenfold.
Smith fell one point short of joining Joe Montana as a former San Francisco 49ers quarterback to leave the Bay Area and go on to lead the Chiefs to a playoff victory. I’m sure that the Indianapolis Colts were caught off guard by Smith’s aggressive play, but the eight-year veteran quarterback showed that he had to lay everything on the line for the Chiefs to earn a victory.
In the first half, Smith uncharacteristically threw deep passes, repeatedly scrambled for first downs and even threw an under-handed pass for a touchdown, which is something that many of us are not accused to seeing from him. Smith put on a show for the world that screamed that he is ready to have the negative game-manager label removed from his scout bio.
Unfortunately, things slowed down for Smith in the second half, as the Colts completed a furious comeback attempt, and he was unable to make enough plays to finish the job of beating Indianapolis. Smith seemed to fall back into his conservative playing style that ultimately cost Kansas City a road playoff victory.