On Tuesday, it was announced that Alex Smith would be replacing Tom Brady in the Pro Bowl and even if he was selected as an alternate, it is still some well-deserved recognition for the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback. These selections typically go to the best combination of passing yards and touchdowns, but this time, an intelligent, efficient and versatile quarterback was chosen over huge yardage and touchdowns.
And Smith’s numbers were actually pretty good. When you add the totals from his playoff performance to replace the game he sat out to rest in Week 17, Smith compiled 4,179 total yards and 28 total touchdowns, with just seven interceptions. There are some quarterbacks with significantly higher totals than Smith, but all of them have at least twice as many interceptions.
In a new system with a new supporting cast, Smith had a great season and got better as the year went along. With very underwhelming help from his pass-catchers and an inconsistent offensive line, Smith constantly bought time and made plays with his legs. He was a major part of turning a two-win team into an 11-win team, and wins should also count — at least to a small degree.
There’s a lot more to being a quarterback than chucking the ball downfield and racking up the yards, touchdowns and interceptions. Even if it was as an alternate, it is great to see another type of quarterback get recognized. A smart, crafty quarterback who protects the ball and gets the job done deserves to be noticed, too. Smith definitely did his job this season. Without any help from the Chiefs’ defense late in the season, there’s a good chance that Smith would not have been available to go to the Pro Bowl.