The offensive line finally accomplished its mission. It took 15 games, but after allowing approximately 4,396 hits and 10,873 quarterback pressures, along with 45 sacks, they have finished Alex Smith.
Smith has plenty of flaws. He doesn't keep his eyes downfield long enough and he misses too often on the deep ball, but nobody could ever accuse him of not being tough. Smith has valiantly stood in the face of the rush a multitude of times this season to make a throw, only to be pounded on the follow-through. Against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Zach Fulton let his man through and Smith took a massive shot to the ribs/spleen, finally ending his season.
It is hard not to feel bad for Smith. Having a lacerated spleen has to hurt like hell, and on top of that all the bruises, aches and pains he's taken along the way this season. Sure, he makes a ton of money, but he's still a human being. In 2014, he has been nothing short of a tackling dummy for opponents behind an offensive line doing its best imitation of Swiss cheese.
If this injury doesn't bang home that the Kansas City Chiefs need a revamped line above all else this season, nothing will. Kansas City is 8-7 and all but eliminated from playoff contention, but imagine if that wasn't the case? Think if the Chiefs had 10 wins and were getting ready for a postseason run, only to have Chase Daniel at the helm because of this train wreck up front?
Here are the team which have allowed more than 45 sacks this season: Jacksonville Jaguars (66), Washington (55), San Francisco (51), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (49), Minnesota Vikings (48), Tennessee Titans (46) and New York Jets (46).
Notice a pattern? They all suck. Additionally, they almost all have no running game and/or bad quarterbacks. Say what you want about Smith, but he's universally accepted as better than any quarterback who starts for the above teams, with the possible exception of Teddy Bridgewater. The Chiefs also have a better record than all those teams and have a much better ground game, save the 49ers.
Point? Kansas City is somehow 8-7 against a brutal schedule coupled with devastating defensive injuries with this offensive line. Can you picture how good this group would be with even an average front? Kansas City's line has a great play-action threat, throws the shortest passes in the league, has a great play designer in Andy Reid, and a mobile quarterback in Smith.
Still, somehow, 45 sacks.
The Chiefs must overhaul this offensive line next season, save Rodney Hudson and perhaps Eric Fisher.
Everybody else? Get out.