I know Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs offense has to get better but if the defense continues to play like this -- 14 points per game since Week 5 is the best mark in the NFL -- the pressure on the Chiefs offense will shrink and they'll need to just not screw it up.
"Not screwing it up" for Alex Smith is defined as not throwing an interception since September 28, which is the case this year with Smith who has just three interceptions on the season. Yes, Alex needs to get better but let's not ignore that avoiding turnovers is a big part of the Chiefs success, especially when your defense is playing better than anyone in the league. Alex this season has 10 touchdown passes and three interceptions.
In fact, Alex Smith's 228 pass attempts without an interception rank first in the NFL, more than 50 pass attempts ahead of some guy named Tom Brady. The Chiefs franchise record for pass attempts without an interception is 233 by Steve DeBerg in 1990. His record is not safe.
Smith absolutely has to get better. But it's a positive for the Chiefs that a quarterback struggling is not one who is throwing interceptions. That raises the floor of the Chiefs performance each week knowing they won't blow the turnover battle.
The Chiefs were at one point in the season minus-four in turnover differential, and that was only in Week 4. Not that long ago. Today the Chiefs are plus-eight in turnover differential with 16 takeaways and eight giveaways. That ranks SECOND in the NFL. SECOND!
Turnovers are a pretty good indicator of success. The teams behind the Chiefs are the Panthers (9-0), Packers (6-3) and Patriots (9-0). The Chiefs are playing like a team that didn't start the season 1-5. One or two losses can screw the whole thing up but if you were one of the folks who believed the Chiefs were better than their 1-5 start, well, you were right.