One thing those who watch the Kansas City Chiefs every week have realized is that Alex Smith does a terrific job picking up key first downs with his legs. He's just athletic enough to make it a dangerous part of his game. He has nearly 500 yards on the season and six yards per carry. He's very good, especially on third down.
The Alex rushing story line has gotten a little play here and there in the media this week but watching this Bill Belichick interview on the Patriots website it's clear to me that Belichick is well aware of Alex's ability to run.
"He runs when he needs to run," Belichick said in this interview on the Patriots website, which you should watch. "I think there's some guys that run to run. There are other guys that run situationally. Alex Smith is really a smart quarterback. He makes good decisions on when to run, when to throw the ball away and when to throw it. When he makes those third or fourth down conversions or big plays in the red area or two minute, those are when they count the most. I don't think it's how many times a quarterback runs. It's the situations he runs in. If he hurts you in those situations, that could be the difference in the game."
Read that last line: that could be the difference in the game. I read that as the Patriots are going to be ready for Alex's rushing. Clearly, Belichick and the Patriots are aware of how important it is to the Chiefs success. It's not as important as, say, turnovers, but it is definitely a factor.