Quarterbacks: B (C+): Alex Smith’s 2015 statistical line as a passer — 65.3 completion percentage, 3,486 yards, 20 touchdowns and seven interceptions — looks remarkably similar to last year’s (65.3 completion percentage, 3,265 yards, 18 touchdowns, six interceptions). However, he rushed for 498 yards on 84 attempts — which was 244 more yards on 35 more attempts than he had last season — which reflects the better job he did escaping trouble and making teams pay with his legs.
Many assumed that it was Andy Reid (who has had game management woes over his entire coaching career) calling the plays. But Pederson, the former Chiefs offensive coordinator, said that he started calling plays in the second half of games dating back to Week 7. "Coach Reid and I had a great understanding and a great feel for the game," Pederson said Tuesday. "He allowed me to call the second half of every football game from that Steeler game on."
Here’s what tight end Travis Kelce had to say about Pederson: "He’s the man. We love him just as much as any coach here. We know how important he is and how valuable he is. Obviously I wish him the best of luck over there in Philly, and I know he’ll be a great coach. I think he’s ready for anything that anybody throws at him. That guy works harder than anybody I’ve ever seen."
How bad is that? It’s almost unheard of. According to the drive finder at Pro Football Reference, there have been 2,111 drives in NFL games since 1998 in which the team with the ball trailed by 9-17 points (in other words, they needed to score more than once but weren’t totally out of it) with less than seven minutes left. Out of those 2,111 drives, only one took more time than the 5:16 the Chiefs took off the clock on Saturday.
"He demands a lot from his players," wide receiver Jason Avant said. "He’s a guy that can scheme up a defense pretty well. He knows the game. He’s played it, he’s coached it. That’s such a huge thing for a quarterback. It’s like putting his mind and all of his experience into his quarterback. When you’ve played this game it makes it a lot easier because you understand both sides."
From the failed annals of "don’t fire for the sake of firing," we have the Philadelphia Eagles who, unhappy with all the power they bestowed upon Chip Kelly, were forced to fire a promising coach because, like a parent who gives a nine-year-old the keys to the car, then gets mad when the nine-year-old crashes, they couldn’t take back that power and just let Kelly what he does best. So what did Jeffrey Lurie have in mind when he sought out to find Kelly’s replacement? Well, he had to, uh, be a football coach. And knowing the game was a definite plus
"It came down to this, as it did in a lot of the games last weekend. I thought [it was] well executed by the hands team," Belichick said. "It's a good kick, comes down right there at the 10-yard mark. But these guys are all blocked; it's a nice screen there in front of Rob, and Rob makes a good play on the ball. He's able to make a good, clean play because of the blocking and execution that goes up there in front of it. … It's a great way to end the game there."