Is it a good sign or a bad sign when your head coach is being asked about the quarterback? Andy Reid knew he would be facing some Alex Smith questions this week and he wasn’t wrong.
“I think Alex is okay,” Reid said. “He’s going to be fine. We’ve just got to keep going here, he does a great job with leadership and all of those things. He’ll be fine. We’ve had a couple weeks here where we’ve been in a little bit of a slump. We need to pull out of it and get better. That’s all of us.”
ESPN’s Adam Teicher has a nice piece out looking at some of Alex Smith’s struggles and it shows why Reid should be worried.
I think Teicher cut right to the heart of why watching Alex is so frustrating lately - it’s when and where his mistakes come. His touchdowns, interceptions and passing yards - the stats most people look at - are similar to last year. The touchdowns are on pace to be down while passing yards are headed up. The problem with Smith’s play this year which Teicher pointed out is where he is struggling — on third down and the red zone.
Smith’s struggles have showed up most noticeably when they hurt the most: on third down and inside the opponent’s 20-yard line. Smith is the NFL’s 26th-rated passer on third down. The Chiefs are 31st at scoring touchdowns from the red zone.
As Mike Singletary said, can not win with him, can not play with him, can not coach with him. When you’re bad on third down, you’re not extending drives and you’re losing the time of possession battle by 11 minutes like they did on Sunday. When you’re bad in the red zone, you’re settling for field goals instead of touchdowns, which has been an annual complaint about the Chiefs.
If the Chiefs were better on third down and the red zone, they probably beat the Bucs and their offensive struggles would be masked for another week.