Alex Smith ran for 498 yards last year and was one of the top quarterbacks in the league in running for first downs. This year, he has 54 yards on 25 carries. Everyone knows this story line by now but it’s a significant one when talking about the Chiefs offensive struggles lately.
We’ve all had our theories on why he’s not running more - defenses playing more zone, the non-concussion, etc - but I find it interesting that Alex himself is at a loss when trying to explain the difference from last year.
“To be totally honest, I don’t feel like much has changed,” Alex said via quotes from the Chiefs. “I feel like it’s maybe a coincidence. I don’t see any reason behind it -- maybe less opportunities for whatever reason. I’m talking strictly scrambling here, not designed runs. When they’re there, I try to take advantage of them and I always have.
“I don’t feel like anything has slowed down for me. I feel as good as I have. It’s tough. I’ve certainly asked that question a number of times. I don’t know why. I do think it’s one of those things that comes in bunches here and there at times. Hopefully that comes. We’ll see though, you try not to force it. I go through my progressions but when there’s opportunities there, you try to take advantage of it.”
I’m not sure what it is. This was going on before the non-concussion. Maybe defenses preparing for the Chiefs this year watching last year’s tape saw Alex running for all these first downs. Maybe he got old and went on an over-30-year-old running back overnight decline.
The point in there about these coming in bunches - the Chiefs can hope that’s the case. What if I gave you 2015 Alex with this team right now? You’d take that all day and so would I. Maybe that guy comes back.