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Alex Smith’s strike to Jeremy Maclin was the play of the game

Now that Jeremy Maclin has passed the concussion protocol I can say that the strike Alex Smith sent him late in Sunday’s game was awesome. All kinds of awesome. That was a championship throw and catch. I’m going through my re-watch of the game right now making some notes but we have to talk about this play for a minute. Watch video of it here.

The Chiefs are on the 32-yard line with a little over a minute left. They’re down 27-20 but momentum is certainly on their side. To this point it appears the Chargers are giving them the underneath stuff because the Chiefs had been dinking and dunking their way down the field on the previous drive and now on this one too.

The first thing to take note of is Spencer Ware demolishing this defensive lineman for the Chargers. Now that, kids, is a chip block.

This is Alex as he’s getting ready to throw. The pocket is so clean. He could keep standing there. Also notice that the checkdown to Spencer Ware is available. Alex could’ve easily taken that.

Instead he winds up with plenty of room to step forward and fires it 22 yards down the field to Maclin. I know they say Alex doesn’t have great arm strength, which is true. I don’t think he can fling it all over the field when he’s off balance like Aaron Rodgers can. But if you let him wind up like this, he’s got plenty of arm strength.

He gets it high enough up in the air that only Maclin can snag it. Check out how Maclin is surrounded by Chargers in this picture. That blurry Charger on the far right? That guy gave De’Anthony Thomas his concussion last year and took a shot at Maclin too.

He does so again here and is flagged for unnecessary roughness. The Chiefs move from the nine to the five yard line as a result. That lead to Spencer Ware’s five yard touchdown.

There was a lot to like here. It was the play of the game for me. The Chiefs are a much, much better team if Alex and Maclin can connect like this. Also, Spencer Ware truckin’ fools is fun, too.

The best part of this is that you could read this headline and not know which play I’m talking about - the 22-yard pass down to the nine or that outstanding back shoulder touchdown pass?