League MVP front-runner Alex Smith has been more-than-a-pleasant surprise for the Chiefs this season. The #NewAlex (credit that hashtag to Pete Sweeney) has been the driving force for the Chiefs’ undefeated record.
Chiefs dot com reporter BJ Kissel tweeted a chart of statistics on Monday that showed just how well Smith has played this season. Here it is.
What sticks out here is that Smith’s best numbers come when the team is losing. You might not be fond of box score analysis when it comes to QBs—that’s totally fair—but the Chiefs are undefeated. This isn’t, for example, Deshaun Watson racking up garbage time yards at the end of Sunday night’s game.
Smith has made 57 pass attempts when the Chiefs are losing and has completed 80.7 percent of those passes, according to BJ’s chart. He’s thrown for 551 yards, including 9.67 yards per attempt with his team losing on the scoreboard. Smith’s 9.67 yards per attempt is better than his statistics with the Chiefs either up in the score or tied.
To take it one step further, Smith’s at his best when the Chiefs are down by a margin of one to seven points. Smith has a completion percentage of 81.8 on 33 pass attempts, along with 11.3 yards per attempt.
These are not garbage time throws that Smith’s making. Whether it be in the first, second, third or fourth quarter, the Chiefs QB is not phased by the opponent taking a lead. Of Smith’s 11 touchdowns, five of them have come in a scenario with KC losing.
After Smith’s performances against New England and Philadelphia, I began to believe that Smith is going to make something good happen. That’s never happened before for me, and I’m willing to Chiefs fans have developed a similar feeling.
With the Steelers coming to town Sunday, this could be a great opportunity for Smith to put last year’s playoff loss behind him once and for all with a victory. And if the Chiefs find themselves behind on the scoreboard, the 2017 version of Alex Smith gives KC a great opportunity to lead a comeback.