“It was this girl. Five-feet nothin’. Blocked my shot.” - Charles Barkley in Space Jam
Space Jam is easily one of the best kids movies of all time. If you weren’t a kid of the 90s, some space aliens kidnap Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes, Bugs challenges them to a game basketball for their lives. The space aliens steal the talent of five NBA players and transform into the Monstars. Bugs enlists Michael Jordan to help and he and Bill Murray save the Warner Brothers franchise.
After Charles Barkley has his talent stolen, he loses all ability to play the game he’s famous for. So much so that a little kid on the streets embarrasses him and tells him to get off the floor.
Alex Smith wouldn’t be on the list of players you’re stealing talent from. There’s plenty of quarterbacks better than him, and that was true even during the first five games of the season. But last week, Smith looked worse than I’ve ever seen him in a Chiefs uniform. I wrote about the slow death of his time in Kansas City, well it accelerated this week. He looked like the Monstars took his ability to play football.
45 seconds is a deep dive into one play a week, or the roughly 45 seconds from the start of the play clock to the play being blown dead.
I wanted to write about this:
I'd rather break this down than a Chiefs offensive play this week: pic.twitter.com/7MmI8bip29— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) November 27, 2017
I think Seth would chart that as happy feet.
This week, I don’t even need the All-22 to write about a play. It was that bad. Here’s this week’s play for 45 seconds:
This is a day one install route concept. Easy completion, drive starter. Bills are out-leveraged already based on alignment. Smith doesn't trust it. Brutal. pic.twitter.com/goB0TpAuX0— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) November 27, 2017
The Chiefs wanted to start their two minute drill of right and went to a staple concept. This is one of the simplest pass concepts in football. 3x1 formation. Backside you have a slant and running back to the flat. Front side you have an outside vertical release from the outside receiver, and two out routes. This is a one sided read. You pick a side and work through it.
This is a drive starter. An easy completion. A simple read. The nickel corner and the linebacker are out-leveraged before the ball is even snapped. With the run off outside, one of those out routes will be open. Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs best receiver is open. Throw it to his outside shoulder for a nice gain.
This is day one stuff. Alex sets his feet to deliver, but pulls up in fear. He wouldn’t throw a simple, open out route when his team needed him to the most. I don’t care that he gained eight yards scrambling. It should have never come to that.
I wrote last week about field throws. This would have been an easy, short field throw. I don’t know if he’s spooked by far hash throws or seeing ghosts, but this is unacceptable. Something needs to change. I don’t think we’ll see that change this week, but the leash should be as short as it’s ever been.