“I saw enough of Patrick Mahomes to think Alex Smith is going to be a free agent next year,” Talib said. “That guy can play some ball, Vic. That guy can play some ball. He’s smart. I saw him checking protections, I saw him reading the defense. We know how strong his arm is. The guy is a competitor. I think Alex Smith, he definitely might be on the market this year.”
“When the draft happened you deal with that. At that point, you move on," Smith said. "There were no expectations beyond this year anyway, right? There’s no guarantees."
It could have been an awkward situation all year, especially after Mahomes' impressive performance in training camp and the preseason. But Smith ensured there would be no controversy. He played so well in the first month of the season, especially in high-profile wins against the Patriots and Redskins, that Mahomes became an afterthought.
The Titans, with the turnover-prone Marcus Mariota, are the ones with the bigger worries at the game’s most important position.
“I think for that position [playoff experience] does help," coach Andy Reid said. “Alex has been there and done well there. It sure doesn’t hurt for him to have been there and done well."
Here’s the thing though, the Titans can beat the Chiefs. Don’t believe me? Let’s talk about some numbers. Kansas City has really struggled on defense this year. They are 32nd DVOA against the run this year. 32nd. Do you know what the Titans are bound and determined to do? Yep, that’s right, run the football.
DeMarco Murray missed Tuesday’s practice for the Titans as they prepare for their wild card game against the Chiefs. Mike Mularkey didn’t rule Murray out yet, but it seems like a real long-shot that he would be able to play.
A look at the injuries heading into the Chiefs Wild Card matchup against the Titans
I think Smith will do enough in the passing game to pull out a close game, but it won't be easy. The Titans have won their past two at Arrowhead, including last December when they ran for 148 yards. I think they will run it here, but in the end the Chiefs will advance.
“I just feel like it comes with life, you know what I’m saying?” said Hill, who said he had lost a grandfather on his mother’s side but noted it was not Herman Hill, the grandfather who along with his wife, Virginia, took part in raising Tyreek Hill. “My pops, he’ll always be remembered. The legacy lives on.”