In Week 8, the Kansas City Chiefs are hitting the road to play the Denver Broncos at Empower Field in Mile High Stadium. The forecast is calling for temperatures below freezing at kickoff and a chance for some wintery precipitation.
The Chiefs have shown a successful reliance on the ground game when the offense needs it as well, and Denver is allowing the highest yards-per-carry rate in the NFL. Right guard Trey Smith is a massive part of the rushing attack’s success, and he definitely sees the colder conditions on Sunday as an advantage for him and the offensive line.
“Cold weather is big guy weather,” Smith told reporters before practice on Thursday. “I prefer it. You can play and sustain a lot longer, especially on longer drives; you feel better when you get the juices flowing.”
He looks forward to a game in Denver much more than a week, like the road win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. He mentioned how much of a mental challenge it is to bear the heat, but it didn’t stop he and the run game from helping seal that 17-9 win.
“To me, I’ve always preferred cold weather over hot or warm weather,” Smith began. “But at the end of the day, however cold or hot it is, put the ball down and let’s play.”
Shoutout @isiah_pachecoRB for taking some time to talk some ball with me!— Ron Kopp Jr. (@Ron_Kopp) October 25, 2023
Article coming soon for @ArrowheadPride, but I asked Isiah which block he thinks Trey Smith enjoys the most: pulling to the LB on Power, or kicking out on Counter? #ChiefsKingdom pic.twitter.com/7v340zLPCj
Whether sizzling or freezing, a pancake block by Smith will still hurt — and likely spring a big play, as it did against the New York Jets in Week 4. The 48-yard touchdown run by running back Isiah Pacheco came on a play where Smith pulled and led the ballcarrier into the second level of the defense.
Pulling is arguably Smith’s best skill, especially when the pull block asks for him to kick out a defender crashing the edge. Pacheco believed it was Smith’s preferred block. The right guard described what goes through his head as he prepares to execute it.
“Destroy what I see,” Smith shared. “Pull as fast and with as much speed as I can, and just lay down the wood.”
That mindset is essential for the play because it is best executed with a forceful, violent finish. However, Smith recognizes the balance he still has to play with in those moments.
“Ultimately, it’s more about being measured in everything I do.” Smith continued. “Whatever it takes to make the play successful, I have to do it.”
Love everything about this RG/DT exchange lol pic.twitter.com/quMKmTWBEG— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) October 23, 2023
That includes playing it safe in pass protection, even if it looks awfully funny. Offensive line analyst Brandon Thorn pointed out a unique pass block from the win over the Los Angeles Chargers, and Smith explained his thought process.
“I got him on the ground, sort of got him off balance,” Smith prefaced. “I had a costly hold earlier on, so I was like, ‘Whatever I do, don’t get another hold.’ At that point, he was out of position... so I fell on him to not get the hold; it was kind of a goofy play.”
The blooper gave Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes enough time to complete a big pass eventually. It’s a microcosm of what it takes to succeed as an offensive lineman: it won’t always be pretty or clean, but it has to get the job done.
So if it’s a snowy, sloppy mess in Denver this Sunday, know Smith — and likely the rest of the big boys — are enjoying it.