QB Alex Smith - Washington Football Team
|6-4, 212||Born: 5-7-1984||College: Utah||Drafted: Round 1, pick 2005|
2018 Week 1 vs ARI (21 / 30 / 255 / 2 / 0 pass, 8 / 14 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith had a somewhat impressive debut for his new team the Washington Redskins. The first thing that immediately stood out with Alex running this offense is his mobility. Alex did a decent job most of the game escaping pressure to extend plays. Coach Gruden also implemented a few designed read option plays to utilize his legs if needed. Alex completed twenty one of his thirty passes as he displayed full command of the intermediate passing game. He added two touchdowns as well with both receivers using RAC to get in the endzone. Washington's ability to control the line of scrimmage gave Alex ample opportunity to read the field and get the ball into the hands of his playmakers. He totaled two hundred and fifty-five yards passing which productive considering how much they ran the ball in this game. Alex is used to spreading it around in the passing game and his ability to extend plays will be a bonus moving forward.
2018 Week 2 vs IND (33 / 46 / 292 / 0 / 0 pass, 4 / 14 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith's game was much different than the opener. He failed to lead a touchdown drive the entire game against seemingly a lightly talented defense. For majority of this game the Redskins struggled to sustain drives as the offensive line allowed too much pressure. Alex had two opportunities at touchdown throws but they resulted in drops and ultimately lead to field goals. Alex attempted forty-six passes today as the run game went cold today. Alex tried to extend plays to find open receivers, but they seem to have had difficulty gaining separation on routes. The Colts didn't allow Alex to throw downfield much either as his lone long completion went for twenty-five yards. Alex's inability to convert on third downs and connect in the end zone lead to an abysmal day for the offense.
2018 Week 3 vs GB (12 / 20 / 220 / 2 / 1 pass, 7 / 20 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith had the offense clicking on all cylinders against Green Bay. However, Alex would lead all of his touchdowns drives in the first half. It was an extremely hot and cold day for Alex and the offense but they were able to put up 31 points to secure a victory. Alex was much more aggressive passing the ball downfield in this game. It was sign of things to come as he found Paul Richardson for a forty-six yard touchdown pass on the opening drive. Alex's second touchdown was a redzone touchdown to Jamison Crowder. It was an extremely tough pass as he threw a dime to Jamison splitting two defenders to squeeze it in a tight window. Alex had four pass attempts in this game of over 20+ yards which was necessary considering how conservative they played last week. He only attempted twenty passes in this game as they had command majority of the game. The offense sputtered the entire second half as they failed to score a touchdown. The only points came on a field goal after getting great field position from a turnover. Alex had a positive game script for a large part of this game which allowed him to play efficiently.
2018 Week 5 vs NO (23 / 39 / 275 / 0 / 1 pass, 2 / 7 / 1 rush)
Alex Smith had a night filled with miscues, ill-timed throws, and inaccuracy. The offense as a unit struggled so it wasn't entirely on Alex Smith. He didn't get much protection and receivers weren't getting any separation which led to being behind on downs and sacks. Alex only converted one of two redzone opportunities as he ran in a touchdown. He threw thirty-nine passes on the night but between the drops and incompletions it didn't amount to a great outing. Without having proper protection Alex was skittish in the pocket and often looked unsure where to go with the ball. He hit a couple of 20+ yard completions when he had time but that was rare in this game. He also failed to throw a touchdown pass in this game which is concerning considering how vulnerable the Saints defense has become. It is hard to put this entire performance from the offense on Alex, but he certainly didn't help as he added a brutal interception as well. This offense is lacking serious playmakers.
2018 Week 6 vs CAR (21 / 36 / 163 / 2 / 0 pass, 6 / 13 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith started this game fast as he converted consecutive red zone trips with a touchdown. Both scores were passes and relatively easy to convert. The first touchdown came after a turnover which immediately put Washington in scoring position. Alex did an excellent job of finding his receiver on busted coverage downfield. The second touchdown of the game came in the red zone where he found his receiver in the back of the endzone from the ten yard line. This ended up being their last touchdown of the game as they settled for a field goal on the next scoring opportunity. Alex struggled in the second half as the offense sputtered and had several stalled drives. Washington didn't score the entire third quarter. Alex did a poor job of converting on third downs as he was often erratic and indecisive in the second half. An early fourth quarter field goal was the only points scored for the Washington offense in the second half. Alex failed to throw for two hundred yards which shows how anemic the passing performed.
2018 Week 7 vs DAL (14 / 25 / 178 / 1 / 0 pass, 4 / 16 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith had a quiet day leading the Redskins offense. He didn't turn the ball over but their inability to sustain drives resulted in an abysmal outcome on the scoreboard. The day started out well as he led Washington to opening quarter touchdown. Alex took advantage of Dallas' blitz by tossing a screen pass that went for thirty yards to the end zone. Alex faced constant pressure today and didn't do a good job connecting with his receivers on the run. There were times he was inaccurate but his receiving core had a few drops as well. This game was a defensive battle and looked like a game where both team knew each other's playbook well.
2018 Week 8 vs NYG (20 / 32 / 178 / 1 / 0 pass, 3 / 13 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith had a good start to this game as he marched the offense downfield for a touchdown in the first quarter. A short dump off pass to Adrian Peterson gave him his one and only touchdown pass of the game. After the opening quarter touchdown, Alex struggled to manufacture points offensively. Washington struggled to convert on third downs and constantly found themselves behind schedule on downs during their possessions. Alex only managed one more red zone opportunity during this game and that came off of a turnover. As the defense kept this game close, Washington went to a run-heavy scheme considering the passing game struggles. Alex had thirty-two pass attempts but the lack of chunk plays was disappointing.
2018 Week 9 vs ATL (30 / 46 / 306 / 1 / 1 pass, 1 / 22 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith had his way with the Falcons secondary but it rarely resulted in points. This was an extremely pass heavy game for Washington at Alex put up forty-six attempts. This game was fairly close into the 2nd half so it was a little odd to see this much passing from a team that wants to run the football. Some of the passing may be attributed to an ineffective run game as Washington had three linemen go down. Alex had over three hundred yards passing but with just two opportunities in scoring position the offense only managed fourteen points. He also threw one touchdown pass in this game finding Josh Doctson in the end zone on a fade jump ball. It was an uneven day for Alex with much more to be desired on the scoreboard. Being inefficient on third downs was a drive killer all day which contributed to minimal scoring as well.
2018 Week 10 vs TB (19 / 27 / 178 / 1 / 0 pass, 2 / 16 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith struggled mightily on offense today as the offense was dealing with several key injuries. Without a steady diet of the run game it was difficult for Alex to find a rhythm within the game plan. Many of the same issues that have been causing problems all year were much of the same versus Tampa Bay. Washington was often behind schedule on downs and often faced long distances for first downs. Therefore, being in predictable passing situations made it even more difficult to convert considering there shorthanded receiving core. Alex attempted twenty-seven passes and didn't top two hundred yards. Today may have been the most 'three and outs' for the team the entire season. However, Alex did finally throw his only touchdown in the third quarter. Washington's offense isn't built to go pass heavy and the offensive line injuries aren't helping the run game. Alex can't carry this offense by himself.
2018 Week 11 vs HOU (12 / 27 / 135 / 0 / 2 pass, 4 / 33 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith struggled in this game. He couldn't find any success moving the ball downfield and continued his inconsistencies on 3rd down. This is also related to his inability to complete at least half of his passes going 12/27 on the day. However, he did have one successful drive that ended with a rushing touchdown in the redzone by Adrian Peterson. Alex had a chance to capitalize on another redzone opportunity but he threw a horrendous interception that was returned for a touchdown. He has been doing a good job of protecting the football but he recorded two interceptions in this game. Alex suffered a significant injury in today's game and won't return this season. Considering the level of talent surrounding Alex he played decent this season.
2017 Week 1 vs NE (28 / 35 / 368 / 4 / 0 pass, 5 / 3 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith played the game of his life against the Patriots in week one, completing 28 of 35 passes for 368 yards and four touchdowns. Smith has survived in the NFL by being an extremely accurate passer, while minimizing his mistakes and keeping his team in the game. He displayed a willingness to take shots down the field that was not there in recent years, which is interesting considering the Chiefs let Jeremy Maclin- who is more of a prototypical #1 wide receiver than Hill- go in the off season. Smith's best asset is his accuracy, and he did an incredible job of hitting his wide receivers in stride to take advantage of their speed on the outside. He was able to connect on a 75 yard touchdown to Tyreek Hill, and a 78 yard touchdown to Kareem Hunt. A lack of explosive plays have kept the Chiefs from advancing in the playoffs in recent years, but if Thursday was any indication of things to come in Kansas City, the AFC may have a new representative in the Super Bowl this season.
2017 Week 2 vs PHI (21 / 28 / 251 / 1 / 0 pass, 4 / 21 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith continued where he left off in week one, completing 21 of 28 passes for 251 yards and one touchdown. He also added 21 yards on four rushes. Smith did most of his damage in the passing game by taking advantage of the mismatches that Travis Kelce created on the outside. While Smith does not have the biggest arm, he understands how to use accuracy and touch to throw his receivers open in space, and did so perfectly on a 44 yard gain to Travis Kelce in the 1st quarter. With Kelce lined up on the right side of the formation, Smith took a four step drop and threw a great ball down the sideline to Kelce, who had beat his defender off the line of scrimmage. It was a great example of how Smith is able to create big plays without throwing the ball deep down the field.
2017 Week 3 vs LAC (16 / 21 / 155 / 2 / 0 pass, 2 / 9 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith had a very Alex Smith like game. He completed 16 of 21 passes for 155 yards and two touchdowns. In this game, Smith played the role of distributor, completing passes to eight different receivers, while making sure he didn't turn the ball over. With Kareem Hunt exploding with big plays, as well as Tyreek Hill, Smith doesn't have to force the ball into tight coverage, which plays to his strengths. Smith threw a beautiful ball to Tyreek Hill for a 30 yard touchdown. Hill ran a deep crossing route create separation from his defender as he worked towards the right sideline. Hill lofted his throw and led Hill out in front of him, which Hill was able to run under for an easy touchdown.
2017 Week 4 vs WAS (27 / 37 / 293 / 1 / 0 pass, 7 / 56 / 1 rush)
Alex Smith had another highly efficient day, completing 27 of 37 passes for 293 yards and a touchdown. Smith took advantage of the wide berth that the Washington secondary gave his explosive receivers by rushing for 56 yards and a touchdowns. While Smith has always been a mobile quarterback, it was impressive to see how he looked off defenders and knew the exact moment to break the pocket and scramble. Smith's longest rush of the night went for 37 yards on what was sort of a broken play. Smith took the handoff under center but dropped the football as he was taking his drop. Instead of panicking, he continued to take his five step drop and upon seeing a heavy rush from the Washington defense, he took off out towards the right sideline. After gaining right around 15 yards, a Washington defender looked like he was going to cut Smith off at the sideline as he was running at an angle from the middle of the field. 99% of NFL quarterbacks would have quickly stepped out of bounds and been happy with the first down on a broken play, however Smith saw that there was plenty of open field in front of him. Instead of stepping out of bounds, he continued up the sideline and even tried to cut back towards the middle of the field as he approached a Redskins defender head on. His decision to keep running gained him another 22 yards and put the Chiefs over half-field with 26 seconds left in the 2nd quarter. Knowing the Chiefs had two timeouts left, Smith made a fantastic decision, and it was the type of play that reminded many of us why he is without a doubt the best option for the Chiefs at quarterback, despite the fact that they used a high draft pick on Patrick Mahomes in this year's draft.
2017 Week 5 vs HOU (29 / 37 / 324 / 3 / 0 pass, 5 / 19 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith has begun to separate himself from the pack at MVP thus far into the season, piloting the Chiefs to an NFL best 5-0 record. He played brilliantly again on Sunday night, completing 29 of 37 passes for 324 yards and three touchdowns, with no interceptions. He also rushed five times for 19 yards. Smith's rushing total does not really explain how well he managed to escape the pocket and extend plays. While the Chiefs wide receivers after Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce are unheralded, they have been able to contribute this year more than other's due to the fact that Smith has been so good at extending plays and finding them wide open. Smith completed 14 of his 29 passes to receivers not named Hill, Hunt or Kelce, by far the highest of the 2017 season. Smith's 8 yard touchdown pass to Charcandrick West was a product of Smith's ability to break the pocket and force defenders to choose between letting him run in the red zone or abandoning their passing lane.
2017 Week 6 vs PIT (19 / 34 / 246 / 1 / 0 pass, 4 / 13 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith had a rough game against the Steelers, completing 19 of 34 passes for 246 yards and no touchdowns or interceptions. He also chipped in 13 yards on four rushing attempts. The Steelers defense got to Smith from the start of the game, forcing a safety on the Chiefs third play of their first possession. The biggest difference between this week and past week's for the Chiefs was Smith's ability to get his skill position players open in space. While Smith was able to complete short passes, his receivers often found themselves tackled as soon as they caught the ball. Smith completed six passes for five or fewer yards, which goes a long way in showing how well the Pittsburgh secondary bottled up Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill. Smith's lone touchdown pass came on a broken play where he was able to escape a heavy Pittsburgh pass rush. Smith scrambled to his left and found DeAnthony Thomas streaking down the sideline. Thomas made the catch on the sideline, juked his defender, and then shrugged off another tackler on his way to a 57 yard touchdown.
2017 Week 7 vs OAK (25 / 36 / 342 / 3 / 0 pass, 1 / 0 / 0 rush)
Smith was spreading the ball around early, hitting new #2 receiver Demarcus Robinson and backup tight end Demetrius Harris for first downs, but he was unable to convert a third and long and the team had to settle for a field goal. The second drive was about to stall out, but Smith drew a roughing the passer penalty, and finished the drive with a high pass that allowed Travis Kelce to use his length and good hands to convert into a score. Smith led a three play, 99-yard drive in the second quarter with a nice pass to Demarcus Robinson to get out of the shadow of his own goalposts and then a deep ball to Tyreek Hill that was easily past the last line of defense and allowed Hill to run under it for the effortless score. Smith was more of a dink and dunk passer on the two-minute drill drive for a field goal at the end of the first half. Smith got away with one on the long touchdown to Albert Wilson. It could have been picked or broken up, but instead it deflected right into Wilson's hands for the score. A deep ball to Hill keyed another second half field goal drive. Smith got the team into the red zone, but couldn't convert a third and long at the 19. Smith got the team out of their own end on the next to last Chiefs possession of the game, but couldn't convert a third down under pressure. He was sacked again on third down on the Chiefs last chance to salt away the game on offense.
2017 Week 8 vs DEN (14 / 31 / 202 / 1 / 0 pass, 4 / 33 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith completed 14 of 31 passes for 202 yards and one touchdown. Smith also ran the ball four times for 33 yards. The story of the night was Travis Kelce, who was able to get open at will against the Denver linebackers and Smith keyed in on him. Smith started the game off with a 19 yard completion to Kelce on the third play of their first possession. Although Smith threw the ball a little high and behind Kelce, the Chiefs tight end managed to make an excellent catch in the middle of the field. On the Chiefs very next possession, Smith went right back to Kelce for a 29 yard touchdown where Kelce absolutely left his defender in the dust on a sick double move where he a slant to the middle of the field and then right up the left sideline. Smith threw a well-timed ball, but the truth was Kelce was so wide open that even Tyreek Hill could have thrown the touchdown pass. This was a game where Smith did not have to be at his best, as the Chiefs defense gave him great field position and held the Broncos offense to a 38% success rate on third down.
2017 Week 9 vs DAL (25 / 34 / 263 / 2 / 1 pass, 5 / 19 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith completed 25 of 34 passes for 263 yards with two touchdowns and one interception, while also rushing five times for 19 yards. While his overall stats do not look that bad, Smith's production was padded by a 56 yard touchdown to Tyreek Hill with no time left on the clock in the first half. All Smith did was deliver a pass over the middle to Hill, with the Cowboys in prevent defense. Hill was able to miraculously shake off all the Cowboys defenders and score an improbable touchdown. Without that play, Smith's stats look rather unimpressive, although it should be mentioned that big plays have become a hallmark of the Chiefs offense this season, so that may be an unfair criticism. The Cowboys secondary did a good job of keeping the Chiefs speed in front of them, which limited their ability to gain yards after the catch and in space. With Dallas controlling the tempo of the game (and going four for four in the red zone), Smith was unable to move the ball effectively when the Chiefs were trailing by two scores. The Chiefs don't have the size on the outside to win one on one matchups down the field, and Smith's arm doesn't really cater to that type of attack. While they have found ways around that this season, it will continue to come back and bite them when they find themselves trailing against a defense that can contain their speed.
2017 Week 11 vs NYG (27 / 40 / 230 / 0 / 2 pass, 5 / 27 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith completed 27 of 40 passes for 230 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions, while also rushing five times for 27 yards. Smith does not have the strongest arm, he depends mostly on his accuracy, timing and intelligence, so he had a rather difficult time navigating the swirling winds at Giants stadium. It wasn't that he was having trouble completing passes, it was just that his normal throwing range was diminished even further. This meant that a majority of his targets came in the short passing game, and the intermediate passes that generate big plays for the Chiefs receivers after the catch were non-existent. The one throw Smith was able to complete down the field came on a straight go route to Tyreek Hill who ran right past his defender up the left sideline. Smith threw a very nice ball that was slightly behind Hill, however Hill was able to go up and make the tough catch. The Chiefs offense can go only as far as Alex Smith can take them, but for that to happen he needs to be able to distribute the ball accurately to his receivers in space and let them gain yards after the catch. It seems the rest of the league has begun to realize this and have started playing bump and run coverage on Tyreek Hill on the outside, and double teaming Travis Kelce in the middle of the field. Kelce had a big day, but the Giants defense did a great job of containing the rest of the offense and that ultimately kept the Chiefs to only nine points on the afternoon.
2017 Week 12 vs BUF (23 / 36 / 199 / 1 / 1 pass, 5 / 35 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith completed 23 of 36 passes with one touchdown and one interception. Smith also led the Chiefs in rushing, gaining 35 yards on five carries. Unfortunately for Smith, his interception came at the worst time, with the Chiefs driving to win the game in the final minute of the 4th quarter. Smith has put himself in a precarious position, after winning five straight games to start the season, the Chiefs have now lost five of their last six games. The touchdown pass from Smith to Albert Wilson snapped a streak of over eight straight quarters without an offensive touchdown for the Chiefs. The blame falls squarely on the shoulders of Smith, although that is a little unfair considering the incredible rushing attack that the Chiefs started the season with has now gone away. Smith was unable to get the Chiefs offense in a rhythm, specifically on first down. The Chiefs offense often put themselves in third and long situations, and the Bills defense feasted on it. They were able to contain Smith and the Chiefs offense and held them to a long gain of 28 yards. Smith has gone from an MVP candidate to potentially losing his job to a rookie, although coach Andy Reid has publicly stated that he is going to stick with Smith down the stretch of the regular season.
2017 Week 13 vs NYJ (19 / 33 / 366 / 4 / 0 pass, 1 / 70 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith completed 19 of 33 passes for 366 yards and four touchdowns in the Chiefs stunning loss to the New York Jets. Smith also ran one time for 70 yards, showing that he still had the athleticism and speed that made him an effective spread option quarterback in college. A week after Smith started to hear whispers about rookie Pat Mahomes potentially taking over the reins of the Chiefs offense, Smith went out and silenced critics regarding his inability to move the ball. In many ways it was a revelation, as Smith sliced and diced the Jets secondary, beating them deep down the field time and time again. The four touchdown passes equaled his touchdown total from weeks 8-12. Smith started off red hot, completing his first five passes for 111 yards and two touchdowns, and never took his foot off the gas. His first two touchdowns passes, both of which went to Travis Kelce, came on plays of 22 and 36 yards. On the first play, Smith play-action faked to Kareem Hunt and then waited for Kelce to get open on a deep crossing pattern to the left sideline. Smith threw the ball accurately into a small window and led Kelce perfectly, allowing him to sneak into the end zone. On the second play, Smith play action faked to Hunt once again, stepped up in the pocket and led Kelce very nicely down the left sideline. Kelce was wide open thanks to some nifty route-running and a mix up in the Jets secondary, but the throw was one that Smith was not making in previous weeks. Smith’s next touchdown pass came in the middle of the third quarter and went for 79 yards to Tyreek Hill. Smith lined up in the shotgun and hit Hill on a straight go-route down the field. Hill just flat out beat his man down the field, and although Hill had to slow down slightly as he caught the ball, Smith threw the ball 44 yards in the air on a rope and it was exactly where it needed to be in order for Hill to beat his man for a touchdown. Smith’s final touchdown pass went to Hill again for a 40 yard score. Smith lined up in the shotgun, play action faked to Hunt and threw a dime to Hill on a deep slant route. While the previous touchdown pass was just a touch behind Hill as he raced down the field, this one was exactly where it needed to be. It was placed in a small window and Smith had to gauge Hill’s speed perfectly, something that is not easy to do. Throw in a 70 yard run where Smith slipped a sack at his own 10 yard line, and then raced down the field, broke another tackle around the 50 yard and finished off around the Jets 15 yard line, and Smith had his best game of the season and one of his finest as a professional.
2017 Week 14 vs OAK (20 / 34 / 268 / 0 / 1 pass, 5 / 24 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith completed 20 of 34 passes for 268 yards, with no touchdowns and one interception against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. Smith chipped in 24 yards on five carries, as well. While Smith failed to convert a touchdown on the day, he did an excellent job of moving the offense and making plays down the field, completing passes of 20+ yards to four different receivers. Smith made several nice throws to Tyreek Hill, including one on third and 16 that set up a Kansas City score. Smith took the snap in shotgun formation and went through his progressions. Hill ran a deep comeback route and his defender gave him a nice cushion to prevent him from beating him deep with his speed. Hill turned on the breaks and stopped on a dime, and Smith threw a nice pass, although it was a little high. Hill made a very nice catch and converted the first down. Smith has been taken more shots down the field the last two weeks than he had in any two game stretch this season and it paid off big time for the Chiefs.
2017 Week 15 vs LAC (23 / 30 / 231 / 2 / 0 pass, 3 / 13 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith completed 23 of 30 passes for 231 yards and two touchdown, and also ran three times for 13 yards. Smith's total stats do not look prolific, but he played very well considering the fact that the Chiefs ran the ball 32 times compared to only 30 passes. The one constant in the Chiefs offense this year has been when Smith is able to push the ball downfield, their running game is often very effective. This was no different against the Chargers, as Smith was able to find Tyreek Hill for a 64 yard touchdown pass. Hill ran a straight go-route right past his defender and Smith threw an accurate ball that hit Hill in stride for about as easy as you will see a 60+ yard touchdown in the NFL. This one play had a huge effect on the game, as the Chargers were forced to play more men in coverage, allowing Kareem Hunt to gain consistent yards on first and second down, and set up easy third down conversions for the Chiefs.
2017 Week 16 vs MIA (25 / 39 / 304 / 1 / 0 pass, 4 / 13 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith completed 25 of 39 passes for 301 yards and a touchdown, while also rushing four times for 13 yards. It was Smith's fifth game with 300+ passing yards and his 11th game without an interception. Smith played really well in this game and took advantage of a weak Dolphins secondary. He hit Tyreek Hill down the field for gains of 33 and 52 yards. The first play came with Smith in the shotgun formation, where he took a two-step drop and threw the ball to Hill's back shoulder 30 yards down the field. Hill made a nice catch before stepping out of bounds for a big gain. Smith hit Hill again on a 52 yard reception where Smith just threw a perfect ball 50 yards and hit Hill in stride between two defenders. It was the type of throw that Smith is criticized for not being able to convert, but there isn't a quarterback in the NFL who could have thrown a better ball deep down the field to Hill. Smith's only touchdown pass came on a nine yard play to Travis Kelce. Smith lined up in the shotgun formation took a two-step drop before throwing a dart to Travis Kelce on a slant route in the end zone. Smith threw a hard ball up and in to Kelce who made a nice snag. I don't know what Smith ate before this game, but he came out throwing the ball much harder than I've seen in any other game this season. His downfield passes were on target and placed perfectly for his receivers to make the catch but their defenders could not make a play on the ball, which is exactly what you want out of your quarterback. The Chiefs are a dangerous team with playmakers at the skill positions and on their defense and special teams, so don't be surprised to see them make a post-season run.
2017 Week 18 vs TEN (24 / 33 / 264 / 2 / 0 pass, 4 / 13 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith completed 24 of 33 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions, while also rushing four times for 13 yards. Smith got off to a hot start, leading the Chiefs to a 21-3 lead at halftime before being stonewalled by an aggressive Titans defense in the second half. This could very well be the last game that Smith plays in a Chiefs uniform, and it is one that is going to leave a bad taste in his mouth as the game was there for the taking for Kansas City. Smith came out firing in the first half, leading the Chiefs to a touchdown on their second and third possessions, and then scoring another touchdown right before halftime. Smith was able to find Tyreek Hill for a 45 yard pass in which Hill ran a crossing route from the left side of the formation. Smith hit him perfectly in stride allowing Hill to get to the outside and turn the ball up the field. On the very next play, Smith connected with Travis Kelce for a 27 yard gain that set up a one yard run by Kareem Hunt. Smith had success attacking the Titans cornerbacks on crossing and drag routes where Kelce, Hill and DeMarcus Robinson were able to use their speed to beat their defenders to the outside. Smith came back with a touchdown pass to Travis Kelce on the Chiefs second possession, as well as Robinson on another crossing route right before half time. However, once Kelce went out with an injury, the Titans defense buckled down, put pressure on Smith and bullied the Chiefs receivers at the line of scrimmage. It was for this reason that the Chiefs were unable to score in the second half and put the game away. The Chiefs will certainly have suitors for Smith's services in the off-season, and it makes sense that they will move on with 1st round pick Patrick Mahomes waiting in the wings.
2016 Week 1 vs SD (34 / 48 / 363 / 2 / 1 pass, 4 / 15 / 1 rush)
Smith threw the ball all over the place today completing 34 of 48 attempts for 363 yards with 2 touchdowns 1 interception and adding on 4 rush for 15 yards and the deciding overtime touchdown. Smith targeted 9 different receivers and connected with 8 of them. Smith's favorite target was Spencer Ware out of the backfield as he targeted the back 8 times, completing 7 for a total of 145 yards. Smith stayed true to form completing short to intermediate passes to move the ball up and down the field. Touchdown strikes to Maclin and Tyreek Hill propelled the furious second half comeback. Smith's lone blemish came in the fourth quarter when a pass across the middle to Jeremy Maclin was ripped away by Jason Verrett after it appeared Maclin had caught the ball. Interestingly enough Verrett was the same player to end Smith's consecutive pass attempts without an interception streak last season. Smith took this game over in the second half and is a big reason why the Chiefs came back to win.
2016 Week 2 vs HOU (20 / 37 / 186 / 0 / 0 pass, 2 / 2 / 0 rush)
After throwing for the second highest total of his career last week (365 yards), Alex Smith took a step backward against the Houston Texans, totaling only 187 yards on 20-37 passing (53% completion percentage). The Chiefs were without starting offensive guards Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and Parker Ehinger, and it showed with Smith getting hit repeatedly, including four sacks. This played a big part in Smith's completion percentage, and despite his deficiency as a downfield passer, he was unable to generate any completions to receivers that gained 20 or more yards. Normally such a stout pass rush would open up running lanes for Smith to exploit, but he failed to make an impact in that department either, gaining only two yards on two rushes. All in all, it was a Sunday to forget for Smith and the entire Chiefs offense.
2016 Week 3 vs NYJ (25 / 33 / 237 / 1 / 0 pass, 3 / -3 / 0 rush)
Smith had a yawn worthy performance, with most of his attempts targeted at or close to the line of scrimmage. He did take a few deep shots to Jeremy Maclin in the two minute drill, but Maclin didn't create enough separation. The game script never forced Smith out of his comfort zone, so his only scoring pass came on a nice effort by Travis Kelce after the catch. He also had Tyreek Hill open deep in the second half, but Smith's ball forced Hill to drift out of bounds.
2016 Week 4 vs PIT (30 / 50 / 287 / 2 / 1 pass, 1 / 2 / 0 rush)
Overall, Smith had his second highest scoring day of the year, throwing for 287 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. The Chiefs were down from the very beginning, so Smith's high volume of passes was something to be expected. With the Steelers clamping down on #1 receiver Jeremy Maclin, Smith was smart in getting other receivers involved, ultimately completing five or more passes to five different receivers. One of those receivers was Tyreke Hill, a player that many analysts are calling the "fastest man in football". Smith's first touchdown pass came on a slant to Hill from the ten yard line. Hill showed very good concentration and toughness in traffic, bobbling the ball at first before coming down with it at the five yard line, spinning off a defender and diving over the goal line for the Chiefs first points of the night. Smith's final touchdown pass of the night went to familiar target, Travis Kelce. Kelce ran an out route before settling in at the edge of the end zone. Smith went through his progressions before finding Kelce wide open in the back of the end zone. Although the Chiefs got blown out in this one, Smith's stats were above his average points and that is a welcomed site for fantasy owners.
2016 Week 6 vs OAK (19 / 22 / 224 / 0 / 0 pass, 3 / -1 / 0 rush)
Smith played the role of game manager to an extent that is unusual even for him. He completed 86% of his passes, going 19 of 22 with no touchdowns or interceptions. He forced the Raiders into a guessing game, as he completed passes to nine different receivers, and seven them of had at least two receptions. Smith essentially spread the Raiders secondary out and killed them with underneath throw after underneath throw. Once the Oakland defensive backs started playing bump and run consistently, Smith keyed in on his mismatches and took advantage of the middle of the field and the sidelines, eventually completing five passes of 20 or more yards. One such play came on second and seven at the KC 35 yard line. With DJ Hayden playing press coverage on Jeremy Maclin, Smith took a three step drop and used Maclin's speed down the field to lead him up the right sideline. This was not a play where Smith waited for the play to develop and for Maclin to get open. Maclin beat Hayden off the line of scrimmage and Smith found him perfectly in stride for a 38 yard gain. If you had to explain the Chiefs downfield passing attack (or lack thereof) in one play, this would be it. Smith is not going to be throwing fifty yard jump balls to his receivers, but he can still generate big plays when the defense is in the right type of coverage. Many times it can take several series of running short and intermediate routes before a defense softens up and allows one on one coverage on the outside, and when that happens, Andy Reid and Alex Smith will recognize the opportunity and draw up a play similar to what we saw with Maclin. Smith did not blow the Raiders off the field on Sunday, but with a productive running game and an aggressive defense that is getting stops and causing turnovers, he doesn't have to.
2016 Week 7 vs NO (17 / 24 / 214 / 2 / 0 pass, 4 / 7 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith settled down in the first few snaps with some easy, quick completions off boot action. From that point on he played with excellent poise and command, generally releasing the ball on time and in rhythm. He will be disappointed with missing a deep shot to Jeremy Maclin down the seam in the first quarter, as he left the football just a little too far in front. He could easily have had a pass intercepted on a target in Travis Kelce's direction; a linebacker dropped underneath the throw and Smith did not seem to spot him. Smith showed beautiful touch and accuracy on a deep touchdown pass to speed demon Tyreek Hill, allowing his receiver to run under the football in the end zone. Smith's second touchdown pass came on a quick pass into the flat for Spencer Ware, who benefited from some good blocking downfield to rumble to the end zone on a screen play. Smith extended plays very effectively all game long, and was able to fire a few darts to the sideline to keep drives alive. In a highly efficient display that lacked splash plays, Smith was a safe pair of hands to lead the Chiefs offense to a victory.
2016 Week 8 vs IND (9 / 19 / 127 / 1 / 0 pass, 2 / 9 / 0 rush)
Smith was off to a good start against the Colts, completing 9 of 19 passes for 117 yards and a touchdown before a second concussion put him out of commission for good on Sunday. It was especially unnerving to see Smith get hurt because on both plays where he was concussed, he was sliding to the ground and looked to be hit late on both plays by the Colts defense. He was especially sharp early when looking Travis Kelce's way, completing passes of 19 and 21 yards to his tight end on the first two drives. Smith and Kelce worked the middle of the field very well, opening up the outside for the Chiefs receivers later in the game. Smith found Jeremy Maclin for a touchdown on a clever pump fake fade where Maclin took advantage of overaggressive coverage and secured an easy score. Smith has entered the NFL concussion protocol and is currently questionable to play in week 9.
2016 Week 10 vs CAR (25 / 38 / 178 / 0 / 1 pass, 4 / 13 / 0 rush)
Smith made his return after a one game absence, and while he completed 65% of his passes (25 of 38 for 178 yards), he failed to lead the Chiefs offense to a touchdown all game. In many ways this game was a microcosm of the Chiefs season, as the offense did just enough to allow Cairo Santos to convert four field goals, but they lacked explosiveness and ultimately barely hung to win against an inferior opponent. Without Jeremy Maclin, Smith looked to rookie wide receiver Tyreek Hill 14 times on the day, completing ten of those passes for 89 yards. Smith's longest pass of the day went for 27 yards to Hill, who did most of the work after the catch. Smith worked the sidelines and middle of the field, but was unable to complete any of his four passes over 20 yards. He dinked and dunked the Carolina defense to death, and it ended up being enough, but barely. Moving forward, Smith will have to find a way to create passes down the field if the Chiefs want to advance deep in the playoffs.
2016 Week 11 vs TB (24 / 31 / 261 / 1 / 1 pass, 2 / 10 / 1 rush)
Alex Smith was his usual efficient self, completing 77% of his passes (24 of 31 yards) for 261 yards and a touchdown, while also throwing one interception. Additionally, Smith ran twice for 10 yards and a touchdown. With Jameis Winston picking apart the Kansas City secondary, the Chiefs offense had the difficult task of scoring while being severely beaten in the time of possession game. Alex Smith moved the ball rather well, but they were unable to generate more than 14 points. Smith's lone touchdown pass came on a clear out route for Albert Wilson from the five yard line. Smith waited the requisite amount of time and threw a dart to the left side of the end zone where Wilson secured the easy touchdown. Smith's touchdown run showed of his ability as a runner and his understanding of how to manipulate the pocket. Smith waited for pressure to surround him and leave a gap up the middle, waiting until the last possible second before rushing up the middle untouched for a touchdown. Smith was able to get the ball down the field once to Tyreke Hill, completing a 42 yard pass. It was the type of play that made you wonder why they don't try it more often, because this was certainly a day where the Chiefs lost because they were unable to put up sufficient points to back up their defense.
2016 Week 12 vs DEN (26 / 44 / 220 / 1 / 0 pass, 2 / 2 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith completed 26 of 44 passes for 220 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions. Smith did just enough to lead the Chiefs to victory, but once again, he was unable to create any plays down the field. If not for the brilliant play of Tyreek Hill, who was able to slice through the Denver secondary by gaining yards after the catch, the Chiefs would not have been able to put up enough points to beat the Broncos. Smith's longest pass of the game went for 21 yards, and it came on a tight end screen to Travis Kelce, who patiently allowed his blockers to seal a hole for him before bursting up the sideline. While Smith was not able to generate any chunk plays, he did do a good job of setting up his receivers with well-placed passes that allowed them to generate yards after the catch. A great example of this came on a shallow slant to Tyreek Hill. Hill was lined up on left side of the formation, and after using a quick fake to the outside he cut off his route toward the middle of the field. Smith threw a pass where only Hill could catch it, and led him up the field which allowed Hill to make another move and gain 11 yards and a first down. Smith is not going to put up gaudy stats, but if he can get the kind of help that he got from Hill and Kelce on Sunday night, the Chiefs could make for a very interesting team come playoff time.
2016 Week 13 vs ATL (21 / 25 / 270 / 1 / 0 pass, 3 / -3 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith completed 21 of 25 passes for 270 yards and a touchdown, marking one of the more efficient days he's had in a very efficient career. Smith deserves credit for taking shots down the field, something he had been reluctant to do for the better part of this season. Smith completed passes of 21, 35, 27, 21 and 25 yards, four of which went to Travis Kelce, while the other went to Tyreke Hill. The Chiefs had a solid game plan against the Falcons, as they ran quite a few play action fakes and fake reverses to catch the Falcons secondary out of position. Smith made some great throws down the field to Travis Kelce, and to Kelce's credit, he made several tough catches and was excellent gaining yards after the catch. One of Smith's best throws of the day came in the first quarter on first and ten from the Falcons 40 yard line. Operating out of the shotgun, Smith took a three step drop and looked off the entire Falcons secondary to the left. He then turned back to his right and hit Travis Kelce on a wheel route thirty yards down the field. Smith led Kelce perfectly and the athletic tight end made the catch and nearly scored a touchdown before being called out of bounds at the Falcons one yard line. That play set up a Spencer Ware touchdown run which tied the game at 7-7. Smith showed some nice zip on his passes, one of which he hit Albert Wilson in stride on a crossing route that went for a 21 yard gain. It was by far Smith's best passing day from an efficiency standpoint, and he did his part in a tough road win for the Chiefs.
2016 Week 14 vs OAK (17 / 26 / 264 / 1 / 1 pass, 4 / 3 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith completed 17 of 26 passes for 264 yards and a touchdown with one interception. His 15.5 yards per completion was one of the highest totals he's had all season, and in many ways showcased how the Chiefs offense has evolved since the start of the season. We have covered the Chiefs lack of explosiveness ad-nauseum in this column, but we have to give credit where it is due. Smith has been able to put Tyreke Hill and Travis Kelce in position to do what they do best, and that is create yards after the catch which has transformed the Chiefs into a Super Bowl contender. A great example of this came in the second quarter on third and six from the Chiefs twenty yard line. Smith took the snap out of the shotgun formation and after a three step drop hit Kelce coming across the middle. The play was a classic clear out, but it was made possible by Smith's accuracy and Kelce's run after the catch ability. Smith hit his tight end in perfect stride about eight yards from the line of scrimmage, and Kelce did the rest, gaining 28 yards and a first down. With the Chiefs running game stalling, Smith has taken more shots down the field and it is starting to pay off. On second and ten from the Oakland 36 yard line, Smith took a four step drop and then after stepping up in the pocket and winding himself up, hit Tyreek Hill on a deep slant that went down as a 36 yard touchdown. The throw was perfect, hitting Hill in stride and getting up over two defenders who were converging on Hill. While Smith lacks the ability to throw the deep ball, he proved on that play that he can deliver the ball on a rope in the intermediate passing game.
2016 Week 15 vs TEN (15 / 28 / 163 / 0 / 1 pass, 4 / 11 / 1 rush)
Alex Smith completed 15 of 28 passes for 163 yards with no touchdowns and one interception. Smith managed to salvage his day from a fantasy perspective by rushing four times for 11 yards and a touchdown. The return of Jeremy Maclin did little to boost a struggling Chiefs offense, and Alex Smith seemed to revert back to the first half of the season where he was unable to move the ball down the field. He did target Maclin on a deep go-route where Smith underthrew the ball, but Maclin was able to cut the route off and make a very nice catch. The Titans defensive front put constant pressure on Smith, and he did not handle it well, looking flustered for much of the game. Smith was uncharacteristically inaccurate, missing wide open receivers. None more so than Travis Kelce, on a third and ten where Kelce had two steps on his defender and Smith woefully underthrew the ball, and was lucky it was not intercepted.
2016 Week 16 vs DEN (25 / 36 / 244 / 1 / 1 pass, 4 / 46 / 1 rush)
Alex Smith bounced back after a weak performance last week, completing 25 of 36 passes for 244 yards and one touchdown with one interception. Smith was also very effective rushing the ball, gaining 46 yards and a touchdown on four carries. Smith was sharp against the Broncos, and he keyed in on Travis Kelce from the very beginning, eventually completing 11 passes to his ultra-athletic tight end. Smith did a very good job of clearing out coverage to one side of the field, while finding Kelce with quick, accurate strikes that allowed him to gain yards after the catch nearly every time he touched the ball. One such play happened on a second and six from the Chiefs 20 yard line. Kelce lined up on the right side of the formation, and after taking the snap and dropping back, Smith hit Kelce on a perfectly timed slant that was out in front of his receiver. Kelce did the rest from there, lumbering 80 yards for a touchdown after displaying impressive speed and some nifty moves for a big guy in the open field. The Chiefs had the Broncos off balance from the start of this game, running both Tyreek Hill and Spencer Ware out of the Wildcat formation, which allowed Smith to pick the normally stingy Broncos secondary apart.
2016 Week 17 vs SD (21 / 28 / 264 / 2 / 1 pass, 6 / 21 / 1 rush)
Despite the Chiefs already clinching a playoff berth, Sunday's game against the Chargers was very important because it gave Kansas City the opportunity to secure home field advantage. Alex Smith made sure the Chiefs took care of business against an overmatched Chargers team, completing 21 of 28 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns, while also adding 21 yards and a touchdown on the ground. In many ways, Smith's performance was a microcosm of his season, and his career to a certain degree. Smith plays the role of facilitator very well, and as his career has progressed, he has gotten better at understanding his limitations while sharpening his timing and accuracy. Smith took what the San Diego defense gave him, and that was a lot of underneath passes to Charcandrick West, Jeremy Maclin and Tyreek Hill. Smith was also able to get outside the pocket and pick up yards with his legs, and most recently, he has been assertive in the red zone and calling his own number. On first and five from the San Diego five yard line, Smith ran a play-action bootleg before sweeping out to the left side and running in for a five yard score. Kansas City may not have a potent downfield passing game, but they are able to confuse defenses with a vast array of play action fakes, Wildcat formations and option runs that have allowed them to break off big chunk plays and move the ball in ways that they were not able to do earlier in the year.
2015 Week 1 vs HOU (22 / 33 / 243 / 3 / 0 pass, 9 / 15 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith wasted little time in showing off the possibilities for the Kansas City Chiefs offense in 2015, connecting with Travis Kelce for two first quarter touchdowns en route to a 243-yard, 3 touchdown day. He showed off his usual accuracy by completing 22 of 33 and looked poised and confident throughout the game which was not as close as the final score would indicate. Smith's first touchdown to Kelce was completed amongst traffic in the end zone, a well-placed ball that Kelce used his size to bring in over the defenders. Their second connection was courtesy of some poor coverage by the Texans, resulting in a 42-yard touchdown. The third touchdown also came in the first half following a Texans turnover. Smith needed one play to connect with Jamaal Charles for a quick 7-yard touchdown, putting the Chiefs ahead by a score of 27-6. Although the second half was quiet for the offense after the explosive first half, Smith and the Chiefs offense looks to be in great shape after Week 1.
2015 Week 2 vs DEN (16 / 25 / 191 / 0 / 2 pass, 3 / 15 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith and the Chiefs offense looked to be picking up where they left off last week on their opening drive as Smith efficiently led them down the field on the opening drive. However, the 74-yard drive proved to be for naught as Jamaal Charles fumbled a screen pass at the 5-yard line to give the Broncos possession. The team's second drive stalled when Smith overthrew an open Albert Wilson around their own 35-yard line on third down. The Chiefs were up 14-7 and headed towards halftime when a Smith pass intended for Jeremy Maclin was intercepted by the Broncos. The interception proved costly as the Broncos were able to score off the ensuing possession to tie the game at the half. Another costly turnover in the red zone hampered the Chiefs in the fourth quarter as a badly thrown ball by Smith thwarted another scoring drive. All told, Smith was not as efficient as in Week 1, completing 16 of 25 for 191 yards, no touchdowns and two picks. He was under pressure for most of the evening which contributed to his shaky performance.
2015 Week 3 vs GB (24 / 40 / 290 / 1 / 1 pass, 6 / 33 / 0 rush)
Smith struggled with constant pressure from the Packers defense and failed to get the offense in gear until the game was well at hand. He threw for only 39 yards in a rough first half, salvaged only by a Jamaal Charles touchdown run in the second quarter to put the Chiefs on the board. The pressure affected his decision making throughout the game as the normally efficient Smith completed only 24 of 40 for 290 yards, one touchdown and a pick. The offense came to life in the second half and Smith was able to lead the Chiefs on three scoring drives. An 80-yard drive in the third quarter was capped off by a 5-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Maclin, who was surprisingly non-existent in the first half before being heavily targeted in the second. Jamaal Charles finished off two more scoring drives in the fourth quarter, but ultimately it was a case of too little too late. Smith was sacked seven times on Monday Night and struggled on third-down conversions, finding success on only two of ten chances. Overall, a rough night for Smith and the Chiefs offense but they were able to salvage some fantasy value in the second half.
2015 Week 4 vs CIN (31 / 45 / 386 / 0 / 0 pass, 5 / 25 / 0 rush)
Smith and the Chiefs seemingly picked up on their second half momentum from last week's game at Green Bay on their first drive. He navigated through some early pressure by the Bengals with some short passes and quick releases, ultimately leading the team on a 13-play, 78-yard drive that resulted in a field goal. Smith engineered three more scoring drives in the second quarter, but they also failed to find pay dirt and the Chiefs would settle for three more field goals. The pressure from the Bengals would mount throughout the game and while Smith generally kept his poise, it did result in some hurried passes and missed connections. He was sacked five times in total. The second half would bring three more scoring drives resulting in field goals, including a 16-play, 71-yard drive in the fourth quarter that stalled with first down at the 11-yard line with three consecutive incompletions. On the positive front, Smith and Jeremy Maclin continue to display their chemistry. The duo connected 11 times on 13 targets for 148 yards.
2015 Week 5 vs CHI (16 / 30 / 181 / 1 / 0 pass, 3 / 21 / 0 rush)
The Chiefs failed to hold on to a 17-6 lead after three quarters and fell to the Chicago Bears 18-7 on Sunday in another heartbreaker at home. To add to the misery, Jamaal Charles went down with a non-contact injury in the third quarter which is believed to be a torn ACL in his right knee. Alex Smith and the Chiefs could get little going on offense throughout the game, gaining only 181 yards through the air and another 117 yards on the ground.
2015 Week 6 vs MIN (22 / 37 / 282 / 1 / 0 pass, 2 / 10 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith and the Chiefs offense failed to find any rhythm until the fourth quarter. The 10 points they would generate in the quarter would prove to be not enough as the Chiefs fell 16-10 to the Vikings. For the second consecutive week, Smith's completion percentage has fallen below 60%. The normally accurate Smith followed up Week 5's 53.3% with a 59.5% performance this week ñ an improvement to be sure, but the veteran is still overthrowing targets at times and being plagued by drops from the receivers at others. Smith was sacked twice on Sunday, bringing his total to 23 in 2015. . A solid 73-yard drive in the third quarter failed to produce points as the team went for it on 4th and 1 from the Vikings 7-yard line, but were halted when Charcandrick West was stopped for no gain. The Chiefs best drive of the day was their lone touchdown drive, a 7-play, 77-yard drive in the fourth quarter, capped off by a 42-yard touchdowns pass to Albert Wilson ñ the Chiefs longest pass play of the day. Eleven different Chiefs were targeted on pass plays.
2015 Week 7 vs PIT (21 / 32 / 251 / 1 / 0 pass, 3 / 5 / 0 rush)
After a less than stellar effort in Week 6, Alex Smith settled in nicely this week and put forth a solid effort - even without his top target available. Jeremy Maclin missed the game due to a concussion he suffered last week. Smith was not deterred and spread the ball around well amongst the remaining targets en route to completing 65.6% of his passes. The first half seemed to be playing out similar to last week's game as the Chiefs settled for field goals on three drives for their only points of the half, but the team's offense would spark to life in the second half with two long touchdown drives. A nine-play, 53-yard drive in the third quarter was capped off with a Charcandrick West one-yard touchdown run. Smith hit two key pass plays on the drive to keep things moving - a 17-yard deep left pass to Albert Wilson followed by a short 14-yard pass, also to Wilson. The final scoring drive came in the fourth quarter and ran more than five minutes off the clock. Smith engineered an eight-play, 84-yard drive that culminated with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Chris Conley and was highlighted by a 26-yard hookup with Travis Kelce on third and four from the Chiefs 22-yard line. Smith was sacked only twice on Sunday, a welcome relief for a quarterback who had been sacked 23 times heading into the game.
2015 Week 8 vs DET (18 / 26 / 145 / 2 / 0 pass, 5 / 78 / 1 rush)
Alex Smith had his finest day of the season along with the rest of the Kansas City Chiefs as they dominated the Lions on Sunday to the tune of 45-10. While Smith had an efficient day of passing by completing 69.2% of his passes and throwing for two scores, his performance on the ground may have been the most impressive part of his day. Smith carried the ball five time for 78 yards and a score, with the bulk of his damage occurring on the first drive of the second quarter. Not liking what he saw out of the shotgun formation on the first play of the drive, Smith tucked the ball and ran up the middle and found an opening, racing up the sideline for a 49-yard gain. He found himself in a similar situation later in the drive. Facing 3rd and 10 from the Lions 12-yard line, Smith decided running was the best option and took the ball up the middle before finding a hole to the outside to run into the end zone untouched. The Chiefs took a 24-3 lead into the half but did not rest on their laurels. They would tack on three more touchdowns in the second half, two of them off of Smith touchdown passes. An efficient 11-play, 61-yard drive that ran more than six minutes off the clock was capped off by a 2-yard pass to Travis Kelce for a score. A 37-yard punt return by De'Anthony Thomas in the fourth quarter brought the Chiefs into the red zone and they only needed two plays to hit pay dirt. Smith found Jeremy Maclin in the back of the end zone with a 17-yard strike to put the game even further out of reach. An overall solid day for Smith and the Chiefs as they head into their bye week.
2015 Week 10 vs DEN (17 / 31 / 204 / 1 / 0 pass, 6 / 33 / 0 rush)
Smith turned in another efficient yet unspectacular performance in leading the Chiefs to a one-sided victory, but the results could have been a lot more lopsided if the team was able to close the deal and find the end zone instead of settling for field goals. In between Charcandrick West's two touchdowns in the first and fourth quarters, Cairo Santos booted five field goals as Chiefs scoring drives stalled in Broncos territory. Granted, the Broncos defense deserves credit for limiting the damage over the course of a brutal game for the Broncos offense, but Smith and the Chiefs have to punch the ball in more often. Smith averaged a paltry 6.6 yards per attempt while completing 54.8% of his passes. The Chiefs would find the end zone on their first possession, a 31-yard drive that culminated in a West 4-yard touchdown run. West's number was called four times on the drive and accounted for 25 of the 31 yards gained on the drive. After the succession of field goals, the Chiefs were able to find the end zone again in the fourth quarter off of a two-play, 81-yard drive. West accounted for all of the yardage on this drive as well, taking a short pass from Smith 80 yards to pay dirt. Smith has now thrown for 10 touchdowns this season.
2015 Week 11 vs SD (20 / 25 / 253 / 0 / 0 pass, 7 / 33 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith offered up another efficient performance that saw him extend his streak of pass attempts without an interception to 253 attempts. He completed 80% of his passes, chipped in 33 yards on the ground and engineered five scoring drives which included three rushing touchdowns and two field goals. The offense started off relatively slow as they were forced to punt on their opening possession of the game, but followed that up by scoring on their next three possessions, although they walked away with only 12 points to show for it. A nine-play, 71-yard drive was capped off with a one-yard touchdown run by defensive tackle Dontari Poe and featured Smith's longest pass play of the day, a 47-yard catch-and-run to Charcandrick West. The Chiefs would settle for field goals on their next two drives of the half. The third quarter would see the Chiefs only points come off of a Justin Houston pick-six. The game was well at hand in the fourth quarter when Spencer Ware capped off two drives with 3-yard touchdown runs. Travis Kelce and Jeremy Maclin were Smith's top targets on the day as the duo was targeted on 13 of 25 pass attempts.
2015 Week 12 vs BUF (19 / 30 / 255 / 2 / 0 pass, 6 / 35 / 0 rush)
The aggressive defense of the Buffalo Bills forced Alex Smith to take a few more deep shots than normal and he was able to connect with his top two targets on several big plays. Smith connected with Jeremy Maclin on a deep right pass for a 37-yard gain in the second quarter, a drive that was capped off by a 3-yard touchdown run from Spencer Ware. The duo would hook up again in the second quarter for another long gain, this time a 41-yard touchdown. All told, the duo would connect nine times for 160 yards. Travis Kelce would join the festivities in the second half by catching a 15-yard touchdown in the third quarter and snagging a Smith pass over the middle in the fourth quarter for a 38-yard gain to help set up a Chiefs field goal. In total, Kelce hauled in four of his seven targets for 69 yards. Smith would also chip in 35 yards on the ground in an overall solid game for the veteran signal caller.
2015 Week 13 vs OAK (16 / 22 / 162 / 2 / 0 pass, 5 / 23 / 1 rush)
If the NFL ever decides to create a weekly award for ìEfficient, Yet Unspectacular,î we can expect Smith to be in the running most weeks. Smith completed his ninth consecutive game without throwing an interception and extended his streak of passes thrown without a pick to 305. It was a quiet first half for the Chiefs as their lone points would come from a three-yard touchdown run by Smith in the first quarter, but the team would kick it up a notch after halftime and put 27 points on the board. A nine-play, 80-yard drive in the third quarter was capped off by a 10-yard touchdown run by Spencer Ware, while Smith would hook up with his top target for two scores in the fourth quarter. Smith connected with Maclin for scores of one and 13 yards, both of which were the result of short drives that saw the Chiefs capitalize on Raiders turnovers. That makes three touchdowns over the past two games for the Smith to Maclin combo, who have hooked up 18 times for 255 yards over that stretch. Only five Chiefs were targeted by Smith on Sunday as the team has become very selective with offensive responsibilities over the course of its six-game winning streak.
2015 Week 14 vs SD (15 / 23 / 191 / 1 / 1 pass, 5 / 40 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith's streak of passes attempted without an interception came to an end on Sunday, but the efficient quarterback quickly redeemed himself with a long scoring drive resulting in the game's only touchdown on the next drive. Smith engineered a nine-play, 96-yard drive in the second quarter that was capped off with a 44-yard touchdown pass to Albert Wilson. The touchdown pass to Wilson was also Smith's longest completion of the day, as the wet and windy conditions at Arrowhead Stadium were not conducive to a game featuring offensive fireworks. The Chiefs employed a very balanced gameplan with 23 pass attempts versus 25 rushing attempts, with Smith relying on his typical array of short and efficient passes. Smith also picked up 40 yards on the ground, his second highest total of the season. The win over the Chargers was the Chiefs seventh consecutive victory and keeps them squarely in the mix for a playoff berth. They will look to continue their winning ways next week when they travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens.
2015 Week 15 vs BAL (21 / 25 / 171 / 1 / 0 pass, 4 / 17 / 0 rush)
Sunday's game was another check mark in the 'efficient and mistake-free' column for Alex Smith. The Chiefs remained in control of the game throughout, allowing them to stick to their preferred ways of short, efficient passes complemented by a strong running game. They would kick off the festivities with a 10-play, 89-yard scoring drive on the opening possession that set the tone for the day. Smith rotated between short passes and handoffs to Charcandrick West, who would finish off the drive with a 38-yard touchdown. After the Ravens miserably failed on a fake punt attempt, the Chiefs got the ball back in excellent field position late in the first quarter. Two plays later, Smith connected with Jeremy Maclin for a 13-yard score at the start of the second quarter to put the Chiefs up 21-7, allowing them to put it into cruise control the rest of the way. Smith would engineer two more scoring drives finished off by the leg of Cairo Santos as the Chiefs cruised to their eighth consecutive win.
2015 Week 16 vs CLE (15 / 22 / 125 / 2 / 1 pass, 6 / 54 / 0 rush)
It was just another day at the office for Alex Smith and the Chiefs, who knocked off the Browns in a closer than expected game on Sunday for their ninth consecutive win. Smith started the day off well by engineering an 11-play, 65-yard drive on the first series of the game that saw him go five for six for 45 yards and tack on another 12 yards on the ground. The drive was capped off by an 11-yard touchdown toss to Jeremy Maclin. The Chiefs second possession featured a heavy dose of the running game and saw Smith attempt only two passes, completing one of them to Travis Kelce for a four-yard gain. Cairo Santos booted a 40-yard field goal to add to the Chiefs lead. The Chiefs would add on some more points just before halftime, this time courtesy of a five-play, 56-yard drive culminating with a 13-yard strike from Smith to Travis Kelce. The points would be the last of the game for the Chiefs, as the offense would fall flat in the second half and the team would punt on all three of their remaining drives. The Browns dominated time of possession in the second half by controlling the ball for over 22 minutes, but the Chiefs defense held them in check to preserve a 17-13 victory. All told, another solid but unspectacular performance from Smith that got the job done and delivered the victory, but was absent any mesmerizing numbers on the stat sheet.
2015 Week 17 vs OAK (14 / 24 / 156 / 2 / 2 pass, 9 / 61 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith uncharacteristically threw two picks on Sunday, but otherwise delivered a typical efficient performance in leading the Chiefs to victory. The Chiefs wasted little time in putting points on the board as Smith engineered an eight-play, 80-yard touchdown drive on the opening possession. The drive followed a familiar formula for the Chiefs with short, efficient passes complemented by the running game. Smith would hook up with his top target for the final two plays of the drive as he hit Jeremy Maclin with a short pass for a 12-yard gain from the Raiders 37-yard line, followed by a 25-yard catch-and-run by Maclin for the Chiefs first touchdown of the day. The Chiefs would have another long drive on their next possession, this time a 12-play, 87-yard drive capped off with a Spencer Ware three-yard touchdown run. The picks would come on back-to-back possessions in the second quarter, with both interestingly coming on the first play of their respective drives and wrapped around an interception by the Raiders David Carr. The second pick was snagged by the Raiders David Armeson, who was able to return it 24 yards to pay dirt. The picks were only the sixth and seventh of the season for the veteran signal caller. Smith would redeem himself in the third quarter with a four-play, 53-yard drive that culminated with a 15-yard strike to Demtrius Harris in the end zone for the Chiefs final points of the day. The Chiefs relied a little more heavily on the running game for Sunday's affair, with 39 rushing attempts (nine of which belonged to Smith) versus 25 passing attempts. We'll have to wait and see if that trend continues on Wild Card weekend against the Houston Texans or if the Chiefs will return closer to a 50/50 split.
2015 Week 18 vs HOU (17 / 22 / 190 / 1 / 1 pass, 5 / 27 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith and the passing game was one of many things that went right for the Chiefs in Saturday's annihilation of the Texans. The veteran signal caller completed 17 of 22 passes on the day for only 190 yards, but with the game never in doubt, there wasn't much of a need for the Chiefs to air it out. Smith engineered several efficient scoring drives during the game, highlighted by two long drives in the second half. The third quarter would see Smith lead an 11-play, 94-yard drive that was highlighted by a pair of 16-yard completions, one each to Jeremy Maclin and Travis Kelce. The drive was finished off when Smith found Chris Conley in the back of the end zone for a nine-yard score. The fourth quarter would bring another long touchdown drive, this time an eight-play, 71-yard drive capped off by a five-yard Spencer Ware touchdown run. The drive would also feature the Chiefs longest pass play of the day when Smith found an open Kelce over the middle for a deep shot resulting in a 48-yard gain. The only black mark on Smith's day was a pick in the first quarter, when a pass intended for Maclin went awry and was snagged by the Texans Brian Cushing. Smith also showed his ability to pick up yards on the ground by taking off five times, gaining 27 yards in the process. He also had a 64-yard gain wiped out in the third quarter due to a holding penalty. The win marked the 11th consecutive victory for the red-hot Chiefs, who have a date with the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots on tap for the Divisional Playoff round.
2015 Week 19 vs NE (29 / 50 / 246 / 1 / 0 pass, 9 / 44 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith and the Chiefs ran into a strong defensive effort from the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots on Saturday and struggled to move the ball for much of the day. A typical short and efficient passing game was relegated to total dink and dunk status. Smith attempted a whopping 50 passes on Saturday, completing 29 of them for 246 yards ñ an anemic average of 4.9 yards per attempt. A clearly hobbled Jeremy Maclin clearly impacted the game plan and efficiency for the Chiefs and the plethora of receiving targets who attempted to compensate for Maclin's limitations were unable to get anything going. The Chiefs are normally very selective in the distribution of passing targets, with only the upper tiers of the depth chart the typical targets. Things were markedly different on Saturday, with 10 different Chiefs targeted. After being held to two field goals in the first half, the Chiefs began to come alive in the second half. Smith led an efficient 12-play, 80-yard touchdown drive in the third quarter, which was capped off by a 10-yard hookup with Albert Wilson. He would lead another lengthy drive in the fourth quarter, this time a 16-play, 80-yard drive capped off by a one-yard Charcandrick West touchdown. That drive would ultimately take far too much time off the clock and a failure to recover the ensuing onside kick sealed the victory for the Patriots. It was a disappointing end to a solid year for Smith and the Chiefs, but the future looks bright in Kansas City.
2014 Week 1 vs TEN (19 / 35 / 202 / 1 / 3 pass, 6 / 36 / 0 rush)
Smith started the 2014 season with his worst game in a Chiefs uniform. While he got no help from his offensive line and little help from his receivers a large part of the blame falls directly on his shoulders. His three interceptions were all to Donnie Avery, who didn't make a great effort but can only take the blame for one of them. The first was a deep shot down the left side. Avery had inside position on his man and Smith threw the ball towards the sideline. Avery fell down trying to adjust and the ball was picked off. His second pick was an underthrown ball after Avery had beatenhis man by a step. Avery again fell down trying to adjust but a perfect throw would have likely been a touchdown. Only the third interception was a good throw, with the ball bouncing off Avery's chest directly to a defender. Smith was sacked four times and began dropping his eyes before the pressure even got there. While he led the team with 36 rushing yards, he also abandoned the pocket too early on at least three occasions. Smith's best throw (and biggest gain of the day0 was a beautiful throw over the top of the defense on a corner route to Travis Kelce for a 27 yard gain. Smith's only touchdown pass came with 10:16 remaining and his team trailing 23-3. A good play design led to Smith connecting with Anthony Fasano in the flats and Fasano drug his defender into the end zone for a five yard touchdown. The absence of Dwyne Bowe was noticeable in this game, as was horrendous line play, but neither was enough to fully explain Smith's struggles.
2014 Week 2 vs DEN (26 / 42 / 255 / 0 / 0 pass, 5 / 42 / 0 rush)
Smith was very erratic in the first half, often throwing behind his shorter targets and overshooting his receiver when he tried to go downfield. He flashed his athleticism early with a 10 yard run around the right end on a bootleg on the very first play of the game. Smith focused on shorter passes to running backs and tight ends early, not completing a pass to a wide receiver until halfway through the second quarter. Smith had a 25 yard run to set up the team's first touchdown, escaping the pocket and galloping down to the Denver 22 on 3rd and 4. Smith started the second half with a little more consistency and threw a well-placed pas to Travis Kelce on the right sideline for a 20 yard gain on 3rd and 18. Later in the drive he threw a bullet to A.J. Jenkins for 11 yards on a well-covered slant. The Chiefs second touchdown drive was highlighted by a great touch throw over the top of a linebacker to Anthony Fasano for a 20 yard gain. Smith got the ball back with 3:27 to go down by 7 and marched the Chiefs 64 yards to the Broncos 2 before falling short. That drive did have its worts as Smith had a pick 6 called back because of off-sides and a fumble overturned on review. He also made a great throw to Dwayne Bowe on the left sideline that gave the Chiefs first and goal at the 9. His last attempt at the end zone was deflected at the line.
2014 Week 3 vs MIA (19 / 25 / 186 / 3 / 0 pass, 2 / 17 / 0 rush)
What started as a nightmare ended with the Chiefs' first win and a highly efficient statistical performance. On the Chiefs first three drives Smith was sacked 3 times, saw 2 passes dropped and gained only 18 total yards. Smith started to settle into a bit of a rhythm late in the second quarter. He completed his final six passes of the half, including his first touchdown pass to Travis Kelce. The pass was a simple short cross that Kelce did all the work on. Smith's first attempt to escape the pocket and run the ball came in the third quarter and ended in disaster. Because he tried to run without securing the ball, he fumbled and gave the Dolphins excellent field position. Smith did do magic with his legs on the next drive, picking up 3rd and 8 with a 13 yard rush to keep the drive alive. The drive was capped with an 11 yard touchdown pass to Joe McKnight. It was excellent play design and a good read by Smith that led to the easy score. Smith's third touchdown would also go to McKnight on another play taking advantage of the Dolphins scheme. The game flow of this one didn't lend itself to a lot of throws in the 4th quarter and his offensive line didn't afford him the time to look downfield at all. Of his 19 completions, 12 went to running backs or tight ends and almost all were within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage.
2014 Week 4 vs NE (20 / 26 / 248 / 3 / 0 pass, 4 / 8 / 0 rush)
Smith had an outstanding game that was aided greatly by his playmakers at running back and tight end. Smith focused on short passes for most of the game and his weapons did most of the work on the ground. One of the few passes Smith missed in this game came on the first drive, on a corner route to Travis Kelce. Kelce was wide open but Smith just missed him and the team had to punt. The second drive was more successful, with Smith completing 4/5 passes including a slant to Dwayne Bowe for 15 yards to set up the first touchdown. Smith's next two passes were a perfect example of the help he got from Kelce and Charles. First he completed a short hitch to Kelce, who beat his man and sprinted up the right sideline for a 33 yard gain. On the next play Smith threw a WR screen to Jamaal Charles, who dove through a wall of blockers for a 5 yard touchdown. A drop from Junior Hemingway ended the next drive but Smith's final drive of the first half may have been his best. After another screen to Kelce picked up 14 yards, Smith threw a beautiful pass over the top of the defense to Dwayne Bowe for a 33 yard gain on a corner route. Smith just missed his second touchdown on the final offensive play of the half. A pass to Dwayne Bowe right at the goal line was caught just inches short of a score. Due to the Chiefs huge lead, Smith only threw nine passes in the second half, but two of them went for short touchdowns. The first was on a choice route to Charles. Charles broke out and Jerrod Mayo had no chance of staying with him and the result was an easy 8 yard score. The second came on a play-action fake from the 2 yard line, and Smith found Kelce open in the corner of the end zone.
2014 Week 5 vs SF (17 / 31 / 175 / 2 / 1 pass, 1 / 6 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith showed in one game why 49ers fans were so confused for years as to whether he was worth keeping as a starting quarterback. On one hand, he executes the given offense very well as long as now demands are made to run an explosive, vertical offense. On Sunday, Smith did not complete a pass over 18 yards, but even the intermediate completions were short passes that Smith delivered quickly and allowed his receivers to create yards after the catch. Both of Smith's touchdown passes were on such plays. On the first drive of the game, Smith threw a tight end screen to Travis Kelce out of a three tight end bunch set to the left of the formation which allowed Kelce to barrel into the end zone behind two stout blockers. The other touchdown was a pass to rookie D'Anthony Thomas in the flat, and the scat back picked up some great blocking and his speed took care of the rest. Plays such as these are why Smith averaged 5.6 yards per attempt on the day. Even though Smith had the chance to have a story book ending to his return to San Francisco, Smith threw a late interception during the two minute drill which could have produced a game winning touchdown. Ultimately though, head coach Andy Reid failed Smith and the rest of the offense with his play calling. The Chiefs have the play makers to win in space and a quarterback in Smith who can orchestrate an offense to achieve that ball distribution, but for some reason Reid continuously fails to recognize the best way to facilitate that game plan.
2014 Week 7 vs SD (19 / 28 / 221 / 1 / 0 pass, 6 / 29 / 0 rush)
This was about as Alex Smith a performance as you could ask for. He completed a high percentage of his passes, didn't turn the ball over, scrambled for yardage, and rarely threw the ball downfield. In first half he only threw 7 passes, with almost all of them going to backs. His one throw downfield was a slant thrown behind Dwayne Bowe. Bowe caught the pass then spun away from a defender and raced up the field for a 26 yard gain. Later in the half he had a 9 yard scramble on 2nd and 6 that put the team in the red zone. The Chiefs dominated time of possession in the third quarter with the running game and Smith completing short passes. A.J. Jenkins took a wide receiver screen and turned it into a 19 yard gain. The play would have been a touchdown if Jenkins hadn't stepped out of bounds with no one near him. He followed that up with a 20 yard completion to Bowe, who was wide open because the defensive back fell down. Smith's touchdown pass came on the first play of the fourth quarter, to Anthony Sherman. It was a slow developing fullback screen and Sherman plowed through tacklers for the 11 yard score. Smith's best throw of the day came later in the 4th, hitting Bowe on a back shoulder throw for 13 yards on 3rd and 2. The Chiefs got the ball with 1:51 and a tie game and Smith drove them 62 yards for the game winning field goal. The highlights were a 9 yard scramble out of pressure and a 19 yard completion to Bowe on the run. Smith didn't do anything that would wow you athletically, but the precision with which he managed the game was impressive. He could have had a bigger day if not for four drops, including two in the red zone.
2014 Week 8 vs STL (24 / 28 / 226 / 0 / 0 pass, 4 / 24 / 0 rush)
Smith had a bit of a rough start looking uncomfortable in the pocket and dumping the ball short whenever possible. On the first play of the third drive he scramble right and was stripped, but was fortunate that the Chiefs didn't lose it. On the very next play he threw a near pick, but the play was reversed because of a defensive penalty. He seemed to find his rhythm in the second quarter and completed back-to-back passes downfield to Dwayne Bowe to spark a drive. He was sacked on the final two plays of the half and the Chiefs had to settle for a field goal. Facing 3rd and 13 from his own 22 Smith showed his athleticism with a 15 yard scramble around the left edge. Later in the drive he found Jamaal Charles with a short dump and the star back turned it into a 30 yard gain. Smith hooked up with Bowe on a 16 yard slant on 3rd and 10 in the 4th quarter but besides that didn't have to throw much due to the game script. This was the perfect script for Smith, and he executed to perfection, setting a franchise record by completing 24/28 passes.
2014 Week 9 vs NYJ (21 / 31 / 199 / 2 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Facing a solid run defense, the Chiefs came out with a pass-happy (for them) attack and Smith mostly delivered. Smith still didn't look downfield often, but was accurate enough on short passes to produce a solid day. Smith hit Bowe with a couple of easy passes for 21 yards on the first drive then hit A.J. Jenkins on a short cross to move the ball all the way down to the 1 yard line. He showed good patience in the pocket, which was made easier by the fact that the Jets were getting no pressure. Smith went downfield to start the second drive with a well-placed ball to Travis Kelce for a 34 yard gain on a deep cross. He finished that drive with a 2 yard touchdown to Anthony Fasano that was very unconventional. Smith was trying to hit Bowe on a slant, the ball was batted in the air and landed in Fasano's gut. Fasano was lying on the ground when he caught it and lunged into the end zone for the touchdown. Smith's second touchdown pass was more conventional, as he hit Travis Kelce on a post for a 12 yard touchdown. The pass was made easier because Kelce had badly beaten his man. Smith completed 6/9 passes on the first drive of the second half to lead the Chiefs to a field goal. By the time the Chiefs saw the ball again it was the 4th quarter and they focused on running out the clock because the Jets did not look like a threat to get back in the game.
2014 Week 10 vs BUF (17 / 29 / 177 / 0 / 0 pass, 4 / 25 / 1 rush)
Smith had an uneven performance and was rattled by the Bills pass rush. While his offensive line wasn't great, several of the sacks he took were on him. His eye level and decision making were not on par with what is expected. Smith did do some damage with his legs, including a 12 yard scramble on the team's second drive. He evaded the rush on that play then sprinted up the field for a first down on 3rd and 12. On the next drive Smith completed one of his few downfield passes, connecting with A.J. Jenkins for a 27 yard gain on a deep cross. That drive ended with back to back incompletions where Smith was hit as he released the ball. Smith relied heavily on Dwayne Bowe in this game, mostly on short hitches and slants. He led the team on their first touchdown drive late in the third quarter. The 80 yard drive included 4 completions to Bowe for 45 yards. Smith put the ball on the money on that drive including a 15 yard completion on the left sideline in a very small window. After a Bills turnover game him a short field, Smith scored the go ahead touchdown on the ground. On a read option from the 8 yard line, Smith wisely kept the ball and then lowered his shoulder at the goal line and went in over the diving defensive back. As bad as Smith was under pressure much of the day, he made a big play to essentially seal the victory. On 3rd and 8 with 2:13 left he showed good patience and stepped up in a dirty pocket to deliver a strike to Travis Kelce for a 13 yard gain.
2014 Week 11 vs SEA (11 / 16 / 108 / 0 / 0 pass, 2 / -1 / 0 rush)
Smith had a very quiet afternoon as the Chiefs surprised everyone by running roughshod on the Seahawks defense. Of his eleven completions on three went to a receiver and very few traveled downfield. Smith's first look of any kind downfield came in the second quarter when he hit a wide open Travis Kelce in stride on a corner route for a gain of 23 yards. Smith overthrew a couple of throws late in the first half, either of which could have been pass interference calls had they been catchable. Smith had a couple of nice rhythm throws for moderate gains to Bowe in the second half, but the Chiefs largely kept the ball on the ground. With so few drop backs, Smith also had no opportunity to scramble and pick up yards on the ground.
2014 Week 12 vs OAK (20 / 36 / 234 / 2 / 0 pass, 2 / 5 / 0 rush)
Smith was wildly inaccurate and largely ineffective until the 4th quarter. Both of his touchdown passes had more to do with the receiver than Smith himself. His first touchdown came on a play action that left Anthony Fasano wide open inside the five. Fasano was so open that he had time to come back to the underthrow from Smith and still fall into the end zone. Smith's second touchdown came on a short dump off to Jamaal Charles, who took it 30 yards to the house behind good blocking. In the first three quarters Smith completed just 14/25 passes for 121 yards. He finally got rolling in the 4th quarter with a 27 yard completion to a wide open Kelce on a deep cross and a 24 yard completion to Bowe on a slant. On the final drive of the game, Smith missed a couple of key throws and took a sack that essentially ended the Chiefs chances. Considering that the game script set up perfectly for a big game and Smith faced a below average defense, it was a disappointing effort.
2014 Week 13 vs DEN (15 / 23 / 153 / 2 / 1 pass, 5 / 6 / 0 rush)
Smith's day was not as good as his stat line suggested. He was under non-stop pressure throughout the game and did not respond well, taking more sacks than he should have. After three straight 3-and-outs Smith led the team 69 yards to their first touchdown. The drive ended with two very well thrown balls to tight ends. The first was a crossing route to Travis Kelce with three defenders in the area. Smith put the ball on the money for a 19 yard gain. On the next play he hit Anthony Fasano down the seam for a 20 yard touchdown. The ball was thrown just over the linebacker, where only Fasano could haul it in. After a turnover gave the Chiefs great field position, Smith missed a huge opportunity. Dwayne Bowe was wide open over the middle on 3rd and 8 in the red zone and Smith missed him by 3 feet. His next pass was deflected at the line and intercepted. With his team down 26-10 the, Smith again marched his team down the field for a score. The drive included a couple of gutsy scrambles and a well-timed throw to Jason Avant on a short out. The Chiefs were also aided by 15 yard roughing the passer on which Smith took a vicious late shot to the ribs. On the very next play he hit Charles on a deep out and Charles broke a tackle and dove into the end zone. Late in the game Smith struggled mightily with his eye level as he lost confidence in his offensive line. The result was three sacks in the final three drives and no chance at a deep completion. The one big play Smith did have, a 20 yard completion to Donnie Avery, was wiped away when Avery fumbled the ball.
2014 Week 14 vs ARI (26 / 39 / 293 / 1 / 1 pass, 4 / 26 / 0 rush)
Smith threw for more yards than he had in any game in 2014 largely due to the success of his weapons after the catch. Smith kept everything close to the line of scrimmage early but had a 26 yard completion to Travis Kelce on a short cross after Kelce ran away from the safety and up the sideline. Smith sparked the team's second touchdown drive with a 21 yard scramble up the middle. That run included a nice juke move to get past a linebacker. Smith's only touchdown pass came at the end of that drive on a swing pass that Jamaal Charles took 18 yards into the end zone. The Chiefs next drive came to an end when Smith threw behind Jason Avant on a short out on 4th down and hit the linebacker in coverage. Had the linebacker turned around it may have been a pick six. The Chiefs longest completion came midway through the 3rd quarter. Smith rolled right on the play, pump faked, then launched a 41 yard bomb to an open Jason Avant. Later in that drive he had a touchdown negated by penalty and then made a poor decision and threw his only interception. He was under pressure on the play and didn't see the linebacker underneath the route. Smith hooked up with Kelce for a couple of long catch and runs in the 4th quarter but then put together one of the worst two minute drills you've ever seen. Down six with a minute remaining, Smith threw five straight passes of less than five yards including two in the middle of the field.
2014 Week 15 vs OAK (18 / 30 / 297 / 2 / 0 pass, 3 / 17 / 0 rush)
Smith had one of his best games of the season on the back of the Chiefs two longest pass plays. His 70 yard touchdown was a simple circle route to Knile Davis. Davis badly beat the linebacker in coverage and sprinted unabated all the way to the end zone. His 48 yard completion to Albert Wilson was more impressive. Wilson ran a corner-post route, beat the corner by two steps and Smith threw the long ball on the mark for the big gain. Smith also had a 37 yard completion to Dwayne Bowe that came on a deep in. Bowe was able to break it for a big gain because of a breakdown in coverage. Smith's other touchdown was on a quick slant to Travis Kelce, who ran through three tackles and into the end zone. Smith also missed a sure touchdown when DeAnthony Thomas got behind the defense on the left sideline and Smith overthrew him. Outside of the big plays Smith made several good throws into small windows, something he's avoided for much of the year. His offensive line did a better job protecting him and Smith looked more confident both in the pocket and throwing the ball. The combination of more throws into tight coverage and more deep shots contributed to Smith's solid fantasy performance.
2014 Week 16 vs PIT (31 / 45 / 311 / 0 / 0 pass, 2 / 14 / 0 rush)
Despite throwing for more than 300 yards this was not one of Smith's finer efforts. He struggled mightily with the pressure and at least a couple of his six sacks were his fault. A large percentage of Smith's success came on a variety of dump offs and quick screen. Those plays worked very well until the Chiefs got into the red zone. On the first drive alone Smith picked up 50 yards passing on 4 passes that didn't travel more than 3 yards downfield. His one downfield success on that drive was a well thrown ball on a deep hitch to Albert Wilson for a 19 yard gain. Smith was even better on the second drive with a well-timed throw to Dwayne Bowe for a 14 yard gain and a well-placed back shoulder throw to Bowe in the end zone. The ball was ripped away by a defender at the last minute, costing Smith his best opportunity for a touchdown. Early in the third quarter Smith missed an open Wilson streaking down the middle of the field. Wilson had beaten his man by at least two steps and had a sure touchdown if Smith could have put the ball on the money. The trend of short connections and running from pressure continued throughout the second half. It got so bad that at one point Smith was actually ducking his head and running from defenders that hadn't yet broken through the line. With the Chiefs down 9, Smith led the team 45 yards for a field goal on a variety of short dumps over the middle that the Steelers were happy to allow. It took the Chiefs 2:27 to move those 45 yards and they never saw the ball again.
2013 Week 1 vs JAX (21 / 34 / 173 / 2 / 0 pass, 4 / 25 / 0 rush)
Smith was the epitome of a game manager in week one against Jacksonville. He looked very comfortable in Andy Reid's offense, taking his time behind what was generally good protection and simply taking whatever the Jaguars defense gave him. Smith's day was hampered greatly by drops including one from Anthony Fasano on his first pass. Smith threw a near perfect pass to a streaking Fasano down the left seam and the big tight end simply let the ball go through his hands. Fasano wasn't the only one dropping passes as Jamaal Charles dropped at least three passes in the first half alone. Both of Smith's touchdown passes came in the first quarter. The first was all Donnie Avery, as Smith hit him with an easy short out and Avery broke a tackle to get into the end zone. The second went to Junior Hemingway in the back of the end zone with Smith rifling a bullet into traffic and Hemingway making a nice grab. One pass Smith had dropped was a gift as he hit a Jaguars corner in the chest with a pass in the second quarter and was fortunate it wasn't an interception. With the game in hand in the second half, Smith had no need to force anything and really didn't do much to help his stat line.
2013 Week 2 vs DAL (21 / 36 / 223 / 2 / 0 pass, 8 / 57 / 0 rush)
For much of the game, Smith was more of a threat with his legs than he was with his arm. The Chiefs opened the game with an option right and followed that up with a bootleg. Smith looked spry if not fast on the runs and that was only the beginning. Later on the first drive, Smith had 3 straight scrambles that combined to net 33 yards. The threat to run helped on Smith's touchdown as he ran a bootleg off play action from the two yard line and found Jamaal Charles for the touchdown. The drive (and the game) was not without its warts. Smith bounced a slant route in the end zone before the touchdown pass and threw a cross well behind Dwayne Bowe that should have been intercepted. For the next quarter and a half Smith struggled to get into a rhythm. A short absence from LT Brandon Albert fueled the Cowboys pass rush and once they tasted blood they couldn't get enough. Smith was fortunate to have another pick dropped in the two minute drill at the end of the half, and looked very rattled by the pressure. To start the second half, Smith looked much more comfortable, driving the team 80 yards for a touchdown and completing 6/8 passes in the process. On the touchdown to Bowe, Smith did an excellent job of looking off the defense before coming back to an open Dwayne Bowe slanting across the middle. Alex Smith in the 4th quarter was a lot like Alex Smith against Jacksonville. With a lead late, the Chiefs don't look like they'll take any chances at all and Smith looks like the perfect game manager.
2013 Week 3 vs PHI (22 / 35 / 273 / 0 / 0 pass, 10 / 33 / 0 rush)
On a night when he had at least five passes dropped and was criticized for not doing enough by fans and experts alike, Smith still ended up with a pretty good line. He's still looking to run too early and he's taking very few chances. Smith took one shot more than 15 yards down the field and that was a deep hitch to Dwayne Bowe, who dropped it. Of course, if you want to say that many of Smith's failures weren't his fault you can't really give him credit for his successes either. He and Donnie Avery feasted on short crosses and dig routes and a huge portion of his passing yards came on YAC from Avery and Jamaal Charles. Smith and Avery converted a 3rd and 15, 3rd and 19, 3rd and 5 and 2nd and 14 on the same exact route. With Avery cutting underneath the defense, Smith throwing the ball five yards, and Avery following his blockers the rest of the way down the field. Smith was bothered badly by the Eagles rush, and they often got to him with just three rushers. When the rush didn't get to him Smith would too often look at one or two reads and then look to run. Once again, Smith found himself in a situation late where he didn't need to do anything special to win, and he continued to do an admirable job of managing the game. Smith was not particularly good throwing on the run, and never really took a shot deep, but he never had to either.
2013 Week 4 vs NYG (24 / 41 / 288 / 3 / 2 pass, 7 / 37 / 0 rush)
In a familiar script, Alex Smith was as dangerous with his legs as he was with his arm for much of the game. What was a little out of the ordinary was that Smith actually took some shots downfield against the Giants secondary. Virtually all of Smith's rushing yardage came on designed pass plays where he gave up on the receivers and took off scrambling. He had 20 yards on such plays on the Chiefs first touchdown drive. That drive was sparked by a 31 yard pass to Jamaal Charles on a wheel route. Charles caught the ball 15 yards down field, made a defender miss, and sprinted past another for a big gain. Smith finished the drive off with a 5 yard touchdown pass to Sean McGrath in the back of the end zone on a very well designed play. Earlier on that drive Smith took his first shot deep with a bomb down the right sideline. It would have been a huge gain if the cornerback hadn't grabbed Dwayne Bowe's jersey to prevent him from getting to the ball. Smith continued to throw the ball predominantly to Donnie Avery and Jamaal Charles, but both players had three drops amongst their targets. Smith's new favorite target was Sean McGrath. Early in the second half Smith hit McGrath with a perfectly placed 20 yard pass in the seam. Two plays later the drive was ended by Smith's first interception of the year. He made a very poor decision trying to force a slant to Bowe who was beaten inside by the corner. Smith was picked for a second time in the quarter, again on a slant but this one was a clear drop by Charles who then kicked the ball into the defender's hands. After a rough third quarter, Smith was near perfect in the 4th quarter. His first touchdown of the quarter was purely play design that left Charles open for a two yard score. The second came on a post to Dwayne Bowe who broke two tackles on his way to a 34 yard score.
2013 Week 5 vs TEN (20 / 39 / 245 / 0 / 1 pass, 3 / 10 / 0 rush)
It was an atypical day for Smith. He took shots deep (and even connected on a couple), but also made some very poor decisions and seemed like many of his throws were predetermined. While those things were out of character, the oddest fact may be that Smith threw his first four passes in the direction of Chad Hall, and completed only one of them. Smith did a nice job of avoiding the rush and then made a good throw to Sean McGrath for a 17 yard gain on the first drive. Smith went back to Hall on his first throw of the team's second drive and underthrew a short out and was fortunate that the corner dropped the interception. Smith took his first shot deep late in the first quarter and connected with Donnie Avery on a 44 yard gain. Avery was two steps clear of his man, but Smith underthrew the ball and Avery had to come back to make the catch. Smith and the Chiefs offense sputtered for most of the second quarter and he had another pick dropped on his second shot deep of the game. On that play he badly overthrew Avery and the defensive back simply dropped an easy pick. From his own goal line, Smith completed his best throw of the day, a 41 yard bomb down the left sideline and Avery made a great catch. This sparked a 95 yard field goal drive to end the first half that saw Smith complete 6/8 for 88 yards. His luck ran out in the third quarter as a passed soared over the hands of Jamaal Charles landed right in the gut of Bernard Pollard. This put the Chiefs in a position they hadn't been in all year, needing a touchdown drive in the 4th quarter to win. Though he'd ignored him for most of the day, Smith went to Bowe with the game on the line. Smith hit Bowe with a perfectly timed deep curl to move the team into Titans territory, and then hooked up with him on a short slant to move the team down to the one yard line. In the end, Smith did enough to get his team the win, as the team opened the offense up just a little bit.
2013 Week 6 vs OAK (14 / 31 / 128 / 0 / 0 pass, 4 / 29 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith's day was as ugly as a starting quarterback's can be in a win with no interceptions. Smith was clearly flustered by the pass-rush, consistently dropping his eye level early. More than half of his completions came to targets out of the backfield. Smith was again very active with his legs, picking up 10 yards and the Chiefs' first first down after eluding two tacklers. Smith ended that drive by badly missing an open Dexter McCluster on third and eight. It was one of several targets he missed badly because of the pressure. After another misfire to McCluster on the team's second drive, Smith picked up his longest completion of the day. The pass was a screen to Jamaal Charles who followed perfect blocking down the left sideline for a 24 yard gain. That drive ended with Smith taking his third sack of the first quarter. With the Chiefs down 7-0, Smith finally started looking Bowe's direction and completed a short slant to the right side for an 11 yard gain. Bowe was also the target of Smith's longest completion downfield in the first half, a perfectly timed back shoulder throw that gave the defender no chance. That play put the Chiefs in position for their first score on a Jamaal Charles touchdown run. To start the second half, Smith picked up 13 yards on counter option keeper and then scrambled away from the pass rush and threw a laser downfield for an 18 yard completion to Bowe. Once the Chiefs had the lead in the 4th quarter Smith went even more conservative outside of one deep shot he took down the left sideline to Donnie Avery. Avery had beaten his man by two steps but Smith overthrew him pretty badly. This was the worst game of Smith's six with the Chiefs and illustrated how well press coverage and a good pass rush can affect him.
2013 Week 7 vs HOU (23 / 34 / 240 / 0 / 1 pass, 6 / 28 / 1 rush)
His statistics may not have shown it, but this was a much better performance from Smith than his last two outings. He started the game with four straight targets of Dwayne Bowe, completing two of them. He just missed Bowe on a deep corner route, overthrowing him by a couple of feet. On the very next play he found a wide open Bowe on a post route for a 21 yard gain. Smith put the Chiefs in position for their first touchdown with an easy 11 yard completion over the middle to Anthony Fasano , who was tackled at the one. Smith missed another opportunity deep to start the second quarter when he led an open Jamaal Charles to the sideline on a deep throw left. Charles had his man beaten by two steps and had a TD if Smith had put the ball on the money. Smith's best drive with the Chiefs came on the next possession, when he led them on a 97 yard touchdown drive. Smith was 8/9 on the drive, including a couple of well-time slants to Dwayne Bowe. The longest completion of the drive was a 17 yard connection with Donnie Avery. Avery ran a very crisp deep hitch and Smith delivered the ball on time. Smith finished the drive with a six yard touchdown on a broken play. On the read-option, Charles ran the wrong way leaving Smith in the backfield all alone. Smith alertly saw a hole in the middle of the field and darted into the end zone. Smith again made magic with his legs in the third quarter, with a 23 yard run that set up the Chiefs final points of the day. On the pass play Smith correctly saw an opening then sped up field for a first down and much more on 3rd and 7. Smith's longest pass of the day came on a wide receiver screen to Dexter McCluster, who followed great blocking for a 43 yard gain. The 4th quarter started with Smith finding Fasano in tight coverage at the one yard line. It looked as if Fasano actually got into the end zone, but video evidence was ruled inconclusive. Two plays late Smith missed and open Sean McGrath in the end zone and turned the ball over on downs. The last play of substance for Smith was the interception he threw in the 4th quarter. Dexter McCluster completely gave up on the route and was largely responsible for the pick. There was once again a huge difference between the Alex Smith we saw when the Chiefs were behind in the first half and the Smith we saw with the Chiefs trying to preserve the lead.
2013 Week 8 vs CLE (24 / 36 / 225 / 2 / 0 pass, 6 / 40 / 0 rush)
Smith ended his long streak without a touchdown pass and once again did just enough to lead his team to a win. The Chiefs first drive was fairly unimpressive from Smith, especially considering that two of his five passes could have been intercepted. The first was a miscommunication with Junior Hemingway, and the second was a short hitch that corner Joe Haden just jumped the route. Smith started the second drive with a nice throw to Dwayne Bowe as he rolled right away from the pressure. Later in the drive he found Sean McGrath wide open on a corner route to move the Chiefs into the red zone. The Chiefs ran the same play two plays later and tight end Anthony Fasano was wide open again, but Smith overthrew him in the end zone. Smith leaned heavily on Dexter McCluster and Anthony Sherman on the teamís first touchdown drive. He completed 5/6 passes for 39 yards to the pair, including a 12 yard screen pass for the touchdown. While Smith was accurate on the drive, his biggest play came with his feet. On 3rd and 5 he rolled left to avoid pressure and then outran the linebacker to the edge. A great downfield block sprang Smith for a 23 yard gain all they was down to the Browns 12 yard line. Smithís second touchdown pass came later in the same quarter. On that play he hit a wide open McCluster streaking down the right seam for a 28 yard touchdown. Smith had a miserable second half, being sacked five times and pressure much more. He had virtually no time to look downfield and seemed far more concerned with protecting the ball anyway.
2013 Week 9 vs BUF (19 / 29 / 124 / 0 / 0 pass, 4 / 7 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith was better than the stats indicated, but by no means perfect. Early on he seemed to get hit on nearly every drop back and leaned heavily on Dwayne Bowe. Smith completed four passes in the first quarter alone to Bowe, including a couple of well-timed hitches with the defense in his face. For the second week in a row, Smith missed a big play opportunity by overthrowing Anthony Fasano on a deep corner route. Just a few plays later he nearly had a 34 yard completion to Dwayne Bowe, but Bowe couldn't get both feet in bounds. Smith's best drive, and the closest he came to the end zone, starter with a little under 12 minutes to go in the first half. He eluded two defenders on 3rd and 4 and then threw a strike to Dwayne Bowe on the left sideline. After a misfire to Bowe, Smith fit a slant pass to Avery into a tiny hole to pick up nine yards and move the team into the red zone. The drive ended due to a Dwayne Bowe drop on a dig route that was wide open at the ten yard line. The same can be said for the Chiefs next drive, which ended after a wide open Dexter McCluster dropped a perfectly placed 26 yard pass down the left sideline from Smith. McCluster didn't have a man within 10 yards of him and could have possibly scored. The second half was strange, as the Chiefs ran only 7 offensive plays in the third quarter and 16 (including 3 kneel downs) in the 4th. Because of the Chiefs two defensive touchdowns, they rarely had the ball in the second half and when they did they were heavily focused on the run. Smith only threw seven passes in the second half, the best of which was a 20 yard connection with Fasano in the third quarter. Smith threw a bullet on the deep cross that hit Fasano right in stride. Smith's high completion percentage on the day should have been higher, and his low yardage total is reflective of the pressure he saw and the fact that his best deep ball was dropped.
2013 Week 11 vs DEN (21 / 45 / 230 / 2 / 0 pass, 5 / 52 / 0 rush)
Smith was not near as inaccurate as his stat line suggested, but he did badly miss a few throws like the first one of the game on a short slant to Dwayne Bowe. Smith made a beautiful back shoulder throw on the team's second drive to Donnie Avery and had the ball dropped more than 20 yards down field. The drop was one of many that Smith suffered throughout the day. With the Chiefs down 10-0 late in the first quarter Smith put together his best drive of the day. Smith was 4/6 on the drive and both of the incompletions hit his receivers in the hands. The best throw of the drive was a well thrown ball into double coverage that Dwayne Bowe caught on a corner route 26 yards down field. After back to back drops from Jamaal Charles, Smith threw a perfectly timed stop fade to Bowe in the end zone for the team's first touchdown. Smith led another long drive the next time the Chiefs got the ball, but the team ran it three times from inside the two without scoring and they had to settle for a field goal. Smith really struggled in the first half on several plays where had only one real read and the Broncos jumped that route. He picked up 25 meaningless rushing yards at the end of the first half after choosing not to throw a Hail Mary. Smith struggled mightily in the third quarter with drops and deflections. One of those deflections should have been an interception on an underthrown pass deep to Donnie Avery. Smith picked up 55 yards and his second touchdown after the Chiefs fell down by three scores midway through the 4th quarter. Twenty of those yards came on a well thrown deep post to Avery against soft coverage. His second touchdown pass came on blown coverage with Anthony Fasano wide open in the back of the end zone. Smith threw the ball too high but Fasano went up and hauled it in for a touchdown. In the end, Smith was probably not as good as his fantasy points would indicate but not as bad as his completion percentage would either.
2013 Week 12 vs SD (26 / 38 / 294 / 3 / 1 pass, 2 / -3 / 0 rush)
Smith took advantage of a beat up and outclassed Chargers secondary to post his best day of the season statistically. As good as the final box score looked things didn't start very well for Smith. He was pressured heavily early on and did not deal with the pressure well. On his first two drives Smith was sacked twice and didn't complete a pass. Things improved drastically on the team's third drive. Smith started the drive with a well-placed ball on a deep cross to Dexter McCluster in tight coverage. More impressively, he ended the drive with a 32 yard throw on a rope to a wide open Donnie Avery for a touchdown. Smith delivered a perfectly timed ball between the safety and corner to Avery for 36 yards to set up the Chiefs second touchdown. Smith started the second half off with an 85 yard touchdown drive that included a critical 22 yard completion to Dwayne Bowe against an all-out blitz. His first big mistake came on the next drive as he sailed a deep post over the head of Avery, the ball was tipped and intercepted, and led to a Chargers touchdown. Smith showed good poise to bounce right back and go 4/5 on the next drive, finishing it off with an easy 4 yard touchdown pass to Anthony Fasano that was set up by great play design. Smith's most impressive drive may have been his final one, when he took the team 55 yards for a touchdown to put the team up with less than 1:30 to go. He finished the drive off with a gutsy throw to Dwayne Bowe in tight coverage over the middle. Smith was by no means perfect on the day; he struggled with pocket presence at times and still looked too reluctant to throw into coverage at times. That being said, he made some throws that he hasn't all year when the game was on the line and did enough against a poor secondary that his team should have won.
2013 Week 13 vs DEN (26 / 42 / 293 / 2 / 1 pass, 4 / 46 / 0 rush)
The stats may not show it, but Smith played his best game as a Chief and possibly one of the best of his career. Smith put together a great drive to start the game showing good patience in the pocket and great decision making skills until the final play of the drive. On that play he rolled out from the two yard line and was just a split second late finding Anthony Fasano in the back of the end zone. He then threw the ball low and had it picked off underneath by a linebacker. Smith bounced back and drove the Chiefs 83 yards on 7 plays for the game's first score on the next drive. The drive included a crafty 13 yard scramble on a screen that had been blown up and ended with a bullet to Junior Hemingway streaking down the seam for a 17 yard touchdown. Smith threw another touchdown pass on the very next drive, this one to Anthony Fasano in very tight coverage. It was the type of throw Smith has avoided this season and Fasano rewarded him with a spectacular catch. The Chiefs offense struggled for the next quarter and a half largely because his receivers began to let him down one by one. Fasano, Dwayne Bowe, and A.J. Jenkins all dropped passes while Donnie Avery put on an exhibition in drops. This led to Smith taking over at his own 20 with 14:16 left in the game and a 14 point deficit. Despite 4 more drops from Avery, Smith would lead the Chiefs 80 yards for one score and then 79 yards more before falling just short of the game winning score. The highlights included a 26 yard pass just over the hands of the defender to Jenkins on 3rd and 14 from his own 4. After that pass Smith seemed more confident than ever, hitting McCluster with a laser beam for a 28 yard gain and Bowe with a beautiful back shoulder throw for 23 yards on consecutive plays. Smith's day ended with an incompletion to Bowe, 13 yards short of a comeback, but those 13 yards had nothing to do with Smith's effort on this day.
2013 Week 14 vs WAS (14 / 20 / 137 / 2 / 0 pass, 2 / 7 / 0 rush)
It was a strange game for Smith who took advantage of outstanding field position and a poor tackling defense to lead his team to a blowout. The game script limited Smith's attempts, but considering he played a little over 3 quarters his numbers looked pretty great. He started out with an easy completion on a short out to Sean McGrath and then completed the first of several passes to Dwayne Bowe on a deep post. Smith's seventh attempt of the game put the Chiefs up 17-0 in the first quarter. It came on a short slant to Bowe, who bounced off two tacklers and into the end zone for a 21 yard score. Just a few minutes later Smith's ninth attempt put the Chiefs up 24-0, a wide receiver screen to Jamaal Charles who followed great blocking into the end zone. Smith would throw only seven passes in the entire second half and sat out the final 10 minutes because of the blowout. Unlike past weeks he didn't really have much reason to look downfield because the running game and short passing game were working so well. Chase Daniel- Daniel came in with 10 minutes left and looked about as bad as a quarterback protecting a five score lead can look. His only completion came on a swing pass that picked up 17. He was picked on his second throw underthrowing a wheel route and badly missed a wide open Junior Hemingway only his only other attempt.
2013 Week 15 vs OAK (17 / 20 / 287 / 5 / 0 pass, 4 / 17 / 0 rush)
A strange game script and the Raiders inability to stop the screen led to some phenomenal numbers for Smith. Three of his five touchdown passes came on screens to Jamaal Charles that were flawlessly blocked and poorly defended. His fourth touchdown to Charles involved more skill on Smith's part. Charles ran a wheel route and Smith perfectly placed a ball down the right sideline between the linebacker that was chasing Charles and the safety that was coming to help. Smith's fifth touchdown was also well placed on a short slant to Sean McGrath. There will be a lot of jokes about how many of Smith's touchdowns were caught within three yards of the line of scrimmage, but an 85% completion rate is good no matter how short your passes are. Smith was on target and in rhythm from the very beginning even if he did benefit from an amazing performance by Charles.
2013 Week 16 vs IND (16 / 29 / 153 / 0 / 2 pass, 6 / 47 / 0 rush)
Smith played perhaps his worst games of the year, and to make it worse he didn't get any help from his receivers. His receivers dropped at least five passes, including four from Dwayne Bowe. The Chiefs passing game was completely ineffective for most of the game. He completed his first pass, a short hitch to Dwayne Bowe, but completed just 3 of his next 7 attempts until a two minute drill to end the first half. Smith was more effective on the ground, picking up 28 yards on a pair of designed quarterback runs that were poorly defended by the Colts. The second half was even worse for Smith. His first interception came 1 minute into the second half. The ball was actually batted from his hand as he threw it and floated over the middle for an easy pick. Smith showed some life to start the 4th quarter, showing nice touch on a 19 yard pass to Fasano, but he got a little cute a few plays later trying to loft the ball to Fasano, throwing it short and into the hands of a Colts linebacker. Smith's day ended with his third turnover. He had the ball stripped as he attempted to scramble, largely because he was holding the ball in a precarious position.
2013 Week 18 vs IND (30 / 46 / 378 / 4 / 0 pass, 8 / 57 / 0 rush)
Smith picked the Colts secondary apart with a variety of short throws and even threw in a 79 yard bomb for good measure. Smith started the game with a dink and dunk drive that ended with a well-placed six yard slant to Dwayne Bowe for a touchdown. On the next drive, Smith hit Bowe in stride on another slant and Bowe raced past the secondary for a 63 yard gain. While Smith may not get much credit for that huge gain, he gets a lot of it for the 79 yard touchdown on the next drive. Donnie Avery beat his man deep over the middle and Smith lofted a beautiful throw over the top for a long score. If Smith showcased his arm strength on that throw, it was his creativity that created the next score. That throw was a five yard improvised shovel pass to fullback Anthony Sherman as Smith scrambled away from pressure. Smith continued scrambling in the second quarter with 4 runs for 24 yards on the team's next drive. Smith's final touchdown pass was again of the improvisational variety, finding Knile Davis as he scrambled right at the very last moment. At that point the Chiefs had a 28 point lead in the second half and they got a little conservative. Smith continued to be accurate but wasn't as aggressive downfield. Smith did miss a wide open Cyrus Gray streaking down the right sideline, but it also looked like Gray slowed as Smith threw the ball. The veteran quarterback led a 58 yard field goal drive in the 4th quarter to put his team up six, but was unable to mount a comeback after the Colts took the lead. In what was quite possibly the best performance of his career, Smith came up just short of a playoff victory.
2012 Week 1 vs GB (20 / 26 / 211 / 2 / 0 pass, 5 / 13 / 0 rush)
Opposite perhaps the best QB in the NFL, Alex Smith may be just as important to his team as Aaron Rodgers is to his, but for entirely different reasons. Smith proved on Sunday his comprehension of his role for the 49ers is well understood. The offensive game plan was clear on Sunday. Long, methodical drives that were meant to keep Rodgers and the prolific Packer offense off the field and the ferocious 49er defense fresh. When Smith wasn't feeding Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter, Michael Crabtree and the rest of the 49er pass catchers were picking up eight yards at time with short outs and slants, often picking on rookie linebacker Nick Perry and cornerback Jarrett Bush. After a quick three and out on their first drive, Smith led the offense to five straight scoring drives, all the while without converting a third down until the last of those scoring drives. The former number overall pick's best drive may have been the last of those scoring drives. Starting on their own 16-yard line, Green Bay blitzed four straight plays and yet, the 49er offense moved the ball to the Packer 42-yard line after those blitzes, including converting their first third down. Smith found Crabtree on an out for 20 yards on 3rd down. Then hit Vernon Davis on a play-action fake over the middle for 29 yards. The drive culminated with another 3rd down conversion, an out to Davis for a four-yard TD. Smith's numbers will not jump off the page at anyone, but that isn't what this team needs or is looking for. Refrain from turning the ball over (Smith set a franchise record for most passes without an INT on Sunday) and take what the defense gives you. Smith's numbers could certainly have been better, but after building a 23-7 lead, coach Jim Harbaugh clearly went to a much more conservative game plan looking to drain the clock. It was a little disheartening the 49ers didn't take a shot down the field to Randy Moss (they only took one legitimate 20+ yard shot, which went to Davis but looked more like a throwaway), but it'll be something to keep an eye on as the chemistry between Smith and Moss develops.
2012 Week 2 vs DET (20 / 31 / 226 / 2 / 0 pass, 4 / 7 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith had an extremely solid performance on Sunday against the Lions defense. Smith leaned on his defense and running game to help him but he has made significant strides as a Quarterback and was more than a "game manager" on Sunday. Smith has become a lot more vocal and in control of this offense, this evident by the amount of audibles he was using and checks to certain plays. Early in the game, Smith checked to a pass to Vernon Davis for the touchdown. Smith saw the mismatch Davis would pose, made the audible and lofted a perfect pass over the defender for the easy looking score. For the most part, Smith took what the defense gave him with simple reads and throws to the open man on the field. He enjoyed a solid running game with Frank Gore and good field position. The 49ers running game meant the passing game was simpler aswell, as there was a lot of one on one match ups for Smith to take advantage of and he often was able to throw the ball to his first read. Smith was tough in the pocket, did not go down easy and made very few mistakes which kept the 49ers in charge against the Lions. Smith almost found Davis deep down the field mid way through the game on a fade pattern but Davis was just not able to haul it in. However, late in the game Smith was able to roll out of the pocket and hit TE Davis for the touchdown pass. Davis got the well thrown pass and made two defenders miss for the score. Smith looks like a vastly improved QB but he still relied somewhat on his team to guide his performance. Regardless, the offense has improved since last year and Smith is opening up the passing game for the 49ers.
2012 Week 3 vs MIN (24 / 35 / 204 / 1 / 1 pass, 4 / 26 / 0 rush)
Because of the early offensive burst by the Minnesota Vikings, the 49ers found themselves behind the entire game. Trailing throughout, the 49ers were forced to get away from their run game and Smith had to throw the ball 35 times, completing 24 for 204 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. When the Vikings were able to bring pressure, Smith often missed open targets. The only consistent passes that Smith was able to hit accurately were short routes, rarely did he venture medium range throws and his longest completion was 22 yards. This allowed Minnesota to play more aggressively, and San Francisco had to use rollouts to get Smith away from the rushing defenders. Smith was able to run 4 times for 26 yards, but the most important run occurred in the red zone. Smith rolled out to his right and was planted by Antoine Winfield at the line of scrimmage, forcing the 49ers to kick a field goal. The 49ers' problem of letting drives die in the red zone was thought to have been solved with the addition of Moss and Manningham, but Smith's reluctance to make aggressive throws forced the 49ers into settling for field goals. Smith's best pass of the day was a throw over coverage to Vernon Davis, dropping the ball over his tight end's shoulder. Because of the placement of the pass, Davis was able to run to the 1 yard line. The next play was a well executed play action that allowed Davis to get to the corner of the end zone, and Smith delivered an accurate ball to the wide open tight end. His worst pass of the day came with two minutes left in the game, trying to march downfield Smith had time and an open Crabtree, but badly overthrew the receiver. Whether it was miscommunication or just a bad throw, the ball landed right in the hands of Josh Robinson. While trying to bring the 49ers down the field one last time, Smith was hit hard by Jared Allen and fumbled, ending the game. It was the third sack on Smith, and the culmination of a day of heavy pressure by the Minnesota Vikings.
2012 Week 4 vs NYJ (12 / 21 / 143 / 0 / 0 pass, 2 / 12 / 0 rush)
After watching the Dolphins gash the Jets for 185 rushing yards last week, Smith led a similar 'run first' attack to the tune of 245 yards. For most of the afternoon, Smith handed the ball to his running backs and let his offensive line dominate the line of scrimmage. In addition, the 49er defense created four turnovers and routinely gave Smith great field position. Smith's best drive occurred with 1:11 remaining before halftime. Holding a 7-0 lead, the 49er defense stripped Mark Sanchez and gave Smith the ball on the SF 25 yard-line. Without the looming presence of Darrelle Revis, Smith methodically led his team into field goal range. On the first play, Smith comfortably stepped up into the pocket and found Vernon Davis for a 23-yard gain. On the next play, Smith avoided the on-coming pass rush and completed a short shovel pass to Frank Gore for eight yards. Smith went back to Davis for a quick three-yard gain before hooking up with Michael Crabtree for a big 12-yard gain to put his team in field goal range. Two plays later, David Akers successfully booted a 36-yard field goal to give his team a 10-0 lead at halftime. Smith demonstrated poise, precision, and awareness during this drive. Outside of this drive, Smith made some nice adjustments during the game. In an attempt to slow down the 49er rushing attack, the Jets tried stacking the 'A' gaps with their defensive tackles. However, Smith audibled into intermediate passing plays and successfully completed passes to Mario Manningham and Frank Gore. Smith misfired on a few deep passes, but the success of the running game masked these mistakes. Overall, this was a prototypical 49er football game. The defense dominated and the offensive line opened massive holes. This allowed Smith to comfortably manage the game. Given the lopsided nature of this game, the 49ers didn't need Smith to make any many plays. However, he showed that he could step-up and make big throws when his team needed it.
2012 Week 5 vs BUF (18 / 24 / 303 / 3 / 0 pass, 3 / 49 / 0 rush)
For the entire game, Smith was able to stand in the pocket and throw to the open receiver with no pressure to worry about. Rarely did Buffalo force Smith to make quick decisions, allowing a quarterback not known for boldness to take shot after shot downfield to open receivers. Each pass was accurate and on time; the chemistry between Smith and his receivers has been increasing with each week. On the first touchdown pass, Smith identified the single coverage and threw an accurate ball to Kyle Williams' back shoulder on a deep hitch, and Williams was able to shake his man for a touchdown. The second touchdown came on a well run post-corner route by Crabtree, who was wide open in the end zone. Without any pressure to speak of, Smith was able to hit him easily. The third touchdown came on a great move by Manningham, who had faked his corner inside and then cut to the corner of the end zone. All Smith had to do was deliver an accurate pass to the wide open Manningham. His most accurate pass was a beautiful floater to a tightly covered Vernon Davis. The ball landed right in Davis' arms in stride and resulted in a 24 yard gain. The majority of these deep connections had more to do with the straw-man quality of the Buffalo defense, but given time Smith showed the ability to make extremely accurate throws. Another impressive aspect of Smith's game was his scrambling ability. Whether on designed runs or being forced out of the pocket, Smith flashed above-average athleticism when it came to scrambling for long gains and first downs.
2012 Week 6 vs NYG (19 / 30 / 200 / 0 / 3 pass, 2 / 5 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith struggled mightily on Sunday evening against the Giants as they had the perfect game plan to focus on his weaknesses and eliminate his strengths as a player. The Giants were able to take away Smith's favourite target in TE Davis, minimize RB Gore's impact on the ground and force Smith to pass as the 49ers fell behind in this game. Smith is built to play with a lead and a solid running game and is known to struggle when he has to put the entire team on his shoulders. Smith's first interception came on a wheel route by TE Walker. Smith floated the ball for too long and DB Amukamara was in perfect position to easily snag the lofty pass out of the air. Smith also lost a lot of snaps and production to teammate QB Kaepernick who tried unsuccessfully to run their offense with a heavy emphasis on Kaepernick's superior athletic ability to Smith. The not so dynamic duo were rotated in far too often, neither situation worked and it clearly shows the lack of faith the 49ers have in QB Smith to come back from behind. Smith settled for a lot of short passes and checkdowns in the passing game which left them in undesirable third down situations. Manningham had a shot at a deep pass from Smith but the ball was slightly overthrown. Smith threw his second interception on slant pass intended for Manningham. Smith failed to see Antrel Rolle who read the pass and made a terrific play on the ball for the pick after Smith attempted to adjust the throw at the last second. Smith threw another interception shortly after to Rolle again as the NYG safety undercut the pass and easily picked it off to set up the Giants nicely in excellent field position. Smith had a very rough day on Sunday. His weakness in reading complex defenses in obvious passing situations was glaringly obvious and he looked lost without TE Davis as a big weapon.
2012 Week 7 vs SEA (14 / 23 / 140 / 1 / 1 pass, 5 / 11 / 0 rush)
Unsurprisingly, considering the quality of the defense he was facing, Alex Smith's best plays on the day were throw aways, check downs and sacks. The gameplan was, as it almost always is with Smith, to play it safe in the passing game. Smith was eased into the game with easy passes off of play action and with underneath routes, but even then he lacked consistency. He threw a high pass that Michael Crabtree did well to adjust to underneath, before completing to Randy Moss on a comeback. He then overthrew Kyle Williams underneath. Unlike Crabtree, Williams couldn't catch the ball but did manage to tip it away from the defender who was waiting to intercept it. Smith's only two deep passes of the day went to Williams when he overthrew him twice. Even the decisive touchdown pass in the game was a check down. Smith passed the ball underneath to Delanie Walekr who did all of the work to run the ball into the endzone. When he did force the issue, bad things happened. With excellent protection at the goalline, and the 49ers up by four with 12 minutes to go in the game, Alex Smith escaped from the pocket running left before throwing an interception. Smith either tried to fit the ball past Brandon Browner with his arm strength, or never saw the cornerback who read his eyes and jumped a pass that was going to the back of the endzone. It showed off terrible understanding of the defense and the situation. It was telling that Jim Harbaugh called a quarterback draw with Smith on third and 10 in the redzone on the next drive.
2012 Week 8 vs ARI (18 / 19 / 232 / 3 / 0 pass, 1 / 6 / 0 rush)
Smith's gaudy completion percentage was the result of an extremely efficient short passing game that allowed the wide receivers to make plays after the catch. This short passing game itself was set up by the 49er's heavy lean on the run, so that when Smith did drop back for quick passes, his wide receivers were often able to get separation underneath from the coverage. Smith also benefited a great deal from an offensive line that manhandled the Cardinals' defense all game, and in pass blocking they were often able to hold off any rushers. Breakdowns did occur when none of the receivers were able to gain separation, and since Smith is not the boldest quarterback, he often held on to the ball too long and took sacks. One contributing factor to the high completion percentage was Smith's complete aversion to throwing the ball away when a sack was imminent, though on the flip side, his one incompletion was a drop that hit Delanie Walker's hands on an open crossing route. Smith's first touchdown throw came on the 3 yard line, where Smith took the snap and threw a quick ball right over Patrick Peterson's head and Michael Crabtree was able to leap over the corner and secure the ball. It was a very bold play call to go after Arizona's best corner when the running game had been succeeding to such a degree, but the timing and accuracy of the throw turned Peterson around and Crabtree's ability to grab and hold on to the ball with the defender doing his best to tear it away paid off. Smith's next touchdown was a quick throw to the flat, where Crabtree was able to catch and sprint away from the defenders to get in to the end zone. It was an accurate throw and good decision as the defense was confused about their coverage before the snap, but the play really came from Crabtree, whose quickness and ability to stop-start left Peterson on the ground as he ran in to the end zone. The third touchdown throw came on another short pass, as Randy Moss beat his man on an out route, made two different cuts to sidestep tacklers, and won a foot race to the end zone. All of these touchdown plays exhibited the core strength of Alex Smith's game, which is an ability to make extremely accurate throws and good decisions in the short passing game when given time. He was able to go through all of his progressions to find the open man and his mechanics were sound because Arizona could not get to him quick enough to force mistakes. The sacks all came from good coverage and Smith not willing to throw a ball in to tight coverage, especially tight coverage down field. Nevertheless, Smith was able to masterfully execute a short passing game that allowed his wide receivers to run amok in the Cardinals' secondary.
2012 Week 10 vs STL (7 / 8 / 72 / 1 / 0 pass, 2 / 5 / 0 rush)
While scrambling after flushed out of the pocket, Smith took a hard shot from Rams linebacker Dunbar. This hit led to Smith leaving the game, but not before Smith was able to lead the only efficient drive of the first half for the 49ers. Smith showed the ability to make accurate throws and good decisions when given time, but the Rams were able to get pressure up the middle and this often led to either sacks or hits on the quarterback. Smith was able to complete accurate throws to Michael Crabtree in particular, hitting the wide receiver four times in the first half, culminating in a touchdown pass where Smith recognized the oncoming blitz and threw to an open Crabtree short, who then ran in space to the end zone.
2011 Week 1 vs SEA (15 / 20 / 124 / 0 / 0 pass, 7 / 22 / 1 rush)
Smith didn't lose the game for San Francisco, but he only led his team to victory because of their weak opponent. The team's playcalling - especially in the red zone - was atrocious and seriously lacked creativity. Some might say that's why Smith didn't generate any big plays, but others will say it's because of Smith that the playbook can't be fully opened. New head coach Jim Harbaugh is a former QB who has shown creative play-calling in his college stints. His lack of belief in Smith (and his lack of need to exercise that belief due to Seattle's ineptitude) led to many boring run plays right up the middle and mainly short, safe passes by Smith. It appeared that he was instructed not to force anything deep, and with Vernon Davis and Frank Gore as check-down options, why would he? Smith did a nice job of being accurate within the framework of the throws he was asked to make, but if the team is this reluctant to open up the offense, he should be considered an ineffective QB even when he goes 15/20 and doesn't thrown any interceptions. In today's NFL (outside the NFC West at least), quarterbacks need to win games - as opposed to not losing them.
2011 Week 2 vs DAL (16 / 24 / 179 / 2 / 1 pass, 3 / 21 / 0 rush)
Smith had a solid game against the Cowboys in week two. He did a reasonable job in protecting the ball considering the fierce Dallas pass-rush. However, he was unable to connect on any long passes and as a result the 49ers were unable to match Dallas in the big play department. Most of Smith's passes came on short routes that took advantage of the Cowboys anticipating deep throws. Smith was also effective passing on the run as he was often flushed out of the pocket by Demarcus Ware and Jay Ratliff. His best play came on a third down scramble that came up short of the first down but demonstrated just how effective he can be as a quarterback. On the play, Smith was flushed up the middle and was able to weave for a 12 yard gain. Outside of an inability to convert deep passes, Smith often settles for a short gain when more yardage is needed. At least twice on Sunday he checked down for a 5 to 7 yard completion on third and long; a more savvy or experienced quarterback would have likely looked for a longer gain to be had. Smith continues to show that he is a capable quarterback at the NFL level. If he is ever able to solve his downfield passing issues he could be even more productive.
2011 Week 3 vs CIN (20 / 30 / 201 / 0 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Smith's day in a nutshell: he threw poorly, made bad decisions, and allowed defenders to hit him - hard - when rushing the ball (and yes, he did just suffer a concussion last week). Kind of a 'what-not-to-do' QB training manual. In the end, he did just enough for the win. Smith was smart enough to notice that Vernon Davis made him look good nearly every time he threw in his direction, so he threw to him often. Smith also discovered that Michael Crabtree can catch, even if you're occasionally aiming for the Goodyear blimp with the pass (which he also did often). Seriously, Smith is fast becoming the Nuke Laloosh of football. His passes are all over the place, and often thrown too hard for the receiver to react. Smith really didn't appear to be in synch with any of receivers - including Davis - who had a great day despite the erratic throws. He's got talent around him in Crabtree and Davis (and the injured Braylon Edwards) and that was his saving grace. Smith did throw what appeared to be a touchdown to Crabtree, but the officials nullified it, calling the receiver out of bounds prior to the catch (the replay shows otherwise, but there was no review). It also became clear that Smith is really not seeing the whole field. In the red zone, for example, he would ignore his man in the flat, hoping for a deeper target. By the time he came back to the flat, his man was covered but he'd throw it to him anyway. On another similar play, where it looked like the back would have had room to get into the end zone, Smith ignored him and took the sack. On a day where he at least had better numbers than the opposing QB, I wish I could say something complimentary about Smith, but I just can't. If he can better utilize the talent around him, he could improve. But isn't that what they were saying about him last year?
2011 Week 4 vs PHI (21 / 33 / 291 / 2 / 0 pass, 1 / -1 / 0 rush)
The calls for Colin Kaepernick are growing dimmer after this one. Smith played very efficient, looking as good as he has in his time here in San Fran. Smith was under pressure from the Eagles, but did a great job of dumping the ball off quickly, or scrambling and throwing the ball out of bounds. He didn't throw any int's, although he did lose one fumble on a sack by Jason Babin. The gameplan was to get the ball to the receivers and let them make plays. Smith threw a slant pass to Josh Morgan, and Morgan made an extremely athletic run to get into the endzone. Then he tosses a TD to Vernon Davis who plowed through two defenders for a TD. He even got the ball to Crabtree, which is something that hasn't happened much this season. This is a very encouraging game for San Francisco fans, as the 49ers emerge as the clear favorite to win the NFC West in Harbaugh's first season. With this defense, Smith just needs to keep the mistakes to a minimum, and they should be able to stay in most games.
2011 Week 5 vs TB (11 / 19 / 170 / 3 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
If you just look at the highlights you might come away with the impression that Alex Smith had a fantastic day under center. You would miss a lot of the details in this game but not to worry because Footballguys has a lot of those details. The 1st drive the Niners ran a couple plays and actually gained a first down thru a Bucs penalty then suddenly Smith had to call timeout. They were already on the Bucs 40 yard line and the game was just underway, no need to start burning timeouts. It ended up being a moot point but coaches see that type of stuff. Later on the same drive, Smith throws a touchdown to Delanie Walker but what you might miss is that he was in triple coverage with SS-Corey Lynch, MLB-Mason Foster, and CB Aquib Talib who left his man to roll over and try to prevent the TD. It was a great catch but throwing it into triple coverage is not smart. He missed Delanie Walker on a possible 2nd touchdown later in the game. In the 2nd half he under threw Kyle Williams on a 1st and 15 from the 50 yard line and it should have been intercepted but Talib flat dropped the ball with both hands on it too. Wait there's more, another near miss on an interception in the red zone by Elbert Mack a back up DB for the Bucs who had a chance to make the pick but could not haul it in. Alex Smith did not play an exceptional game at all but things were going the Niners way and his mistakes turned into near misses. QBs on winning teams rarely are held under the microscope but don't believe everything you read about Smith right now; he still is making a lot of mistakes. Yes he managed to hit some guys in the end zone but things could have turned out much differently for Smith had the Niners defense not helped. Smith must have started from the 40 or 50 yard line all day mostly due to Ted Ginn Jr. And now you know the rest of the details.
2011 Week 6 vs DET (17 / 32 / 125 / 1 / 1 pass, 2 / 5 / 0 rush)
From the very first play, it looked as if Smith was in for a rough game. On his very first drop-back, he was stripped of the ball for a lost fumble. For most of the next three quarters, the Niners couldn't get out of their own way long enough to sustain very many drives. At times, Smith showed pretty good elusiveness despite all of the pressure. The problem is that there was rarely anyone open. His best target, TE Vernon Davis, had a brutal time trying to get open for any sustained period of time. And Smith's second-best option, WR Michael Crabtree, couldn't do anything very far down the field. The majority of the passes in his direction were short curls and quick out routes that didn't go for very big yardage. In the second half, Smith came close to a touchdown on a couple of occasions. He threw a ball along the sideline to Crabtree near the goal line, but the receiver couldn't get both feet down inbounds. On the next play, TE Delanie Walker had the pass in his hands for what should have been an easy touchdown but he juggled the ball as he tried to set his feet inbounds and that one also fell incomplete. Smith followed up those passes by getting a bit overzealous on the next few possessions. His accuracy completely went away from him and his passes began sailing all over the field (mostly over his intended targets' heads). One ended up getting intercepted, and another was very nearly picked off. Yet just when it seemed like his fantasy stats were unsalvageable, the Niners put together a late drive via the running game. RBs Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter did all the work to get the 49ers to the doorstep of the end zone, and Smith took advantage by cashing in with the touchdown pass. He threw the game-winner to the aforementioned Walker on a quick slant underneath on a fourth and goal play from the six yard line.
2011 Week 8 vs CLE (15 / 24 / 177 / 1 / 0 pass, 4 / 22 / 0 rush)
Smith had a real solid game on Sunday. He played the game manager role to perfection as he did not turn the ball over and made clutch third down plays. Smith looked more comfortable out there as he was only sacked once and was hardly pressured at all. Like his counterpart McCoy, Smith smartly used his legs on third downs and was able to convert on a few third down plays. Smith seemed to favor WR Michael Crabtree as his go-to guy with 9 targets. Each week they seem to be building on their chemistry and becoming more comfortable with each other. Smith almost hooked up with Crabtree on 3 deep targets but they were slightly overthrown so there could have been even more production from the two. Smith continues to do what is asked of him and is playing really well. He complements the strong defense and great running game the 49ers have. Although he may still not be a great fantasy option, he may be turning into a viable starting quarterback in the league. Smith was even able to use OL Joe Staley and DT Isaac Sopoaga as receivers and both were able to make catches at key points to the game.
2011 Week 9 vs WAS (17 / 24 / 200 / 1 / 0 pass, 4 / 9 / 0 rush)
The confidence of a six game win streak is evident, as Smith was an efficient game manager against the Redskins. He is making smarter plays than he was at the beginning of the season - not necessarily better, more skilled plays, but smarter. Smith excelled at finding the open man on shorter routes and making quick, decisive throws. He also made a lot of adjustments at the line, showing that he's got a good handle on reading the defense. While most of his passes were of the shorter variety, he did air it out a bit on the touchdown to Brad Miller, lofting it up and finding the fullback in between zone coverage for an easy 30 yard score. Smith threw another brilliant long pass to Vernon Davis for what could have been a touchdown, but the pass was dropped. Smith is also mobile, and showed excellent vision and instinct when leaving the pocket; though he didn't gain much on these plays, he minimized the damage, which in most cases is all he needed to keep a drive going. He favoured Crabtree and Davis as receivers but also did a fine job of spreading the ball around to keep the defense honest. Despite the couple of excellent throws, the flaw in his game that won't seem to go away is his terrible accuracy on most passes - especially the short ones - which are close enough to catch, but simply don't give his receivers a chance to make a play. Alex Smith played a solid, mature game, which is good for the 49ers, but not necessarily for your fantasy team.
2011 Week 10 vs NYG (19 / 30 / 242 / 1 / 1 pass, 6 / 27 / 0 rush)
Smith and the 49ers had a specific game plan in place vs. the Giants and it centred around him passing the ball a lot, which was unusual for the 49ers. Smith had a higher than normal amount of targets as the Giants shut down any running game and forced Smith to beat them through the air. Smith did have a lot of success throwing between the two 20 yard markers but his drives really bogged down in the redzone. They kicked mostly field goals and this took away from many potential touchdown passes that Smith could have had. Regardless, Smith took full advantage and attacked this Giants defense where they are most vulnerable. Smith used roll outs and felt pressure well to throw good balls on the run, even showing his threat as a running QB against man coverage. Smith's only INT was off the hands of his WR Ginn. The ball was tipped and flew right into CB Webster's hands for the easy pick. Smith looked to be intercepted again but the play was erased by an offside's call against a NYG DE. Smith was more than a game manager as the 49ers threw a lot and made an effort to force the ball downfield. Smith took advantage and hit WR Edwards and TE Walker down the field but big chunks of yards and kept the 49er offense humming all game. Smith had to do little work on his TD as he simply hit TE Davis on a crossing pattern as his TE ran/leapt into the endzone for this only touchdown.
2011 Week 11 vs ARI (20 / 38 / 267 / 2 / 1 pass, 7 / 17 / 0 rush)
Smith had a real solid game on Sunday. Smith threw the ball more than expected, most likely because the Cardinals were focused on shutting down the run game. Smith made some throws that he would want back, as he missed Davis and Crabtree on throws that could have easily been TDs. Also, in the first quarter WR Braylon Edwards dropped a wide open TD catch. So there was definitely a bigger day out there for Smith. The 49ers weren't able to capitalize on the great field position that its defense had given them. Smith was able to target his best two receiving options, Davis and Crabtree, 10 times apiece. It was nice to see Smith find his 3rd receiver Kyle Williams on several key conversions that kept the offense moving. Smith had his second career INT in the red zone. But luckily the game was well in hand at that point. Smith will never be an elite QB play in this offense but he has shown that he can get the ball to his playmakers when needed.
2011 Week 12 vs BAL (15 / 24 / 140 / 0 / 1 pass, 2 / 12 / 0 rush)
Smith looked comfortable for much of the 1st quarter (but rarely again) on a night when the Ravens tied a franchise record for most sacks in one game. Smith made a great throw early on to Vernon Davis in a very small window for a 20 yard pickup and had a huge TD pass called back on a questionable chop block. The throw was a strong throw deep down the field caught on a leap by Ted Ginn, who raced into the end zone. Two plays later Smith was sacked for the 3rd time in the first half in a fitting end to the drive. Smith was visibly rattled after that, often pulling the ball down to run as soon as he saw a defender. He did begin to look more comfortable in the 2 minute drill at the end of the half. On the drive he hit 4 of 6 passes to 4 different targets, leading the 49ers into scoring range with 18 seconds remaining. Unfortunately, he made a terrible decision on 1st and 10 from the 35, lobbing the ball into the end zone as if it were the last play of the half. The Ravens DB played the ball perfectly for Smith's 1st INT of the game. Smith did bounce back to lead another scoring drive to start the second half. The 13 play, 46 yard drive was keyed by a 3rd and 17 completion to Michael Crabtree. Smith stepped up into the pocket and threw a perfect pass to Crabtree right at the marker. He also scrambled out of pressure for another first down. Still, the drive was marred by 2 more sacks as the Ravens 4 man rush continued to have it's way with Smith's offensive line. By the time the 4th quarter rolled around, the 49ers were in catch up mode and the Ravens ratcheted up the pressure even further...Smith did not respond well. He was just 4/9 in the quarter and was sacked 2 more times. He missed a wide open back on a swing pass, was fortunate to have a pass deflect off S Ed Reed's hands, and was again fortunate to avoid an INT on a terrible throw to Crabtree. It was a forgettable night for Smith, who spent a good part of it on his back.
2011 Week 13 vs STL (17 / 23 / 274 / 2 / 0 pass, 2 / 10 / 0 rush)
Smith had a real solid game on Sunday. Smith still had some trouble in the red zone in the first half but was able to cure that with two long passing touchdowns in the second half. Smith also had a perfectly thrown over the shoulder pass to TE Vernon Davis that Davis flat out dropped that would have gone for another score. Smith continues to play smart football as he does not turn the ball over, and he complements his tough defense really well. When the Rams would stack the box to stop RB Frank Gore, Smith is able to find the open receiver. He plays well on third down and keeps the clock running with this offense. The first long touchdown was to Crabtree on a deep play action fake pass. The Rams were playing run and bit on the fake, and Crabtree used his speed to beat the corner. Smith threw a perfect ball, and Crabtree went in easily for the 52 yard score. The second long score was to emerging WR Kyle Williams on a 3rd & 5 play early in the 4th quarter. Williams ran a simple comeback route then took it up field showing his jets for the 56 yard score. Smith continues to be a game manager but when forced to throw he is more than adequate to keep this offense churning through the air.
2011 Week 14 vs ARI (18 / 37 / 175 / 0 / 0 pass, 1 / -3 / 0 rush)
Smith faced a formidable pass rush, which he was never able to completely overcome. He was sacked five times altogether, with three of them coming close together in the early part of the game. He showed a good rapport with his receivers, notable Michael Crabtree; he also did a great job spreading the ball around to the other wideouts as well. His accuracy was actually pretty sharp this game, but Smith's Achilles heel was his red zone play. He simply wasn't able to get it done from in close, and that was the difference maker. He had his chances inside the 20, but was off-target, threw the ball away, sacked while rolling out. He never gave up though, which was never more evident than on his last gasp attempt to keep the final drive going: Smith dropped back and, facing big time pressure from 2 linemen, proceeded to scramble - backwards about 20 yards - then getting some forward momentum and passing to Kendall Hunter, who couldn't hold on to the ball for the first down.
2011 Week 15 vs PIT (18 / 31 / 187 / 1 / 0 pass, 3 / 12 / 0 rush)
The game plan was rather pass-heavy compared to a typical San Francisco game, and Smith had his ups and downs. Aided by a huge advantage in field position all night long, Smith was able to lead some drives into the red zone. On the team's first trip, though, he had two chances to throw touchdowns to relatively open receivers and appeared rushed on both occasions, missing the throws. The team didn't take many deep shots, but Smith badly missed one in particular where Michael Crabtree was open in the endzone. He was somewhat effective on his short to intermediate throws throughout the night though.
2011 Week 16 vs SEA (14 / 26 / 179 / 0 / 0 pass, 5 / 22 / 0 rush)
Smith's end of game line doesn't look fantasy friendly, but he left everything on the field and it was enough for the win. He had a couple of missed opportunities for scores, long incompletions to Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree near the goal line, which were catchable. What stuck out most about Smith's game was his unwillingness to give up on any play. There is a reason his sack total is so high - it's because he absolutely refuses to throw the ball away if there is even the smallest chance to still make a play. On one third down play in the second half, Smith dropped the ball and it bounced right back to him; he scrambled to the sideline and instead of going out of bounds, he ducked a defender and THEN ran downfield for positive yardage. No, he's not suddenly Cam Newton or Michael Vick Lite, but it shows what he's willing to do to get his team the win. The very next play on that drive was a 4th down, one of several that the Niners chose to go for, and Smith was similarly pinned at the sideline, but this time hit Davis at the last second for the first down. It wasn't always pretty but his efforts buoyed the team around him.
2011 Week 17 vs STL (21 / 31 / 219 / 1 / 0 pass, 5 / 4 / 1 rush)
It may have taken a while, but QB Alex Smith has finally arrived as the leader and QB the 49ers were hoping for when they drafted him with the #1 pick in 2005. He's shown promise the past 2 seasons, but he was finally able play the full 16-game schedule and close out the season as wire-to-wire West division champs with the #2 seed and a first round bye. Smith looked to TE Vernon Davis early and often and used the mismatches posed by Davis and WR Michael Crabtree (almost exclusively) to take well-planned and well-executed shots down field. Smith even looked good on his incompletions, as they usually came when throwing the ball away was the best option to protect the football and maintain field position, avoiding both the sack (the Rams sacked Smith only 3 times) and the interception (the 49ers did not commit a turnover). After his counterpart kicked off the scoring with a rushing TD, Smith answered the call; punching it in from 8 yards out on a scramble of his own. Smith and the 49ers would dominate the 2nd quarter, beginning the scoring with a 28-yard TD to Crabtree on a short pass behind the line of scrimmage where Crabtree would do the rest on his own. After padding the lead with a TD that was set up by the defense, the game almost got away from Smith and the 49ers, as the Rams scored a couple of late TDs to draw to within 1 score and Smith and the offense failed to pick up a first down, giving the Rams a chance to tie with just under 4 minutes to go. The defense would step up and stop the Rams on their final possession, leaving it to Smith and the offense to close things out. They did not disappoint, as Smith ended this season the way all QBs hope to, kneeling the ball in victory formation to the cheers of teammates on the sidelines and traveling fans in attendance.
2011 Week 19 vs NO (24 / 42 / 299 / 3 / 0 pass, 1 / 28 / 1 rush)
You can be critical of a lot of things when it comes to Alex Smith. He doesn't throw the ball with a lot of mustard, misses open targets, takes a few sacks but this week he was sharp. He managed to hit a lot of his guys in stride so they could make a play. His defense put him in some good positions to start the football game but he also took advantage of those opportunities and didn't squander them as so many QBs do around the league. The first TD toss to Vernon Davis was an accurate pass and he hit Davis in stride, timing was very important on that pattern. Late in the 4th quarter with the Saints ahead 24-23, Smith hits Vernon Davis perfectly on a "GO" route that showed precision on he throw. Later on the same drive the Niners called his number on a 3rd and 7 where they could easily have settled for a FG attempt and instead Smith runs left and follows his blocks to run for a 28 yard touchdown and gave the Niners the lead 29-24. He answered the bell again with his team down 32-29 and less than 2 minutes left as he drove the team down field and then hit Vernon Davis barreling into the end zone with 8 seconds left to seal the victory for the Niners who we now know will host the NFC Championship next week. It was a tremendous game fro Alex Smith who accounted for 4 touchdowns, one of his best days as an NFL QB ever. With the playoffs added into the mix, in fact it was his best performance by far to date.
2011 Week 20 vs NYG (12 / 26 / 196 / 2 / 0 pass, 6 / 42 / 0 rush)
Aside from two nice long throws to Vernon Davis, the 49ers offense stalled out with Alex Smith at the helm. Smith's other contributions came as a runner, mainly out of a zone read look, and on dumpoffs to Frank Gore. He never looked comfortable in the pocket even thought the Giants defense wasn't nearly as vicious as the 49ers. In the fourth quarter and overtime, it never felt like Smith was going to advance the offense, leaving the game on the defense's shoulders. Smith never got his wide receivers involved, completing only one pass to a wideout. After a great finish to the 49ers first playoff game, Smith looks like one of the reasons the team couldn't close this one out in regulation along with Kyle Williams. He's likely to be brought back with a long term deal, but it's hard to feel like this team is going farther than this point with him at QB.
2010 Week 1 vs SEA (26 / 45 / 225 / 0 / 2 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Smith looked quite good in the early going of this game. He had excellent pass protection, was patient in the pocket, spread the ball around nicely. The 49ers actually could have been up 14-0 if the breaks went his way. First, a quick fade pass to Josh Morgan was ruled out of bounds in the end zone, and the 49ers settled for a field goal; soon after, a wide open Moran Norris couldn't handle what should have been an easy TD reception on 4th and goal. Smith played it safe, taking what the defense would give him, but at the expense of getting it downfield. But once the Seahawks took the lead, he tried to do more than merely be efficient - and that's when the wheels fell off. Smith only throws the ball one way: hard. And that got him in trouble. He showed no chemistry with Michael Crabtree, which was especially evident on a short bullet of a throw - when a soft toss would have done the job - that Crabtree wasn't able to grab and resulted in a defensive TD. The further behind he was on the scoreboard, the harder he tried to come back, but he simply needed to be more accurate with his throws. He was never able to beat the blitz and make a play while scrambling, so ultimately, the blitz kept coming. In the final quarter, Smith finally took some shots downfield, with limited success. On one pass, an overthrown post pattern to Vernon Davis, it would have been intercepted, but ironically, the throw was too hard for the defender to handle. If the anemic running game can get on track in future weeks, it will be interesting to see if Smith can redeem himself from this week's poor performance.
2010 Week 2 vs NO (23 / 32 / 275 / 1 / 2 pass, 4 / 28 / 0 rush)
Don't let Alex Smith's final box score fool you this week, he played inspired football on Monday night nearly leading his team to an upset over the defending Super Bowl champions. Smith suffered from a slow start after a poor snap resulted in a safety and some poor accuracy caused an INT early on. For the final 3 quarters however Smith looked like a leader on the field showing an accurate arm while making smart decisions with his arm and his legs. Multiple times he hung in the pocket to make tough throws. He led the 49ers on an impressive 8 play, 82 yard drive to tie the game with 1:19 remaining, but it wasn't enough in the end. A very solid effort overall despite the loss.
2010 Week 3 vs KC (23 / 42 / 232 / 1 / 1 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Smith began the game making smart, decisive plays, mainly utilizing his short to intermediate passing game. He also showed good mobility on a 3rd and 10 draw play that got him enough yardage but was called back on a penalty. As the game progressed, he had more and more trouble finding downfield receivers and most often had to settle for throwing a very short pass to a covered man. In an echo of his week one woes, the running game had no success, and soon the defense was keying on the pass. The harder Smith tried to even the score, the worse his performance became. He was clearly trying too hard, and it really showed as his decision making - so confident at the start - broke down and he would miss the obvious read in favour of a locked-on target. To open the second half, he was only down by a touchdown, but the Chiefs upped the pressure on the pass rush, and Smith never found a way to beat it. Bottom line, he's beating himself. And based on the previous two weeks, it's clear that Smith needs the running game to be productive through the air. On the bright side, it doesn't look like he's being given the hook anytime soon. Coach Singletary kept him in until the bitter end, when he finally managed to find Josh Morgan in the end zone for a meaningless score.
2010 Week 4 vs ATL (21 / 32 / 188 / 1 / 2 pass, 1 / 1 / 0 rush)
The 49ers offense had a different feel about it under new offensive coordinator Mike Johnson, and Alex Smith was the primary beneficiary early on. On the 49ers first possession, Smith spread the ball around to many of his targets and was perfect on the drive. Several of his passes on the day were incomplete due to poor footwork on his part, often rushing the throw without properly setting his feet in the face of pressure. Smith threw an interception in the 2nd quarter when he tried to lob a pass over a defender to Gore, but it was tipped and picked off. It was a poor decision and a play that wasn't there to be made. Late in the fourth quarter with the 49ers leading 14-13 and in field goal range, Smith threw the ball to the ground with the blitz coming, but was flagged for intentional grounding. This took the team out of field goal range - a crucial error at such an important time. Alex Smith is not being asked to do a huge amount in this offense, and the 49ers lined up in a lot of four-wide sets. Most of his passes were short, safe throws, and while he did a solid job moving the offense, he is not a player who the 49ers will be able to rely on for much longer if his mistakes continue.
2010 Week 5 vs PHI (25 / 39 / 309 / 3 / 2 pass, 3 / 16 / 0 rush)
What a rough night for Alex Smith. Smith started strong against the Eagles with five straight completions and he looked respectable throughout the first half (11-of-16, 139 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT). Smith started to lose confidence in the third quarter and then inexplicably fumbled right in front of Eagles defenders instead of throwing a pass out of bounds. A three-and-out series came next as fans booed Smith and chanted for David Carr (the backup QB) to enter the game. Smith responded to all the criticism and drove the 49ers for two touchdowns and almost led San Francisco to a big comeback win. Smith will remain under scrutiny next week against Oakland as everyone is under pressure to get the 49ers their first victory.
2010 Week 6 vs OAK (16 / 33 / 196 / 2 / 0 pass, 4 / -2 / 0 rush)
The first half for Alex Smith was nothing short of ugly and play-by-play commentator in the booth Rich Gannon agreed. Smith looked like a quarterback under fire, and forced passes into coverage at times. Smith overthrew a wide open Josh Morgan in the endzone at one point in the game. He was skittish in the pocket and continued to one hop passes to his receivers. The Raiders defense was stacking the box and did not respect the 49ers passing game at all. In the second half, Smith turned it around on the 49ers first touchdown drive of the day and took advantage of a Raiders safety being out of position to complete a beautiful 32 yard post pattern for a touchdown to Michael Crabtree. Smith's second touchdown pass went to Vernon Davis on a well designed play where Smith rolled right on a bootleg and then threw back across to a wide open Davis. Smith's performance was by no means convincing and if not for his stronger second half, the Niners would have been in trouble.
2010 Week 7 vs CAR (9 / 19 / 129 / 1 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith was injured early in the third quarter and did not return. Current rumors suggest that he has separated his shoulder. While Smith was in the game he looked more or less like he has the whole season: good at times and poor at times. Although he managed to drive the team down the field for a touchdown on their very first possession and not throw in any interceptions in one half of play, his completion percentage was under 50% and he looked tentative and unsure in spots. Since David Carr did absolutely nothing to instill any confidence in himself whatsoever, it's all but a lock that Smith will return to the starting job back as soon as he is all healed up.
2010 Week 15 vs SD (19 / 29 / 165 / 0 / 1 pass, 1 / 6 / 0 rush)
Smith should have known from very early on that this was going to be a rough game for him. He made a perfect pass down the sideline to TE Delanie Walker right in his hands for what should have been a big gain, but Walker let it bounce right off his hands for an incompletion. It was that kind of night for the Niner offense ALL game long. The San Diego defense took away every possible weapon with an inspired performance, and managed to get a ton of pressure on Smith up front despite rarely blitzing. He was slammed to the ground on a couple of occasions and took multiple hits repeatedly. Even on the one positive play Smith made, it ended up poorly for him. He took a snap and rolled out to his left, looking for a receiver. Finding none, he opted to make a dash for the end zone. Initially, he appeared to have gotten in with a dive to the corner of the pylon, but San Diego HC Norv Turner challenged the calls. Replays showed that Smith's knee was actually down prior to getting in, and on the ensuing fourth down play the Chargers came up with the goal line stand. By the fourth quarter, the Charger defense had relaxed somewhat so Smith was able to compile some passing yardage. But on a fourth down pass, he still made a terrible mistake in throwing the ball into a crowd of defenders and had the ball picked off by a defensive back. The pass had no chance of being completed, and was just one of many poor balls thrown by Smith on this evening.
2010 Week 16 vs STL (10 / 15 / 120 / 0 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith entered the fray in the fourth quarter as the San Francisco quarterback merry-go-round continued at a fast pace. The other Smith was not all that much better, but showed some good ball placement on a sideline pass to Morgan. Alex Smith was seeing a lot of pressure in this period as the Rams knew the Niners had to pass, so he was forced to get the ball out quickly to receivers who simply were not ready. There is not much else to be said other than this quarterback situation needs a makeover.
2010 Week 17 vs ARI (15 / 29 / 276 / 2 / 0 pass, 1 / -1 / 0 rush)
Smith did just enough to keep some personnel people thinking maybe he could be a successful starter, but not enough convince his critics. He threw some beautiful downfield passes to Ted Ginn and Vernon Davis for long TDs, but also consistently ended drives with throws short of the sticks on third down. Smith also made a terrific throw to Josh Morgan in one-on-one coverage down the sideline, and got more courageous throwing deep as the game went on and the lead opened up for the 49ers. He is well-suited to be a backup or a caretaker, but Smith just looks like the kind of QB who will never consistently move an offense.
2009 Week 7 vs HOU (15 / 22 / 206 / 3 / 1 pass, 2 / 16 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith returned to regular-season action after almost 2 years of real activity and quickly seized the moment. Smith completed his first 9 passes and threw 3 second half touchdown passes to tight end Vernon Davis. Most impressively, Smith showed a lot of patience and confidence in the pocket before unleashing hard, accurate throws all over the field. Smith also scrambled twice, picking up a key first down on a rollout to the left side where he found space to pick up 11 yards before running out of bounds. Smith's day finished with an impressive 203 passing yards and 3 touchdowns in one half of work. The 49ers offense was dramatically more effective with Smith under center, most notably with the emergence of a downfield passing game that saw Smith complete half a dozen passes more then 15 yards down the field. His only interception came on a desperation throw late in the 4th quarter as the 49ers tried one last time to win the game.
2009 Week 8 vs IND (19 / 32 / 198 / 1 / 1 pass, 1 / 10 / 0 rush)
Smith was impressive at times, and his overall day would likely have been better had a few bounces gone his way. He played smart in his first start of the season: he spread the ball around on sustained drives, but knows that Michael Crabtree is his most likely meal ticket going forward and tried to get him the ball often. Smith had his share of highlight reel plays - a laser beam pass to Crabtree in stride for a 27 yard pickup looked like a good sign that they were in synch together; and he hooked up with Vernon Davis for another TD (after 3 last week) - but was also wildly inconsistent with his accuracy - sometimes right on the button, and sometimes way off target. Smith did a good job eluding the pass rush, scrambling well but not leaving the pocket until he absolutely had to.
2009 Week 9 vs TEN (29 / 45 / 286 / 2 / 3 pass, 2 / 11 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith threw quite a bit in Week 9 against the Titans as the 49ers tried to keep pace in a back and forth contest. Smith ended the first half with a nice touchdown to WR Jason Hill, who both kept the play alive on a slowly developing scramble and pass for a short scoring pass before halftime. He found Hill again later in the contest, but his two fourth quarter interceptions (one returned for a touchdown) cost the 49ers in a big way. Smith's performance was not rock solid but with San Francisco already switching to him away from Shaun Hill, he is likely to start the rest of the season.
2009 Week 10 vs CHI (16 / 23 / 118 / 0 / 1 pass, 2 / 2 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith had a relatively quiet night against a formidable Chicago Bears defense in Week 10, barely topping the 100-yard mark in passing yards. Smith threw more in the first half, picking up 72 yards through the air as opposed to 46 after halftime. Smith completed eight passes in each half, a testament to how conservative the passing game was in the final 30 minutes. Smith did attempt to stretch the field once but was intercepted on a 30+ yard throw from near midfield to the Chicago 20-yard line on a ball intended for Michael Crabtree. Chicago applied strong pressure all night and Smith was more than happy to hand the ball over to Frank Gore or even hit him on a short pass when there was little else available. Smith could put up bigger numbers in the right matchups the rest of the year, but against good defenses he should remain on fantasy benches.
2009 Week 11 vs GB (16 / 33 / 227 / 3 / 1 pass, 1 / 2 / 0 rush)
Smith had a nightmarish first half. He didn't have much time to throw, but he clearly internalized that reality and looked scared, tentative, and generally overwhelmed as he lead the 49ers to -7 yards passing in the first 30 minutes. The offense opened up in the second half comeback effort, and Smith was able to feed Vernon Davis in the middle of the field and made a few downfield completions to Michael Crabtree. The offensive line didn't do Smith any favors, but he is not doing anything to cement his status as the 49ers QB of the future.
2009 Week 12 vs JAX (27 / 41 / 232 / 2 / 0 pass, 3 / 8 / 0 rush)
Smith was decisive and came out firing hard, accurate throws. His maturity showed also, in that he was able to get the ball to the receiver gently when the play called for it. He spread the ball out well, and played very aggressively without making mistakes. Smith is clearly becoming more comfortable leading this offense. He's got great patience and vision, and a nifty play action handoff that fooled the entire defense for an easy touchdown to Vernon Davis. When he had to scramble, he often waited until the last possible second before releasing the ball. This resulted in one throw from the sideline, caught by Frank Gore, literally on his toes at the edge of the end zone boundary. With two go-to receivers in Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis, and a workhorse running back who can also catch the ball, Smith's prospects are only looking up. Also worth noting: the game plan was pass heavy from the start and stayed that way until they needed to burn the clock in the final drive.
2009 Week 13 vs SEA (27 / 45 / 310 / 2 / 0 pass, 1 / 1 / 0 rush)
Smith came out firing the ball downfield, as he had in the past couple of games - there is no doubt that the 49ers are now a pass first team. The Seahawks blitzed heavily, making it tough for him to make plays in the early going. Smith adjusted quickly, and found success working out of the shotgun and on rollouts. He usually looked for his downfield targets first, but did an excellent job of mixing up short and long throws to keep the defense off balance. Smith is quite accurate and puts a lot of zip on the ball, which gives his receivers a chance on most throws. But there were far too many misses and drops on good passes; Smith could easily have topped 350 yards and added another touchdown if not for the miscues. Not to mention the 49ers probably would have come away with the win.
2009 Week 14 vs ARI (19 / 35 / 144 / 2 / 2 pass, 4 / 2 / 0 rush)
It wasn't a great game for Smith, but it was good enough to win. He made some mistakes, like throwing into tight coverage (resulting in one of his interceptions), and not getting enough air under the ball to clear the Cards defensive line (resulting in a tip that was picked for his other interception), but Smith also leaned on Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree in the middle of the field to punish a defense that also couldn't contain Frank Gore. Smith's TD throw to Davis was a fastball into Davis's chest on a slant, and Crabtree snagged Smith's high ball over the middle on the other score. Smith showed savvy drawing three offsides calls with a hard count on the game's first drive, and he would probably be the presumptive opening day starter in 2010 if the season ended today.
2009 Week 15 vs PHI (20 / 37 / 177 / 1 / 3 pass, 1 / 1 / 0 rush)
Alex Smith struggled in the first half against the Philadelphia Eagles (7-17-61), throwing three interceptions as the Eagles disguised coverages well and forced several bad throws from the former first overall pick. Smith attempted to mount a comeback in the second half as he found Josh Morgan for a short touchdown and also connected with Michael Crabtree several times after intermission but it was too little too late. Smith does have one thing working in his favor as the 49ers travel home next week to host the Detroit Lions.
2009 Week 16 vs DET (20 / 31 / 230 / 1 / 0 pass, 3 / -3 / 0 rush)
Smith didn't look like a polished NFL QB, and frequently threw across his body when trying to complete a pass. A few balls sailed on him and he missed on several other passes that should have been completed. However, he managed to stay mistake free for the game, and completed the key big plays when it counted. In the first quarter, Michael Crabtree broke away from the defenders and was open deep down the field. Smith rolled out and threw it as far as he could, completing the pass to Crabtree for a big 50 yard gain. In the third, on 4th and 1, Smith found Gore as he released into the flats behind the defense. The DBS were keying on Crabtree deep and Gore was wide open. Smith laid a perfect pass to him and Gore had a catch and run that turned into a big 48 yard gain. Considering almost 100 of Smith's 230 yards came on these two plays, you can see how ineffective he was for most of the game. However, he kept the clock moving and mixed up the passes enough to keep the defense from keying on Gore when it counted. It was a big win for the Niners when they needed it most. Smith's TD pass was probably not necessary as he could have beaten his defender to the corner of the end zone. However when the defender pulled off of Vernon Davis, Smith stopped short (almost crossing the line of scrimmage) and flipped the ball over the defense to Davis for the TD pass.
2009 Week 17 vs STL (17 / 28 / 222 / 1 / 0 pass, 4 / 1 / 0 rush)
Smith had a few moments to remember as the game went on after a very conservative, underwhelming performance for most of the game. Smith wasn't challenging the Rams defense downfield too often, and he faced some pressure keeping him from always deliberately going through his reads. The 49ers had three and outs on eight of their first 11 possessions as Smith often settled for short passes. He finally broke through in the second half with a perfect deep ball to Vernon Davis, and later he hit Michael Crabtree deep, but the ball was underthrown, preventing a larger gain. Smith was off high on a lot of his throws to Crabtree, and overall he had a very mediocre day against a vulnerable defense.
2007 Week 1 vs ARI (15 / 31 / 126 / 0 / 0 pass, 3 / 36 / 0 rush)
Smith had a rough night except for the clutch fourth quarter, game winning drive. He struggled with his accuracy and ended the night 15 for 31 for only 126 yards. Sixty of those yards came on the game winning drive when he went six for ten for 60 yards. He rushed three times for 36 yards including a clutch fourth and one scramble for 25 yards down to the Cardinals' 20 yard line. He was sacked three times
2007 Week 2 vs STL (11 / 17 / 126 / 0 / 0 pass, 2 / -1 / 0 rush)
Smith did not have a good day. He occasionally showed athletic glimpses of his potential, but still looked like he is not close to being a top ten quarterback. He only gained 126 yards on 11 of 17 passing and he fumbled the ball away one time. He gained no ground yardage despite his acknowledged ability to scramble.
2007 Week 3 vs PIT (17 / 35 / 209 / 1 / 1 pass, 3 / 32 / 0 rush)
Smith focused on his tight ends in this game. He targeted Vernon Davis and Delanie Walker on ten of his eighteen first half pass attempts and 15 times during the game. He connected with Davis four times for 56 yards to account for half of San Francisco's total offense before halftime. Smith only attempted five passes to his wide receivers in the first half. He completed only one of them for 12 yards to Darrell Jackson. Smith was unable to hit a wide receiver on a big play until the game was effectively over. Taylor Jacobs' 21 yard touchdown reception was Smith's first touchdown of the season. Smith also threw his first interception of the season. There appeared to be a miscommunication on the play. Smith expected Jacobs to run an out. Jacobs instead cut in and Bryant McFadden was there waiting for the errant pass. McFadden returned the pick 50 yards for a touchdown to put the game away. The Steelers blitzed Smith frequently, forcing him to hurry passes or take off on the run. Smith remained composed, but was unable to complete half of his passes in the game. Smith did show that he is a nifty runner; he scrambled three times for 32 yards. Smith's 25 yard scamper was San Francisco's longest ground gain and tied his personal career long run.
2007 Week 4 vs SEA (0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Smith was sacked hard on the first series of the game and exited with a shoulder injury.
2007 Week 8 vs NO (22 / 43 / 190 / 1 / 0 pass, 4 / 16 / 0 rush)
Smith had a rough day. In the early going, it seemed as if nearly every pass was just a little off. And then when he did start throwing more consistently, his receivers would drop the ball. His injured shoulder looked to be a concern still, as he very clearly was favoring it anytime he got hit. His ability to scramble was useful, but with the wonky shoulder, he kept that to a minimum.
2007 Week 9 vs ATL (17 / 38 / 149 / 0 / 3 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Smith's shoulder appeared to be healthy, but he was plagued by inconsistency - on his part and that of his receivers. In the first half, he had a lot of time to throw and had some success passing - but overthrew open receivers on several occasions. After the half, he was more erratic, throwing under a bit more pressure. This resulted in a four turnover half (three interceptions, one fumble lost) by Alex Smith. In a four point game, that was the difference between the 49ers winning and losing.
2007 Week 10 vs SEA (12 / 28 / 114 / 0 / 0 pass, 1 / 6 / 0 rush)
Smith struggled to keep the San Francisco offense moving in the first half as evidenced by the fact that the 49ers' initial first down came as time expired in the second quarter. He attempted only seven passes over the first two quarters and finished the half with five completions that went for 62 yards. Contributing towards Smith's struggles in the first half was the fact that he was sacked three times and lost two fumbles. As bad as his first half was, Smith was unable to improve on his poor, pre-intermission performance. Over the last two quarters, he would only complete seven of 21 passes for 52 yards as he failed to lead the San Francisco offense on any scoring drives.
2006 Week 1 vs ARI (23 / 40 / 288 / 1 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Smith looked like he was capable of leading the 49ers' offense. He matched his touchdown total of 2005 by throwing a 31 yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis on the opening drive. Smith almost had a pass intercepted by David Macklin earlier in the drive. Smith had to deal with the loss of LG Larry Allen on the opening drive and Allen was unable to return. Allen suffered a knee injury, and is listed as doubtful for week two. LT Jonas Jennings injured an ankle and missed the end of the first half and the start of the second before returning. Smith was pressured from that side but was only sacked once during the game when running out of bounds for a loss. Smith found nine receivers during the game, but Antonio Bryant was clearly his favorite target. Bryant was also the main deep threat and had a 52 yard touchdown nullified on a holding penalty. Smith did a good job of involving Frank Gore in the passing game, finding him six times on nine targets. Smith was almost picked by Antrel Rolle when looking deep to Bryant late in the game.
2006 Week 2 vs STL (11 / 22 / 233 / 1 / 0 pass, 3 / -1 / 0 rush)
Smith does not appear to be the same player who at times looked so dreadful last season. He acted decisively in this game, and while he only completed half of his passes, he is learning how to be a legitimate NFL quarterback. In the third quarter Smith hit Antonio Bryant in stride at the 35 to complete a 72 yard TD play which put San Francisco up for good.
2006 Week 3 vs PHI (27 / 46 / 293 / 1 / 0 pass, 6 / 39 / 0 rush)
Smith was not given much of an opportunity to do anything, as he felt the effects of the Eagles' blitz most of the day. The blitz caused Smith to throw many inaccurate passes, missing his receivers either very far behind them or too far over their heads. He was sacked twice in the second half, and on both of the plays he fumbled the ball. He was able to recover one of those fumbles, but lost the other. Smith was better in the second half, as he looked more poised in the pocket and made some deep plays to try to get his team back into the game. The Eagles defense was just too much for the second year quarterback; however, he was able to finish the day 27-46 for 293 yards, no interceptions, and one touchdown. These were all career highs. He showed promise during several second half drives, especially during the third period when the 49ers were threatening a comeback.
2006 Week 4 vs KC (13 / 25 / 92 / 0 / 2 pass, 4 / 11 / 0 rush)
Smith came into this game beginning to look comfortable against NFL defenses. He was harassed and hurried throughout the contest and never became untracked. He compiled a horrible 27.4 passer rating. He totaled less than 100 yards passing, threw no touchdowns and was intercepted twice. He did show good mobility, which was essential, as the Chiefs were all over him all game. He was caught five times behind the line of scrimmage for sacks by the Chiefs' defense.
2006 Week 5 vs OAK (15 / 19 / 165 / 3 / 1 pass, 2 / 10 / 0 rush)
Smith played his best game as a pro making only one mistake. He threw the ball with great velocity and touch depending on the needed situation. He connected on a pair of touchdowns with WR Arnaz Battle on short bullet passes near the goal line. Each was fit in a small window with plenty of zip. Smith's one mistake was a short out that was jumped by CB Stanford Routt. Smith stared down WR Antonio Bryant on the play making it easy for Routt to pick off the pass. His longest completion and third touchdown came on a well-designed screen play. Third down RB Maurice Hicks took a short pass up the right sideline for the score.
2006 Week 6 vs SD (20 / 31 / 214 / 2 / 1 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Smith ran into a tough San Diego defense, but managed to hit 20 of 31 passes for 214 yards and two touchdowns. He earned a quarterback rating of 92.7 for the game. He threw one interception, which came off a deflected pass at the line of scrimmage, but happened late in second quarter when San Francisco was still in the game, only down 28 to 19. To finish with a 92.7 rating against a defense this good is saying something though.
2006 Week 8 vs CHI (14 / 25 / 135 / 1 / 2 pass, 5 / 23 / 0 rush)
Smith never really had a chance in this game. The 49ers trailed 10-0 before he ever took a snap. His first two passes gained zero yards. His third attempt was batted in the air and intercepted. On the 49ers' next offensive play, Smith was forced to scramble and fumbled after a three yard gain. On Smith's next pass play, he was sacked and the 49ers were forced to punt. San Francisco would manage only 31 yards on their first six possessions. Despite the 49ers' difficulties, Smith hung tough. He was under pressure throughout the game, but still completed 16 of his 26 passes for 146 yards and a touchdown. Smith's passes were crisp and generally right on the money. Smith's two lost fumbles hurt, but were hardly the reason the 49ers lost.
2006 Week 9 vs MIN (13 / 21 / 105 / 0 / 1 pass, 3 / 4 / 0 rush)
Smith had very bad numbers in the game, but did just enough to win the game. More importantly he did a better job of protecting the ball then his counterpart. Smith led San Francisco to there first score early in the second quarter on 54 yard drive in which 50 of the yards came from the passing game. The 49ers struggled to run the ball early, but did have success throwing it against the Vikings defense early in the half. Smith finished with 72 yards passing in the first half, but couldn't get into the end zone on two trips to the red zone in the first half. His only mistake came midway through the third quarter when cornerback Antoine Winfield made a nice interception on a ball intended for Antonio Bryant. He only had 33 yards passing in the second half and didn't convert any third downs in the second half. The 49ers scored only three points in the half and that came as result of a Darrion Scott personal foul.
2006 Week 10 vs DET (14 / 20 / 136 / 0 / 0 pass, 8 / 15 / 0 rush)
Smith was efficient and safe with the football completing 14 of 20 attempts without an interception. He just missed on a long toss to Antonio Bryant but the ball tipped off the receivers' fingertips in the end zone.
2006 Week 11 vs SEA (19 / 25 / 163 / 1 / 0 pass, 1 / 1 / 1 rush)
Smith ran an efficient offense, completing 19 of 25 passes for 163 yards and a touchdown. With RB Frank Gore running amok, the 49ers didn't need more than that from him. He was sacked only once and threw no interceptions. Smith had a touchdown to WR Arnaz Battle reversed by a booth review just before halftime and a separate 43 yard completion called back by penalty in the fourth quarter, further reducing his stat line.
2006 Week 12 vs STL (13 / 25 / 148 / 1 / 2 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
The former first overall draft pick is learning to lead this team and he is growing in maturity. Norv Turner is teaching him how to manage the game. Smith finished with a modest 13 of 25 with one touchdown. His threw two interceptions but they did not affect the outcome. Leading 14-13, Smith helped engineer a 13 play, 75 yard drive in the fourth quarter which could have nailed down the win if the 49ers converted third and one at the Rams seven yard line. Nolan elected to kick the field goal, instead of going for it on fourth down.
2006 Week 13 vs NO (14 / 28 / 171 / 1 / 3 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Smith was not very effective in moving the 49ers' offense, as he completed just half of his attempts. Smith threw deep often to his favorite target, WR Antonio Bryant, but they connected just once on a broken coverage by the Saints that ended with the only San Francisco touchdown of the game. Smith's only other pass for more than 20 yards went to rookie TE Vernon Davis, who ran a nice 21 yard down and out in the fourth quarter. Smith tried to force the ball deep often to Bryant, but the net results were often counterproductive. The Saints covered Bryant well and ended up with three interceptions on deep attempts towards him, which prevented the 49ers from coming back on the scoreboard. Without deeper completions, Smith was reduced to short passes to RB Frank Gore (5-28) and WR Arnaz Battle (4-43), as only four 49ers caught passes in Week 13.
2006 Week 14 vs GB (12 / 29 / 201 / 1 / 2 pass, 3 / 4 / 0 rush)
Smith struggled in this game, completing just 41% of his passes and throwing a key red zone interception in the final eight minutes of the game that otherwise could have brought the score to within ten at that point. Smith showed significant trust in his rookie tight end in this game, though that proved to be his downfall at the same time as Packers honed in on this part of the game plan.
2006 Week 15 vs SEA (14 / 25 / 162 / 2 / 0 pass, 6 / 33 / 1 rush)
After struggling through the last three games and the first half of this one, Smith exploded in the second half. He threw touchdown passes to TE Vernon Davis and emerging superstar Frank Gore, and showed considerable poise and athletic ability. He scrambled six times and scored one TD in on a naked bootleg near the end of the game, but also scrambled around the right side for another touchdown late in the second quarter. The play was called back on a holding penalty, but it was a run few NFL quarterbacks could have made.
2006 Week 16 vs ARI (18 / 29 / 190 / 0 / 1 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Smith had a game that mirrored the majority of his performances this season, 18 of 29 passing for 190 yards, zero touchdowns and one interception. The young signal caller wasn't helped by the suspension of starting wideout Antonio Bryant, or the four sacks Arizona was able to tally up. Smith's interception came early in the fourth quarter, and while the Cardinals failed to capitalize on that turnover, San Francisco gave the ball right back on their next possession on a Smith to Battle completion that ended in a Battle lost fumble.
2006 Week 17 vs DEN (17 / 32 / 194 / 1 / 1 pass, 3 / 8 / 0 rush)
Smith did not get into a comfort zone, but he showed moxie by overcoming an aggressive pass defense to use his mobility to make enough plays in the passing game to sustain drives. Smith mostly relied on shorter passes, and was accurate on those passes, but encountered problems when he attempted longer passes. He did a solid job of managing the game for the offense, and ensured he did not lose the game for his team.
2005 Week 2 vs PHI (0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 pass, 1 / 3 / 0 rush)
Number one draft pick Alex Smith made his NFL regular season debut when he came into the game with four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter and his team trailing 42-3. Smith threw just one pass, which went for an incompletion.
2005 Week 4 vs ARI (6 / 10 / 34 / 0 / 0 pass, 0 / 0 / 0 rush)
Smith came on in relief of Tim Rattay for the 49ers' final two drives. He completed his first regular season passes of his career. He finished six of ten for 34 yards against a mostly prevent defense. He certainly showed arm strength on a couple of throws and was able to take the 49ers into Cardinals' territory for only the second time.
2005 Week 5 vs IND (9 / 23 / 74 / 0 / 4 pass, 2 / 3 / 0 rush)
Smith took the first start of his NFL career, and was completely out matched. Smith threw the ball to 11 different 49ers' players, and three Colts' players. Facing an incredibly tough Colts' pass rush, Smith was sacked five times, and threw three interceptions. Throughout the game, Smith was just trying to get rid of the ball. He ended passing to six different running backs, and his TE just too quickly avoid the rush.
2005 Week 7 vs WAS (8 / 16 / 92 / 0 / 1 pass, 2 / 4 / 0 rush)
Smith had a rough day, as he was blitzed from all angles imaginable. Although he only threw for 92 yards, it was his best performance so far in his young career. Smith was blitzed on most downs, and this appeared to hinder his view of the middle of the field. He favored throwing towards the sidelines where visibility was better. He held on to the ball too long on a few occasions, one resulting in a fumble late in the second quarter that resulted in a Redskins' touchdown. His favorite target was Brandon Lloyd, whom he targeted whenever he felt pressure. Smith was able to gain yards on two rushes when plays broke down, but he was not able to use this element of his game consistently. On his first possession of the third quarter, Smith threw a pass that was intercepted by Sean Taylor and returned to the one yard line, leading to a score on the subsequent play.
2005 Week 13 vs ARI (16 / 24 / 185 / 0 / 3 pass, 4 / 12 / 0 rush)
It was another tough game for Smith. The rookie quarterback looked good in the first half, throwing for 138 yards on 11 of 12 passing, but completed only five of 12 passes for 47 yards and three interceptions in the second half. One of his interceptions was thrown into triple coverage, and his third came under two minutes in the game and ended any chance San Francisco had to tie the game on their last drive.
2005 Week 14 vs SEA (9 / 22 / 77 / 0 / 1 pass, 6 / 20 / 0 rush)
The learning curve continues for this rookie signal caller. He had a few positive moments, but most were punctuated by rookie-like mistakes, including a botched handoff and two occasions where the ball slipped out of the back of his hand while passing. In four starts this season, he still has not thrown for a touchdown.
2005 Week 15 vs JAX (8 / 24 / 123 / 0 / 1 pass, 4 / 30 / 0 rush)
Smith was under duress from the Jaguars' pass rush most of the game, and as a result rushed many of his pass attempts. He did show some athleticism as he avoided pass rushers and showed good speed to the outside when he left the pocket. When he did have time, Smith did try to make big plays by throwing deep, and did show a strong arm, despite only connecting twice on deep pass attempts. He kept the 49ers in the game despite going long stretches without completing passes. Smith looked for Brandon Lloyd early in the game, targeting him with six of the 11 passes he threw in the first half, but overthrew him several times. After Lloyd left the game due to injury, Smith tried to spread the ball around more, but kept overthrowing his receivers.
2005 Week 16 vs STL (12 / 16 / 131 / 0 / 0 pass, 7 / 21 / 0 rush)
Smith relied exclusively on short drops, quick releases and short passes. He was under pressure throughout the game, and despite the conservative approach, was still sacked and hurried several times. Smith was accurate on the short passes, and showed a willingness to run when he had to. He was not asked to take many chances, and as a result focused on managing the game and keeping the 49ers close, which he did.
2005 Week 17 vs HOU (16 / 29 / 159 / 1 / 1 pass, 4 / 10 / 0 rush)
Smith completed 16 of 29 passes for 159 yards and his first career touchdown. Wind was a factor on this afternoon at Monster Park and most of Smith's passes were of the short variety. He seldom had time in the pocket to set his feet and throw the ball down field. He was intercepted once.