The beginning of the season the Chiefs came out firing and Kareem Hunt burst on the scene. Andy Reid created a new offensive playbook that had never been seen before. Hunt was unstoppable and Alex Smith had hushed the crowd with deep throws and outstanding play. Kansas City was 5-0, the NFL was in awe, Chiefs fans were happy with high hopes. The last 5 games have been the exact opposite for the Chiefs, losing 4 games, no run game with Hunt and Smith is back to being inconsistent.
The entire team’s play has continued to diminish as the season has gone on, injuries have inflicted key role players on the offense and defense. Losing Chris Conley for the year has left more of an impact than expected and with Albert Wilson continuing to miss games due to a hamstring injury the offense is out of sync. Smith had great chemistry with Conley and Wilson; not having those two on the field in pressure situations has added to his struggles. This is part of the reason Smith is caught on film starring down rushers, getting happy feet and not keeping his eyes downfield.
Yes, Smith has Tyreek Hill but Reid has used him as decoy more in the offense than as a consistent receiver for Smith unless they are attacking deep. Hill has exceptional route running capabilities and as we all know his speed is the most impressive tool. Hill has great acceleration, so it would be helpful to have him run more curl routes.
Smith needs another reliable target that he can trust, Demarcus Robinson has stepped up nicely but it is clear there is no chemistry. All offseason and in camp Smith was throwing to Conley, Hill, Wilson, Demetrius Harris, and Travis Kelce. Conley goes down week five and leaves a significant role open. Robinson has played well, but his route running and reliability are why the chemistry with Smith appears to be almost non-existent.
The Chiefs offense contained a lot of movement in the beginning of the season with the ball going different ways each time. As the season has gone on, all those pre-snap motions have become similar with only select options for the Chiefs to attack with. This far into the season opposing Defenses know how to stop the gimmicks when they are shown pre-snap. Reid has stayed consistent with his particular motion plays and Smith continues to make the same reads. Which is why the underneath shovel pass to Kelce was blown up last week.
The pass rush has got to Alex the last couple weeks, maybe not physically but definitely mentally. Smith is literally staring at edge rushers once the ball is snapped and not making his reads, that blows the play up immediately. It is clear that he is thinking too much, knowing he isn’t performing well and panics on particular plays.
There were several instances last week where those actions were clear, with receivers breaking open later in their routes but Smith already dropped his eyes. One key possibility for these issues could be Smith has lost trust in his offensive line, it would make sense because the line is finally back to their starters after being banged up for a couple of weeks.
There are six weeks left in the season, which gives Smith plenty of time to get back on track and get this team rolling again. Reid needs to stay consistent in his play calling; not get “pass-happy” and the trick throws need to stop too. Losing back to back is not fun for anyone, but the Chiefs have a good coaching staff and great locker room chemistry. They will regain themselves and start producing.
As for Alex Smith, last week was his worst game of the season. Smith realizes his performance was poor, he is a veteran in this league. He knows what he is capable of and will get himself back to where he was at the beginning of the season.
The Patrick Mahomes talk is absolutely absurd, no matter how poorly the offense has looked the past five weeks, Mahomes is not the answer right now. Honestly, Mahomes should not play a single down this season. Everyone sees the weak chemistry between Smith and Robinson due to lack of mutual playing time. Imagine the same thing with Mahomes, but it is with the entire receiving core. Plus, going into December in the latter half of the season. What message does that send to the rest of the team? Especially the veterans?
After seeing what happened in Buffalo with their situation, there is no reason to even consider Mahomes coming in this season. Not to say that would happen to Mahomes, but why even risk it? The first five games fans were screaming “We are going to the Super Bowl, then the following five games fans are wanting to see major changes on the depth chart and coaching staff.
Four of the next six games are at home which will play a key reason in the Chiefs finding their rhythm again. The past five weeks have been hard to watch, but this is the NFL and honestly, no one never knows what is going to happen. The next six weeks are going to fly by and then it is win or go home time. The Chiefs are still two games up in the AFC West and have an opportunity to go 12-4. The Chiefs are in a rough spot right now, but these guys trust and believe in one another.
Chiefs Kingdom should do the same.
If you would like to receive an email each time a new Kansas City Chiefs article is published, fill out our email notification form