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Is This the Best Season of Alex Smith’s Career? Stats Say Yes

Posted Dec 19, 2017

The numbers are pretty clear

It’s the last thing he wants to talk about, but it’s hard to ignore the numbers.

For Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback Alex Smith, this is the best statistical season of his 12-year NFL career, and it’s not particularly close. 

Smith has already eclipsed his previous career-highs in passing yards (3,738), which currently puts him sixth in the league, touchdown passes (25), which ranks fifth, touchdown-to-interception ratio (5:1 – 25 TDs, 5 INTs), which is the best in the league, and he’s also on pace to surpass his previous bests in terms of yards per attempt (8.02) and quarterback rating (105.4).

The numbers all say the same thing and that’s just a few of them, and this is still with two regular-season games left to play.

Furthermore, it’s important to remind everyone that it’s not like this came out of nowhere. 

It was discussed daily at training camp, where Smith and Tyreek Hill were developing the chemistry that’s become a main storyline for the season. It was even written about multiple times, including in an article titled, “The Alex Smith-to-Tyreek Hill Connection is Real,” which posted back on August 5.

They worked to get to this point.

But since the numbers started talking in games and the work during camp has translated over to when it counts, it’s undeniable—it’s Smith’s best season, even if he doesn’t want to discuss it while he’s living in the moment.

“I think it’s easy to look at stats and come to those conclusions,” Smith answered recently to a question of whether or not he thinks this is his best season. “Really, for us, that’s a time for the offseason. You can’t get in to all that. There’s no time right now. I do feel like offensively, as far as my involvement in what we are doing and how explosive we can be when we are operating, yeah, we are pretty effective (right now). 

“I am feeling pretty good about that.”

Smith set his personal yards passing record two weeks ago against the Oakland Raiders, and his touchdown record was set last Saturday night against the Chargers.

The pass that gave Smith 24 touchdowns for the season, which surpassed his previous career-high of 23 that was set back in 2013 in his first year in Kansas City, was the 64-yard bomb to Tyreek Hill, who picked up his 11th touchdown of 50-plus yards in his career on the play as well.

“You just let it go,” Smith explained of the play. “There isn’t a ton of thinking with [Hill], which is nice, you just kind of let it go. He just has such an ability to track down footballs and make the play.”

“He almost overthrew me,” Hill laughed when asked about the play. “I went to the sidelines and gave him crap for it, but it was a good ball and I was able to run up under it.”

“I did think in the back of my head if I did overthrow him on that one,” Smith joked.

A bit later, Smith hit running back Kareem Hunt for a three-yard score, which gave him his 25th touchdown pass of the season. He’s now just five short of the Chiefs’ franchise record, which was set by Pro Football Hall of Famer Len Dawson, who had 30 back in 1964.

And while these records and numbers don’t mean anything to Smith right now, they are one way of explaining some of the success the Chiefs’ offense has had this year. 

But perhaps the one stat that illustrates Smith’s season more than any other is the fact that when the Chiefs have been trailing this year, Smith is stepping up—completing 72 percent of passes with 15 touchdowns and just two interceptions, while averaging 8.82 yards-per-attempt.

Smith and the Chiefs face the Miami Dolphins Sunday afternoon at Arrowhead Stadium, and a win will give them the AFC West championship for the second year in a row, which has never happened in franchise history.

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