During the Kansas City Chiefs' final three offensive drives last Sunday night against the Denver Broncos, quarterback Alex Smith completed 12 of 19 for 119 yards and a touchdown.
There was pressure, with the game seemingly on the line on every play on each of those drives.
"It's weird, but I think the crazier it gets, the calmer he is," Chiefs coach Andy Reid explained of Smith Wednesday afternoon when speaking with the media. "For whatever reason – that's just how he's wired. It seems to just calm everybody else down.
"It's a unique thing. It's one of the things that makes him a great player I think. He handles that very well."
The first of these three drives from Smith and company went 75 yards in less than three minutes at the end of regulation to tie the game following a successful two-point conversion, while the other two came in overtime—one to tie and one to win the game.
It's similar to the performance he had in the second half of the Week 1 comeback win against the San Diego Chargers, against whom the Chiefs trailed by 21 points in the second half. Smith completed 24 of 32 for 262 yards with 3 touchdowns (1 rushing) in the final 26 minutes of regulation and overtime to pull off the greatest second-half comeback in franchise history.
On the final two offensive drives of that game—when it mattered the most—Smith completed 7 of 8 passes for 74 yards and led the offense to two touchdowns.
"You can't say enough about Alex," tight end Travis Kelce, who had seven of his career-high 15 targets on Sunday during those final three drives, explained of Smith earlier this week. "I've said this since the day I got here, the guy is the most professional and the guy I want running my team. He's the guy I want behind the center making the calls and distributing the ball because he's going to take care of it and put the ball where it needs to be. He's a competitor and the list goes on.
"Everybody can say what they want about him, but here in Kansas City we know what we've got—we've got a championship-caliber quarterback and that's where we're headed."
The respect for Smith travels outside of the Chiefs locker room as well.
When asked on Wednesday afternoon about Smith's abilities, Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn praised the 11-year veteran for what he's seen on film as they prepare to host Smith and the Chiefs on Sunday afternoon.
"I would say sometimes there are things that don't show up on the stat sheet and you have to find it to say – man this guy is playing at a high level," Quinn explained of scouting Smith. "It's the decision-making, it's creating a scramble to go for a first down and it's putting the ball in the correct spot. When I watch him play we are all so impressed by his ability to make the right decision, against the right coverage.
"That's a real thing and not everybody has that awareness and you have to have experience to do that and he does. I recognize that some people measure everything only on stats, but that eight-win stat is pretty strong too. We're a believer in him and what he's capable of doing and how he is a big part of their offense."
Whether it was on the final three drives against the Broncos last Sunday or the fact that he's completed 69 percent of his passes for 762 yards with five touchdowns and just two interceptions combined this season in the fourth quarter and overtime, Smith gets it done for the Chiefs, who have won 66 percent of the games he's stepped under center for them over the past four years.
At the end of the day, the only stat that truly matters is winning, and the players in that Chiefs locker room know that more often than not, Smith is leading them in that direction when he's under center, even if the beauty in what he does isn't so obvious to some.