Chiefs QB Alex Smith's "Fire" Impresses Coaches, Teammates

Smith helped lead the Chiefs to their seventh straight victory on Sunday

The Kansas City Chiefs went into Sunday's game against the San Diego Chargers averaging 32.3 points per game throughout their six-game winning streak.

Over the course of a 60-minute game, this comes out to roughly a half a point per minute, and if you assume the time of possession is split about 50-50, that's about a point per minute that they would actually have the ball.

On Sunday, the Chiefs were scoreless after 28 minutes of play to start the game, which was abnormal considering they had always got going fairly early—averaging 14 points per game in the first half during this current winning streak.

But the Chiefs and Chargers were scoreless until late in the first half.

Why?

For the Chiefs, 2 turnovers, 5 penalties and a general lack of execution thwarted an offense that had been so good, so quick during this AFC-leading six-game winning streak.

What changed the tune on Sunday?

After gaining only 133 yards of total offense in the first 28 minutes of the game, there was one play that seem to ignite the Chiefs offense late in the first half.

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Alex Smith doesn't generally show a lot of emotion, but after his 6-yard run on third-and-3 with a little more than 3 minutes remaining in the first half, Smith got in the face of Chargers defensive back Jahleel Addae, who Smith felt like led with his head when he was laying on the ground.

This is the play that ignited the offense.

"I blacked out there for a second, so I had no idea what really happened," Smith said with a laugh after the game. "No, I got fired up, a bunch of [the offensive linemen] jumped in. We have a good crew of really competitive guys.

"I think it was just trying to get us going, get me going. It felt like some of the stuff, they tried to head-hunt a little bit there.

"I was jacked up."

During their first 20 plays of the game before Smith's run, the Chiefs had averaged a respectable 6.5 yards per play.

In the five offensive plays that followed, they would average more than 17 yards per play and the game would ultimately be won.

The five plays after that Smith run totaled 89 yards, highlighted by the 44-yard hookup between Smith and Albert Wilson, which put the Chiefs on the board and was the only touchdown scored by either team in the game.

It also came just one play after Smith's third-down conversion run, which was 1 of 5 rushes for Smith on the day (totaling 40 yards on the ground).

"[Smith] showed a lot of fire on that play," Chiefs coach Andy Reid explained. "His legs have helped us and I know he's getting up there a little bit, but he knows how to protect himself when he goes down, which is important."

The offense had 6 plays on the day that gained 18 or more yards, and three came in the five plays that followed that run.

There was the 44-yard touchdown to Wilson, and then on their next offensive drive, Smith found Maclin for 21 yards on the first play of the series. Smith scrambled again for another 18 yards just one play later.

That set up the Cairo Santos' 40-yard field goal with just 7 seconds remaining in the half.

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Smith said after the game that there's no ill will towards Addae.

"He's a physical player. Nothing against him, he brings it," he explained. "He hits hard. It's a division game and it's going to be heated—that's what football's about.

"It was that type of game, for sure."

The Chiefs have now won all types of games during this winning streak after starting the season with a 1-5 record.

A lot of the reason for the turnaround this season has been the play of Smith, who picked up his 27th win as the starting quarterback in Kansas City, tying former great Trent Green (2001-03) for the most in franchise history in their first three years with the team.

"It's good to see, especially from a guy like Alex [Smith,]" running back Charcandrick West said of the emotion shown by his quarterback. "When the leader is fighting for the team, everyone is going to get behind him."

In the 2 minutes that followed Smith's run and display of emotion, the Chiefs took a 10-0 lead after going scoreless for the first 28 minutes of the game.

It may have been coincidental, but the fact is the offense made big plays and scored 10 points immediately following that display of fire from the quarterback, and that was the difference in the Chiefs picking up their seventh straight win.

That kind of fire can't be bad from your leader.

Postgame facts and stats from the Chiefs Week 14 win over the Chargers

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