We’re now firmly in tightrope-walking season. If the Chiefs were so amazed by Smith’s record, why would they be looking to move on in the first place? Is Smith actually thrilled, or is he simply smarter now having gone through this in San Francisco with Colin Kaepernick? Also, does Patrick Mahomes really plan on sitting for two seasons?
Kansas City is one of the few markets that might be able to handle a baton-passing scenario, though none of them seem to go according to plan. Chiefs fans are well aware of the team’s veteran-laden roster and possess some high expectations for 2017. Would they hesitate for a moment to boo Smith if he wasn’t maximizing the talent around him?
In the immediate aftermath of their season-ending playoff loss to the Steelers, coach Andy Reid assured reporters he could still win with Smith. When it was pointed out two weeks later that the comments weren’t exactly a ringing endorsement, Reid left little room for equivocation.
“Alex is our quarterback — there’s no question about that or anything else,” Reid told the Kansas City Star in late January. “I surely didn’t want to insinuate that (was not the case) at all.”
Mahomes gained steam as the draft process wore on. With teams like the Cardinals and Texans interested in the quarterback. K.C. moved up to ensure they’d get their man.
Coming from a spread offense, Mahomes needs time to adjust to an NFL offense. He couldn’t have landed in a better spot than working with Andy Reid.
This was a game of missed opportunities for the Chiefs. They were stuffed twice on the goal line in the first half, including a fourth-down try by Spencer Ware. Alex Smith’s awful third quarter interception in the end zone helped turn the game around. After a fantastic first half by Smith, the Chiefs offense was scoreless after halftime.
After Smith’s pick, the Chiefs picked up a total of 30 yards in their next three drives. When push came to shove, needing three yards to ice the game late, Reid called for an option run by Smith rather than a throw. It was a safe call and safe didn’t work against the Titans.
It was a strange atmosphere at Qualcomm Stadium for what could be the team’s final game in San Diego. Most of the fans I spoke with said they left last year’s final home win in tears but they were more angry and annoyed this season.
“We supported this team when we didn’t have much to support most years and now they might leave us? That’s unacceptable,” Sally Morgan, a longtime season ticket holder said.
A few days later, several hundred miles south in New Jersey, the New York Jets endured what might have been their worst practice of training camp. They were a name-tag-needed collection of young players who struggled so completely to execute an offense that one longtime NFL personnel man in attendance advised a reporter to start researching the worst offenses in NFL history.
Little more than two months later, the season has not developed quite the way anybody anticipated. Cooks has been a solid contributor in New England, but he’s not yet a game changer, as the Patriots’ offense has sputtered in Julian Edelman’s absence amid struggles to protect Brady. And Jets quarterback Josh McCown’s completion percentage (71.4) is second in the league and five points better than his previous career high — so good that this week, Bill Belichick praised the journeyman as a smart, tough quarterback for whom he has a lot of respect. This Sunday, the 3-2 Patriots and 3-2 Jets will meet with first place in the AFC East on the line. That’s not a typo, and it’s as startling a development in the early part of the season as there has been.