Television journalist. Reporter and host at ESPN.

Road Diary

Week 4: Alex Smith MVP?


The Kansas City Chiefs remain the only undefeated team in the NFL at 4-0 thru 4 weeks of the schedule. And they got it done in comeback fashion and a last second kick. 

When you do something really well, you get more confident doing it. It's called reps. And the Chiefs have more wins than any other NFL team in the last two seasons where they've overcome 10 point deficits. So not only are they battling back but they are closing out games in the 4th quarter where they are outscoring oponents 54-13 this season...

Judging from their comments in the locker room, the Chiefs are putting the rest of the NFL on notice. For TE Travis Kelce going undefeated isn't an accident.
"It's a testament to the team.. the way we won.. we handled adversity and we won, " Kelce told us. "It' s a testament to our team, let's people in the league know that we finish"

Let's not forget the kicker, Harrison Butker: "It was an awesome way to start out... on Monday Night Football."

Butker's game winning field goal redeemed himself after missing an opportunity to tie the game at the end of the first half. Butker is a mechanical engineering graduate from Georgia Tech -- and was literally signed this week to replace Cairo Santos while he's injured. This wasn't just his primetime debut, it was his NFL debut.

Let's get to Alex Smith... 

Smith did everything the team wanted him to do last night -- guys, the 2017 version of Smith is nearly unrecognizable. He's always been sneaky mobile, and that hasn't changed. But now, the quarterback roaming the field for Kansas City is leaving his comfort zone and throwing deep lasers with pinpoint precision.
I remember a 37-yard dart Smith sailed perfectly into wide receiver Albert Wilson's waiting hands. He had to lob the throw over two defenders and still got it there before safety Montae Nicholson arrived.

Smith's deep connection with Wilson on the game-winning drive was his fifth 20-plus-yard completion of the night. That came from a quarterback who averaged 2.6 completions for 20-plus yards over his 15 starts in 2016.

He finished with 293 passing yards and a touchdown. But what's most impressive is how consistent Smith was with his deadly accuracy on the run and facing pressure.

Kareem Hunt told me about Smith's running ability after the game:  “if you are in trouble run, he is a great pocket runner, a great leader." 

"I hope I'm showing toughness all the time," Smith said. "There's a lot of ways to show toughness as a quarterback. It's not always overtly running the football and getting tackled. A lot of times I think the biggest thing for a quarterback is that mental toughness of you're getting hit and getting hit and getting hit and not letting that speed up your time clock. Not letting that affect you. Being able to stand in there and make throws. It's not as overt as running the ball and getting hit.”

He can take a hit though. Smith has now gone down four-plus times in three straight games, and has taken 16 sacks overall. accurate, stretching the field, winning games and keeping Mahomes where he wants him, on the bench.