Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

December 19, 2013

Chiefs' Smith building off perfect performance

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Alex Smith was perfect. At least, in terms of quarterback rating.

Sure, it's a mercurial number that nobody seems to quite understand: Factor completion percentage with yards, touchdowns and interceptions per attempt, and then scale each variable to a value somewhere between 0 and 2.375. For all anybody knows, you might need to throw pi in there somewhere.

But the upshot of it all is that it spits out a number with the average somewhere in the mid-80s, and an exceptional rating over 100. But the quarterback of the Chiefs managed a 158.3 last Sunday in Oakland, the highest number possible.

Noteworthy? Sure, especially considering the Chiefs needed all the offense it could muster in a 56-31 shootout with the Raiders that kept them in the AFC West title hunt.

"Yeah, stats. Teammates made me look good," Smith said in his typically muted fashion. "I didn't do much. I mean, three screens for touchdowns. I've never been a part of anything like that."

This is true. Jamaal Charles took a bunch of screen passes that traveled a total of about 15 yards through the air for a whole lot more, making Smith's numbers look gaudy.

But Smith still was 17 of 20 for 287 yards and five touchdowns without an interception. And to achieve a perfect rating, a quarterback must complete at least 77.5 percent of his passes with 12.5 yards per attempt, a touchdown on at least 11.875 percent of attempts, and no interceptions.

Check, check, check and check.

"Alex has been doing it the whole year," said Charles, who caught eight of those passes for 195 yards and four touchdowns in a virtuoso performance of his own.

In the history of the Chiefs, the only other quarterback to post a perfect rating with at least 20 attempts was Trent Green against the Detroit Lions on Dec. 14, 2003.

"It's been fun playing with Alex," Charles said. "Playing with a quarterback who can run the ball and take pressure off me and throw the ball in crucial situations — he motivates us so much in the huddle. He says, `Let's go.' We needed a quarterback like that, lead us to the way."

Perhaps it happened during his first few years in the league, when it appeared as if the former No. 1 draft pick was going to be a bust, when Smith became saddled with a reputation as a game manager: Weak arm, unwilling to take risks, wilts under pressure.

But over the past few years, beginning with his resurgence in San Francisco, Smith's evolved into a more complete quarterback. His confidence is soaring. He has complete command of Andy Reid's complex offense, and the result has been performances like the one he had in Oakland.

Or the one he had two weeks ago against Washington, a game played through sleet and snow. Smith was 14 of 20 for 137 yards and two touchdowns without an interception for a 122.3 rating.

That means that over the past two weeks, Smith has had two of the best nine games of his career in terms of quarterback rating (and the only perfect one). To put that into perspective, he'll be playing in his 95th game when the Chiefs host the Colts on Sunday.

"A lot of it just starts with his work ethic," Reid said, "the time and preparation that he puts in. There are rules and regulations in the offseason on how many hours you can spend in the building, and I had to kick him out so he wouldn't get put on secret-double probation before we even started.

"He just continued that as we've gone here," Reid said. "How he practice sis another big part. He's not joking around. When it's time to go, it's time to go. Each rep means something, and he wants to make sure he's right on each rep, and all the guys around him are right. We do a lot of things with personnel, formations, motions and shifts, so you have to have enough gigabytes to handle it."

Smith has proven that he can do that over the course of this season.

He's thrown for a career-best 3,160 yards and 23 touchdowns with two regular-season games remaining, while only throwing six interceptions. He's also run for a career-best 384 yards, second only to Charles for the most yards rushing on the team.

Those are just statistics, though. The only number that seems to mean much to Smith is 11 — as in the Chiefs are 11-3 heading into Sunday's game against Indianapolis.

That means a whole lot more than something as abstract as a quarterback rating.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • McMillan-blackboard.jpg Hometown brothers team up for RiverHawks football

    Northeastern State’s football program will include a pair of hometown brothers for the 2014 season.
    Mason McMillan returns for his sophomore season, and this year he will be reunited with his younger brother, Kourtland. The brothers graduated from Tahlequah High School – Mason in 2013, followed by Kourtland in 2014. At Tahlequah, Mason and Kourtland shared the gridiron for one season.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Yurcich ready for second season

    With the 2014 season on the brink, Mike Yurcich, Oklahoma State University football offensive coordinator, is ready for his second year at the helm after coaching a powerful offensive squad a year ago.

    July 28, 2014

  • James_Ethan-(12)-vs.#2CC63C.jpg Back on the line

    RiverHawks’ Ethan James returns to the line healthy and ready for 2014

    RiverHawks offensive lineman Ethan James will enter the 2014 season healthy – something the team, and James, were not in 2013.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Sooners shifting several positions

    Experience comes from encountering the same things in the same ways over and over again. Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom and Julian Wilson have that at defensive end and nickleback in bunches.
    However, both will be seeing new things when practice begins. Grissom is moving to outside linebacker. Wilson will be getting a look at cornerback as his senior season begins

    July 25, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • BobBowlsby.jpg Media Week: Change is coming

    Changes are coming to college athletics.
    That was the theme of the state of the conference speech by Big 12 Conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby on the first day of Big 12 Football Media Days.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peterson.jpg Cowboy quandary: OSU defense trying to replace seven starters

    A year after the best defensive team in the Mike Gundy era, the questions now surround how those few returning starters and second-year defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer can maintain that high level of efficiency.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Really one true champion?

    I decided to spare the colleagues in front of me – and myself from making a scene – by holding back flipping my table at the Big 12 Conference Football Media Days in Dallas.
    I had become exhausted by the constant use and misrepresentation by the Big 12 with their moniker of “One True Champion.” If they are going to live with the slogan, then they need to abide by that slogan.
    Perhaps its a simple case that they are keeping constant with the poor math of the 10-team Big 12 Conference.

    July 23, 2014

  • Hill expected to be used in multiple facets

    The picture became a little clearer recently of how Big 12 Conference Newcomer of the Year Tyreek Hill will be utilized in the Oklahoma State offense.
    And the picture is rather wide.

    July 23, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Press Sports Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US
Stocks