Chiefs quar­ter­back Smith has per­haps best sea­son of ca­reer

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Dave Skretta

kansas city, mo.» Alex Smith had just led the Kansas City Chiefs to an­other win in what has be­come a sea­son full of them when of­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor Doug Ped­er­son was asked to as­sess his quar­ter­back.

Rarely one to speak in su­perla­tives, Ped­er­son replied can­didly, say­ing, “I think he’s prob­a­bly hav­ing the best sea­son of his ca­reer.”

Pick your met­ric, and it prob­a­bly backs up that appraisal.

Smith threw for 3,486 yards this sea­son, by far the most of his 10-year ca­reer. He com­pleted more than 65 per­cent of his throws, match­ing his best mark for a full sea­son. He tossed 20 touch­down passes, se­cond only to his first sea­son in Kansas City. He ran for nearly 500 yards, also a ca­reer best.

Then there’s the most im­por­tant mea­sure: wins. Af­ter los­ing five of their first six, Smith led the Chiefs to 10 con­sec­u­tive vic­to­ries to fin­ish the reg­u­lar sea­son.

He made it 11 with a 30-0 rout of the Hous­ton Tex­ans on Satur­day and will try to make it 12 when Smith leads Kansas City into New Eng­land for a divi­sional matchup this Satur­day.

“Num­bers may not be up there with some of the top guys in the league, but his wins and losses are,” Ped­er­son said. “He’s un­der­stand­ing what we’re ask­ing him to do. We’ve given him more op­por­tu­ni­ties in games to get us out of cer­tain things or put us into cer­tain things. He’s lead­ing this foot­ball team like we knew he was ca­pa­ble of do­ing, and given us op­por­tu­ni­ties to win games.”

Smith bris­tles at the no­tion that he’s a “game man­ager,” as if that’s a deroga­tory term re­served for quar­ter­backs one step down from elite. But in his case, it may be a flat­ter­ing de­scrip­tion.

Not many sig­nal call­ers in the league make fewer mis­takes than Smith, who threw just seven picks all sea­son.

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