The Chiefs were thought to be a Super Bowl contender the minute Raiders QB Derek Carr went down, but those dreams were shattered prematurely Sunday night at home in a nightmarish 18-16 loss to the Steelers.
Some will point the finger at Andy Reid, the ultra conservative coach who hasn’t delivered in the postseason in recent years. In the last eight years, Andy Reid has won … one playoff game. He had a good run early in Philly, but since 2009, he’s 1-5 in the postseason (0-2 in Philly, 1-3 in KC).
But for all of Reid’s regular season success, I feel he’s hindered because he’s got the weakest QB of any Super Bowl contender in Alex Smith. The only argument could be Houston, which is led by the immortal Brock Osweiler (for now). But who thought Houston was a Super Bowl contender at any point in the season?
Pro Alex Smith: He’s got 12 TDs and only 2 INTs in six playoff games!
Con Alex Smith: Nine of those TDs came in his first three playoff games (two in San Francisco; one in the heartbreaking loss to Andrew Luck and the Colts).
Smith is just safe enough to get the Chiefs to the playoffs with 10 or 11 wins. He avoids turnovers, let the defense and special teams carry you. The Chiefs scored more non-offensive touchdowns than any team in the NFL. But they didn’t get one Sunday night.
What is Smith not? He’s not dynamic. He’s not going to go on a magical postseason run and carry a team to the Super Bowl. Nothing in his 11-year career suggests he can put a team on his back like Eli Manning or Joe Flacco or sniff what Aaron Rodgers has done in these playoffs, and lift a team to the Super Bowl. It’s not a knock against Smith, either. Look at the last decade in the NFL: The only outlier QB to reach the Super Bowl? Rex Grossman.
Smith turns 33 years old in May and is not likely to get better. One thing he has been is mobile, but how long will that be the case? This year, he suffered a serious concussion that kept him out a game, and his rushing numbers took a big dip–498 rushing yards last year compared to 134 this year.
The good news? Moving on from Alex Smith isn’t financial suicide this season. But then the question becomes: Well who can you get?
Tony Romo. The Cowboys have to part ways with him. If Romo wants to start somewhere for a year or two (maybe three depending on his health), he’s got to leave Dallas. Financially, the Cowboys are in much better shape with Dak as their QB and Romo moving on.
For the Chiefs to take the next step – from 10/11 win team to reaching the Super Bowl – Tony Romo is their best option. Do the Chiefs want to win the regular season again, only to flop in the playoffs? Or do they want to roll the dice with Romo, the QB on the market with the highest upside?