The Kansas City Chiefs are lead by head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Alex Smith. Reid is well known for having coached the Philadelphia Eagles for 13 seasons before moving on to the Chiefs in 2013. Smith is the first pick by the San Francisco 49ers the year that Aaron Rodgers sat in the green room waiting until the 24th pick to go to Green Bay in 2005. He’s also the guy the 49ers let go, choosing to start Colin Kaepernick instead. During the draft, the Chiefs traded away their 1st, 3rd and their 1st in 2018 to move up 17 slots to pick quarterback Patrick Mahomes II from Texas Tech. Smith had to see the San Francisco scenario playing out before him again as 2017 started.
Smith and the Chiefs started off hot, winning the first five games of the season. The last undefeated team of 2017. Then things turned and they lost six of their next seven games, leaving the team at six and six with four games left. They would win those last four games, locking up the division with a 10-6 record only to lose in the first round of the playoffs to the Tennessee Titans. The Chiefs had been winning by 10 points only to lose 22-21 in the end. That is their 11th playoff loss in their last 12 tries. The team got great play out of their rookie running back Kareem Hunt. The team has a lot of the components to continue moving in the right direction, but now have some big questions to answer and have to figure out why the lost so many in a row in the middle of the season.
This really comes down to two things. What they’re going to do at quarterback and how well the offense transitions from Matt Nagy to recently promoted running backs coach Eric Bieniemy as offensive coordinator. Nagy has been hired by the Chicago Bears to be their new head coach. Bieniemy, a former running back himself, moves up to the OC spot to help keep the continuity, plus Reid could go back to play calling. But the bigger issue comes down to whether they give Mahomes the reins or another year on the pine. The Chiefs could easily put Smith up for trade and there are a number of teams that would be interested… including Denver, Chicago and Cleveland. The team may have gone as far as they will with Smith, but they don’t know what they have in Mahomes and making the move could turn out to be disastrous.
Smith is the safe bet. He’s been good in the five season he’s been there. But the team seems to be interested in more than just good or they wouldn’t have traded away this years first round picks for Mahomes. Don’t be surprised if you see Smith wearing something other than red next year.