Alex Smith proves to be more than a game manager in prolific first half vs. Colts
Well, nobody expected this. The Kansas City Chiefs, a road playoff team who scored more than 30 points in an entire game just three times in the regular season, went into the locker room at halftime of their wild-card game against the Indianapolis Colts with a 31-7 lead. By doing so, they became the first playoff team to score on their first five drives since the 2004 Indianapolis Colts, and the second road playoff team to score that many points in the first half — the 1987 Minnesota Vikings did the same. And they did this with running back Jamaal Charles, their primary offensive weapon, out of the game after a first-quarter concussion.
The main instigators were Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith and the Colts’ Swiss-cheese defense, but it’s Smith who deserves the credit. Smith has always been a relatively limited arm talent, but he didn’t need to zip it in there for his 79-yard touchdown pass to Donnie Avery after Avery blew past Indy’s coverage with 14:49 left in the second quarter.
Not sure what defensive back Greg Toler was doing there, but we’re going to go ahead and assume that’s not how it looks in the Colts’ defensive playbook.
Smith threw three touchdown passes in the game’s first 17 minutes, and the third was this nifty shovel pass to running back Anthony Sherman.
(GIFs courtesy Bleacher Report)
Smith finished the first half with 14 completions in 23 attempts for 217 yards, those three touchdowns, no picks and a quarterback rating of 131.7. When he was with the San Francisco 49ers, Smith threw three touchdown passes against the New Orleans Saints in the 2011 playoffs — and it took him 42 attempts to pull that off. He looks nothing like the quarterback who Jim Harbaugh directed to throw the ball at the first sign of trouble — now, Smith climbs the pocket under pressure and makes the play as he didn’t before. He added 41 rushing yards on six scrambles for good measure.
And because he’s able to do all these things, the Colts are in a lot of trouble.