Kansas City is known for its barbecue, but that’s not the only thing currently roasting right now.
Let’s shelve hyperbole: the Kansas City Chiefs are very bad.
Stop mentioning the first five weeks of the season. No team has made its hot start this irrelevant this quickly.
Coming out of the bye week, Kansas City should have waxed the Giants. That’s a game you have weeks to plan for and it also happens to come against a team that, at the time, had one win. On top of that, the Chiefs were in desperate need of turning around a season that is slowly slipping away.
Alex Smith isn’t the problem but it’s a catalyst for everything going wrong. He has aggressively regressed back to what Chiefs fans were always afraid he was: garbage. Through the first five weeks of the season he looked like an MVP candidate, now he the calls for Patrick Mahomes are getting more and more justified.
Check his stats, and Smith looks every bit the game manager he is. But check the film and you’ll see missed throws and bad decisions that put the Chiefs in the position they were. Save for one huge play, the offense for Kansas City was dormant at best and regressive at worst.
On one play late in the game, Smith had three open receivers on third down and threw it to the one guy who wasn’t open. That was a theme throughout the day and it’s nothing new. You can’t blame all of the Chiefs problems on Smith but he’s a key domino that sets off a chain reaction when he’s not playing well.
Without a passing game, the Chiefs have no run game (duh, right?). Kareem Hunt is still a fantastic running back, but when defenses know what to expect from him it’s incredibly easy to stop him. People wonder why his once Rookie of the Year numbers have fallen off, and it’s because Smith’s struggles make the offense one dimensional. The defense has its own problems but never getting any time to rest because the offense is going three-and-out isn’t on Bob Sutton.
At this point, starting Patrick Mahomes is a change of pace that Kansas City needs. It might not fix anything but that’s not the point. The train has gone so far off the rails that something needs to be done. Whatever is going on right now isn’t working, plain and simple. Switching quarterbacks doesn’t have to be complicated. Andy Reid has everything to gain and basically nothing to lose by benching Smith in Week 13. Fans are already starting to ask questions about Reid’s job, and that’s only going to get louder the longer he sits on his hands and doesn’t do something to change the momentum.
Smith has done nothing to keep his job and the argument that Mahomes can’t be rushed is getting weaker with each loss. The backup quarterback is always the fan’s favorite player, but each passing week sees Chiefs Kingdom more and more justified in making that call. No one is expecting Mahomes to go full Tom Brady and win the Super Bowl, but not starting him after what we’ve seen from this offense in the last month borders on neglect.
A reckoning is coming, make no doubt about it. Alex Smith isn’t the only problem (Bob Sutton might not want to lay down any more roots in Missouri). Kansas City once looked like it could be the top seed in the AFC. Now it’s in danger of missing the playoffs entirely or being a quick out in the Wild Card. Changes are coming, but it’s hard to see the Chiefs figuring this mess out before it’s too late.