Alex Smith is a franchise quarterback. This statement is enough to send chills down some fans’ backs even to this day. Why? I’m not so sure. Is he Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees? No. Is he Matt Ryan or Joe Flacco? I’d say he is and even a little better. Smith had the unfortunate luck of having several different offensive coordinators during his first six years with the San Francisco 49ers. Between coordinators Mike Martz, Norv Turner, Jimmy Raye and Jim Hostler (who?), Smith could never get any continuity and therefore struggled until he had his first good season in 2009 with 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Jim Harbaugh took over as head coach in 2011 and everything seemed to click for Smith. Smith threw for 17 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions and over 3,000 yards for the first time in that year. He led the 49ers to a 13-3 record and a playoff victory over New Orleans that featured many lead changes before he finally connected with Vernon Davis with a touchdown with nine seconds left to give them the win. His leadership and other intangibles finally propelled him into a legitimate starting quarterback for the first time in his career. Smith followed that season up with an impressive start to the 2012 campaign throwing for 13 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions in eight games and a passer rating of 104.1 which ranked third in the NFL. He suffered a concussion in week nine and back up Colin Kaepernick took over the reigns and never let go putting Smith on the bench for good.
Enter the Chiefs. Andy Reid was hired and immediately knew he had to get a quarterback. The Chiefs traded the 49ers draft picks for Alex Smith and look what he has done as he is having a career year. Through 14 games, he has thrown for 23 touchdowns and only 6 interceptions while throwing for 3,160 yards which is a career high. His passer rating is 91.00 which ranks 10th in the NFL as well. What a coup for Andy Reid and the Chiefs. Smith is showing that he has what it takes to not only stay healthy, but lead by example and guide the offense to great productivity. Kansas City is 3rd in the NFL in points scored which is amazing considering the way the season started for the offense. Ever since the first Denver game in week 11, Smith has been more willing to go down field and create chances for big plays by the offense. Now the Chiefs are scoring in bunches, as Smith is really taking advantage of his biggest weapon in Jamaal Charles who had four touchdown passes thrown his way by Smith last Sunday versus Oakland. Smith may not be the flashiest, fastest, or have the rocket arm of other franchise quarterbacks, but what he does is win and lead and isn’t that what a franchise quarterback is all about?