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View Full Version : Chiefs Alex Smith sheds Captain Checkdown label, becomes Captain Comeback


Hammock Parties
09-12-2016, 07:18 AM
:hmmm: :)

http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/sam-mellinger/article101279167.html


The moment that must’ve seemed impossible during Alex Smith’s career, and that certainly appeared impossible on a gorgeous fall afternoon, felt like being sideswiped by a racehorse.

Football careers and reputations are made in these blinks, between all the violence, and when Smith saw the defender play the pitch he tucked and dived for the goal line, a dozen years in the NFL making him well aware that he was now less of a quarterback than a billiards ball. The defensive end trucked him from the side, and two linebackers led their shoulders to his helmet.

The Chiefs quarterback heard “touchdown” over the loudspeakers. He fist-pumped a little. He slapped hands with his teammates. The modern NFL means no celebration is official until further review.

So Smith walked to an open space, watched the replay on the video board (he couldn’t tell much) and waited for the official to confirm what everyone left from a sold out crowd hoped to be true — that the quarterback who couldn’t come back had just finished the greatest comeback in Chiefs history with a 33-27 overtime win over the Chargers in the season opener at Arrowhead Stadium.

Those first few seconds were chaos, Chiefs players and coaches swarming each other in what must’ve been at least a half dozen mini mosh pits. Smith, who typically shows all of the emotion of a shoelace, went bonkers. He screamed. He raised his arms. He cursed into the noise. He punched the air, strutting toward the seats, swarmed by photographers, his finest single moment in four years with the Chiefs.

“Definitely kind of lost it,” Smith said.

The most anticipated and promising Chiefs season in at least a decade began in as wild, confounding, agonizing and ultimately inspiring way possible. It was, basically, their 2015 season — from 1-5 to a playoff win — played out in game form.

There are any number of ways to quantify how unlikely this all was. The empty seats were a clue, at least one-third of fans leaving sometime between halftime and a rally from 21 points down that took a series of twists you wouldn’t believe in a movie. Using Pro Football Reference’s win probability calculator, there was a point in the fourth quarter the Chiefs were less likely to win than the Royals’ low point in the 2014 Wild Card Game.

Neither Smith nor the Chiefs, have ever seen anything quite like this. It’s the biggest comeback since the franchise was born, and the first time the Chiefs have won with Smith leading a late touchdown drive that broke a tie or erased a deficit.

He is Captain Checkdown, not Captain Comeback, and by now tired “game manager” quips didn’t appear out of thin air. Smith is 3-40-1 when his opponent scores 24 or more points, and just for context that win percentage (.069) is around one-third as well as all teams did last year (.211).

Before Sunday, he had won just one of 13 such games with the Chiefs, and fans of a certain intensity will remember the win came when Jamaal Charles essentially turned simple screen passes into unstoppable forces in Oakland three years ago.

Len Dawson, the Hall of Fame quarterback and broadcaster, sat on a chair in the winning locker room. More than 50 years he’s been around this game, and he couldn’t immediately think of anything like what he’d just seen.

“From their point of view,” he said, “it should’ve been (over).”

This was a grinder’s comeback. The Chiefs got some breaks — the Chargers went into a sort of prevent offense, and the officials may have missed a push off by Travis Kelce on a key play in overtime — but they did this as a comeback of a thousand cuts rather than a few enormous blows.

There was no blocked punt, no pick-six, no single dynamic play. Just a stubborn refusal to accept the scoreboard, and perhaps the confidence of pulling off a similarly improbable comeback over the 2015 season’s final 10 games.

At halftime, Smith — cliched even in rallying cries — talked about needing to go play by play because there is no such thing as a 17-point play. Mitchell Schwartz, the new right tackle, talked of coming back from 28-3 a few years ago with the Browns — the greatest comeback by a road team in league history. Spencer Ware remembered a wild game in high school, back in Cincinnati.

“We know what’s in us,” Ware said. “We were down. No energy. Not really any big plays, but we just believed in ourselves. In the system. Believed in the coaches.”

We can all remember moments, either from a game we played or one we watched, but those are lifetime memories precisely because they are so rare. What are the chances, when the defense is being torn apart from the middle, and the offense can only move sideways?

Asked after the game at what point he believed the Chiefs were going to win, Smith immediately changed the question, and couched it — “not that we were going to win, but I knew we had a shot, twice.” It was that kind of game.

Smith’s long track record aside, maybe these Chiefs were the perfect team to pull this off. What they did last year was remarkable, and must have convinced them on some base level that odds don’t matter. This is also, for the most part, a group that’s been around — and been around together. Andy Reid, for all of the fair criticism he takes, is a damn good coach who’s worked and won more games than all but two other head coaches in the league.

This isn’t a group likely to get flustered, is the point.

“Normal human reaction, I think it probably takes the first score to kind of get the ball rolling and really believe it,” Schwartz said. “But if you’re just out there going through the motions, you’re not going to get that first score anyway.”

The comeback came in relentless swings of the ax — a short touchdown to Tyreek Hill on a wide receiver screen, a beautiful back-shoulder pass from Smith to Jeremy Maclin, another pass to Maclin after an awful punt just after the 2-minute warning, and a suddenly stingy defense holding up enough to make it all matter.

NFL life moves fast. Sometimes brutally so. The euphoria of this win will wear off — the coaches will make sure of that — and reality will set in that just as losing the opener would not have doomed the season, winning the opener crowns nothing.

Smith himself winked at that, breaking off an answer to a softball question to point out how poorly the Chiefs played for the first 2 1/2 quarters. In that way, this may be the perfect sort of outcome — a division win, with enough highlights to validate an offseason of hype to the public and enough problems to keep everyone in the building honest.

“This could be huge for this team,” Dawson said. “I mean, it could be huge.”

When Smith was done with reporters, he began to walk away from the microphone. Someone noticed some swelling on his throwing elbow. Wins don’t come for free. Smith tried to laugh it off, then walked into the hallway, where friends and family screamed and hugged him before he even had both feet through the door.

threebag02
09-12-2016, 07:24 AM
Fuck off troll

WhawhaWhat
09-12-2016, 07:26 AM
http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/custombionicle/images/4/41/Nyan_cat_troll_gif_by_lookincool45-d53v8j8.gif/revision/latest?cb=20131125173857

Mr. Flopnuts
09-12-2016, 07:27 AM
I was saying the same thing as Lenny the Cool yesterday. We're 1 game in, but that game could be huge for this team. We're just getting started, but that is a YUGE confidence builder.

The Franchise
09-12-2016, 07:33 AM
Missed penalty on Kelce? How about the missed face mask that the refs didn't call?

loochy
09-12-2016, 07:42 AM
I wouldn't really call him CAPTAIN comeback yet. It has to be a trend before it's a nickname.

Hammock Parties
09-12-2016, 07:44 AM
I wouldn't really call him CAPTAIN comeback yet. It has to be a trend before it's a nickname.

Lt. Commander Comeback?

Pointer19
09-12-2016, 07:49 AM
Lt. Commander Comeback?

Squid.

srvy
09-12-2016, 07:53 AM
Missed penalty on Kelse my ass. Those Gronk get away all the time. On the other sideline Gates has made a HOF career out of pushing off using his body. Have these writers watched football in the past 15 years.

O.city
09-12-2016, 08:34 AM
I was saying the same thing as Lenny the Cool yesterday. We're 1 game in, but that game could be huge for this team. We're just getting started, but that is a YUGE confidence builder.

Im hoping for an inverse of last year's broncos game, mentality wise. That loss spiraled them for like a month.

dls6501
09-12-2016, 10:29 AM
Absolutely masterful second half by Alex. If he would just let it rip more often, some of us wouldnt have nearly the problem with him that we do.

The Franchise
09-12-2016, 10:30 AM
Absolutely masterful second half by Alex. If he would just let it rip more often, some of us wouldnt have nearly the problem with him that we do.

Yeah...but is that Smith or is that Reid?

Anyong Bluth
09-12-2016, 10:32 AM
Just admit it. Yesterday for you was the equivalent of Edward Scissorhands and Freddy Krueger taking turns jerking you off.

dls6501
09-12-2016, 10:33 AM
Yeah...but is that Smith or is that Reid?

Smith has been in the league 11 years. Reid hasnt always been his coach.

staylor26
09-12-2016, 10:33 AM
Missed penalty on Kelce? How about the missed face mask that the refs didn't call?

They RARELY throw flags for those push-offs. Allen did it to Peters earlier in the game.

petegz28
09-12-2016, 10:57 AM
Missed penalty on Kelce? How about the missed face mask that the refs didn't call?

There was no missed penalty on Kelce. It wasn't even close to a push off. The facemask however, did happen.

Sandy Vagina
09-12-2016, 11:01 AM
Smith has been in the league 11 years. Reid hasnt always been his coach.

He has always been on teams with poor pass pro OL, WRs, and lots of carousel coaching.

Yet his good fortune is that he has typically had good RBs, TEs, and defenses.

Not hard to see where the conservative nature came about. I even recall quotes from guys like Nolan who were clearly insisting on it.

Bowser
09-12-2016, 11:01 AM
Just admit it. Yesterday for you was the equivalent of Edward Scissorhands and Freddy Krueger taking turns jerking you off.:LOL:

After having Carrie Underwood get his blood flowing, to boot

BigRedChief
09-12-2016, 11:30 AM
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Here&#39;s the coverage of Jeremy Maclin by All-Pro CB Jason Verrett when Alex Smith released the ball. Touchdown. <a href="https://t.co/Qb8i0XWJ8w">pic.twitter.com/Qb8i0XWJ8w</a></p>&mdash; Sam Mellinger (@mellinger) <a href="https://twitter.com/mellinger/status/775385000233439232">September 12, 2016</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Anyong Bluth
09-12-2016, 11:47 AM
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Here&#39;s the coverage of Jeremy Maclin by All-Pro CB Jason Verrett when Alex Smith released the ball. Touchdown. <a href="https://t.co/Qb8i0XWJ8w">pic.twitter.com/Qb8i0XWJ8w</a></p>— Sam Mellinger (@mellinger) <a href="https://twitter.com/mellinger/status/775385000233439232">September 12, 2016</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Sort of related, has anyone checked out the xbox NFL app's new next generation highlights?

It shows you the play from multiple angles at the same time showing the play diagramed with every players real time movement with dragging lines to show the routes as well as an interactive roster of all the players on the field and and ton of individuals info on the play like total distance covered from the snap, top speed, others players they engaged with etc.

I've only looked at it for a few so not sure what all else it has for features, but it's a pretty nifty interactive setup and it was making plays available to look at rather quickly as the game was still live.

Mav
09-12-2016, 01:19 PM
Smith has been in the league 11 years. Reid hasnt always been his coach.



True. But Alex from Mike Nolan to Mike Singletary to Jim Harbaugh have always had conservative coaches. And it seems that when Andy grants Alex freedom he plays well.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

OldSchool
09-12-2016, 01:54 PM
It's amazing what happens when you give a guy an OL that isn't mediocre and a good skills unit to work with.

For much of his career, even with the Chiefs, being down big often meant being out because of two things:

1. Bad pass blocking OL that limits the play call and hinders play execution.

2. Below average receiving cores. This 2016 unit is the best that he has ever had to work with.

This year will be the team's strongest offensive year in the Reid era (particularly if he can get out of his own way).

Beef Supreme
09-12-2016, 01:56 PM
My receiving cores must be below average too, I was getting spotty reception on my TV.

ThaVirus
09-12-2016, 02:21 PM
It's amazing what happens when you just throw the fucking football and let your guys make some plays.

Marcellus
09-12-2016, 02:32 PM
It's amazing what happens when you just throw the ****ing football and let your guys make some plays.

At some point in time you would think Reid would stop calling sideways plays before they are down 21 points.

Easy 6
09-12-2016, 02:37 PM
**** off troll

Give him a break, he hasnt been all bad lately

As for Smiths "Captain Comeback" moniker, I'm not so sure about that... but I am certainly willing to promote him to "Corporal Comeback"

That really was a beautiful display of emotion from him yesterday though, I really got the sense that was something that had been building up in him for years

He has been hearing about his inabilties and weaknesses since his rookie season, and it no doubt gets to him like it would anyone... and to accomplish what he did yesterday, a franchise record no less, had to have been incredibly cathartic

I LOVE to see players be fiery and emotional, it lets me know they give a damn... and giving a damn is essential to being great

Baby Lee
09-13-2016, 12:01 AM
Give him a break, he hasnt been all bad lately

I'm not bitching about it, but he's clearly pushing his limits as a passive aggressive troll recently.

By that I don't mean he's posting his opinion and I think that makes him a passive aggressive troll. I mean he's purposefully trying to find out how passive aggressive a troll he can be.

It's mostly amusing, but it isn't an innocent mistake or miscommunication.

TigeRRUppeRRcut
09-13-2016, 12:40 AM
Give him a break, he hasnt been all bad lately

As for Smiths "Captain Comeback" moniker, I'm not so sure about that... but I am certainly willing to promote him to "Corporal Comeback"

That really was a beautiful display of emotion from him yesterday though, I really got the sense that was something that had been building up in him for years

He has been hearing about his inabilties and weaknesses since his rookie season, and it no doubt gets to him like it would anyone... and to accomplish what he did yesterday, a franchise record no less, had to have been incredibly cathartic

I LOVE to see players be fiery and emotional, it lets me know they give a damn... and giving a damn is essential to being great

:clap:

Rausch
09-13-2016, 01:12 AM
He's ALWAYS been capable of this.

His ability to do this is not shocking. He should be doing this in the 1st quarter.

The only things holding him back are his own fears and Andy's $3it-tacular play calling...

temper11
09-13-2016, 03:21 AM
He's ALWAYS been capable of this.

His ability to do this is not shocking. He should be doing this in the 1st quarter.

The only things holding him back are his own fears and Andy's $3it-tacular play calling...

I think what's been holding him back is his defense. Since his turn-around, he's been on teams that have invested far more on the defensive side of the ball, than the offense. He managed the game based on the strength of those teams. I really don't think anything has changed much with him fundamentally other than his defense played shitty yesterday and he now has better weapons around him on offense.

I don't think he's going to just start slinging the rock all over the field. I think he's going to play exactly the way he thinks he needs to play (conservative or liberal) based on the course of the game that gives the Chiefs the best chance to win. So, assuming the Chiefs defense continues to struggle, then I think people will like the play of Smith. If they turn it around and start killing it on D, then people will be frustrated with Smith again. Although, his weapons will still be better than at anytime in his career, so they'll probably be less frustrated than usual. :)

Sweet Daddy Hate
09-13-2016, 06:03 AM
Lt. Commander Comeback?

Ensign.

http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/wesley.jpg

Sweet Daddy Hate
09-13-2016, 06:07 AM
I think what's been holding him back is his defense. Since his turn-around, he's been on teams that have invested far more on the defensive side of the ball, than the offense. He managed the game based on the strength of those teams. I really don't think anything has changed much with him fundamentally other than his defense played shitty yesterday and he now has better weapons around him on offense.

I don't think he's going to just start slinging the rock all over the field. I think he's going to play exactly the way he thinks he needs to play (conservative or liberal) based on the course of the game that gives the Chiefs the best chance to win. So, assuming the Chiefs defense continues to struggle, then I think people will like the play of Smith. If they turn it around and start killing it on D, then people will be frustrated with Smith again. Although, his weapons will still be better than at anytime in his career, so they'll probably be less frustrated than usual. :)

This is correct. Dominant defense in turn creates Andy's shitty version of ball-control and clock management. It's a bad catch-22.

Baby Lee
09-13-2016, 06:13 AM
Ensign.

Fuck you, fuck you, FUCK YOU.

Ain't even got my coffee and you put up a huge picture of Will Wheat Thins?!??!

Bite my fat ass.

https://i.redd.it/nqbjhg2vh4lx.gif

I seen you SD, I seen YOU!!

Sweet Daddy Hate
09-13-2016, 06:16 AM
**** you, **** you, **** YOU.

Ain't even got my coffee and you put up a huge picture of Will Wheat Thins?!??!

Bite my fat ass.

https://i.redd.it/nqbjhg2vh4lx.gif

I seen you SD, I seen YOU!!

ROFL

Don't be mad cause' it's fitting, brah. :)

NJChiefsFan
09-14-2016, 12:11 AM
Missed penalty on Kelce? How about the missed face mask that the refs didn't call?

Missed the one on Peters earlier in the game also, to be fair to sd. They talked about it, but it sure looked like he got more than the top of his helmet.

That back shoulder top Maclin is the best one Smith has thrown. Not sure how many true back shoulder to covered wrs he really has completed before Sunday.