Technically, this was a home game for the Miami Dolphins.
But that’s not how Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith saw things.
Playing against his former Dolphins team for the first time since the Chiefs signed him in March of 2013, Smith was part of a secondary that shut down Miami in a convincing 34-15 road win at Sun Life Stadium.
The Chiefs held Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill — a former teammate of Smith’s — to 205 yards passing and a 47.6 completion percentage (21 of 43).
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“I had an amazing time,” Smith said of the first win of the year for the Chiefs (1-2). “We were flying around, making plays. I thought it was a home game for me. I had my friends out there – the fans. It was a fun environment.”
Toward the end of the game, after victory had been virtually assured, Smith was seen engaging with fans seated in the end zone.
Smith repeatedly pounded his chest during that interaction.
“I was talking to a specific section that I always used to mess with when I was a Dolphin,” Smith said. “It was nothing negative. I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but I just told them that this was my house.
“You could tell by their facial reactions that it was a joke. It was all fun.”
Smith can laugh now, but an 0-2 start and an injury to star safety Eric Berry were not joking matters.
But the secondary held up on Sunday against speedy Mike Wallace, who had five catches for 74 yards. He was Miami’s most productive receiver on the day. But, even so, Wallace was held down as the Chiefs forced seven incompletions on passes thrown his way.
The Chiefs gave up just one touchdown. That came on Brian Hartline’s one-yard reception in the second quarter, cutting the Chiefs’ lead to 14-10.
But there were extenuating circumstances there, too, as Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith coughed up a fumble at his own 19, giving his teammates a very short field to defend.
Miami got to within six points, 21-15, late in the third quarter before the Chiefs pulled away.
“We went out there and played with passion,” Sean Smith said. “We were into it for all four quarters. We were excited, fighting for the ball.”
Ron Parker, who started in place of Berry at safety, said he could tell the win was special to Smith.
“It always means something to guys who play against their old teams,” Parker said. “You always want to beat them and show them.”
Smith’s joy could be seen on a long pass that Tannehill threw in his direction. It fell incomplete, and Smith showed that he had no worries at all.
“(Smith) was celebrating while the ball was in the air, just waiting on it,” Parker said. “He did a good job playing against his old team.”
Next week’s challenge – at home on Monday night against quarterback Tom Brady and the New England Patriots - figures to be a bigger test than Tannehill and the Dolphins.
“There’d going to be some adversity there,” Smith said. “Brady is capable of moving the chains, and our defense has to make some stops.
“But as long as we play with a lot of energy like we did today, we’ll be alright.”