In this week’s Chiefs Blitz, The Star’s Terez A. Paylor answers five postgame Twitter questions about Alex Smith, the Chiefs’ mercurial offense and more, plus the stat of the day in the Chiefs’ thrilling 30-27 comeback win over the Denver Broncos.
1. Alex Smith and crew won this game, right? – @GunnNorman
This was a team win, first and foremost, because that’s what it takes to beat the defending champs on the road, at night, in come-from-behind fashion. But you know what? You can argue what the offense did Sunday was as impressive as anything the Chiefs have done all season. Down eight, late in the fourth quarter, they rallied to score a touchdown against an elite defense, got the two-point conversion and mounted two — two — scoring drives in overtime.
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2. Why is it the Chiefs need to be in a desperate situation in order to get the offense going? – @nwebb83
It’s not like it comes out of nowhere, necessarily. When I predicted before the season that the offense was “going to roll,” I did so after watching them sling the ball around — effectively — out of no-huddle, three-wide all offseason. The execution in the base offense has been subpar this year, to be kind, but it’s no coincidence that they finally get it together when they have to start throwing the way they worked on all offseason. The problem with staying in that offense all game is that it wears out a defense … and falling behind early against the Broncos would have been lethal Sunday. No qualms here about the way coach Andy Reid handled it.
3. Is this a season-changing win? Or a “slow down a minute, the offense still needs work” win? – @adamhellonewman
You can call it season-changing in the sense that, had the offense not mounted that final drive, there would be calls for quarterback Alex Smith’s job amid cries that he “can’t do it when it matters” or against a “top-shelf defense.” There should still be concern about the way the offense looked most of the game, but Smith again proved he’s a gamer on Sunday, and the win should buy him more time (at least with fans) to find his rhythm this year.
4. Last game you remember with that many hard hits? – @NBendian
Whoo. That’s a tough one. I predicted this would be a physical, nasty battle and it certainly played out that way. After the game, I saw Eric Fisher at his locker and he looked like he’d been in a street fight. No lie. But he had a smile on his face, and that’s what matters after a physical test like Sunday’s game. To answer your question … maybe my mind is failing me right now, but I’m not sure I’ve seen a more physical game in my four years covering this team. Maybe some past Chiefs-Broncos games come close — in fact, the one in Denver last year certainly qualifies — but this one was more recent and thus, fresher.
5. Flashes of excellence from the youngsters on the D-line tonight. How high is their ceiling? – @surewinj
After Dontari Poe was lost midway through the game with a back injury, the Chiefs’ interior defensive front was missing all three of its projected starters before the season. But give the newbies and young guys credit — Chris Jones, Rakeem Nunez-Roches and Kendall Reyes have held it down, and Jarvis Jenkins gave them some snaps Sunday, too. Jones, a rookie, has been impressing since his arrival, and while Nunez-Roches had a nice camp, the second-year pro has actually been more impressive in actual game action, as his energy and enthusiasm has been infectious. This front office and coaching staff has proven to be quite adept at identifying and developing young interior talent. From Jaye Howard to Jones to Nunez-Roches, these guys have contributed.
51 — The number of years it’s been since a player (Gale Sayers) scored a receiving, rushing and return touchdown in a single game, at least until Tyreek Hill did it Sunday.