In this week’s Blitz, The Star’s Terez Paylor answers five postgame Twitter questions from Chiefs fans.
1. How much does Alex Smith’s “mobility” play into the Chiefs’ winning streak? -@B12Mentalist
You can criticize aspects of Smith’s game, particularly his inability to consistently stretch defenses with the downfield ball, but his mobility is a real strength, and a big reason they’re winning. Smith’s ability to sense pressure and escape from it when under fire is an effective means of keeping the chains moving, and an offensive lineman’s best friend. With a young group up front that is still growing, it’s a crucial element for their collective psyche.
2. Is Alex Smith playing like a top 13 QB? -@MyNam31sMud
Alex is playing the same way he always has. When paired with a strong defense and running game, the Chiefs are tough to beat because they rarely beat themselves. Smith just doesn’t turn the ball over, and while that frustrates fans because it also leads to missed opportunities, it still has its advantages. Look, he’s going to have to cut it loose some in the playoffs, because good teams rarely make mistakes — you literally have to beat them. But for the last four games — and likely during the last six games — it’s good enough.
3. Is it me, or is the defense playing better week by week now? -@openchakra
It’s not you. The defense has been killing it for the last four weeks. After forcing 13 turnovers all of last season, the Chiefs have 12 interceptions the last four weeks alone. Tamba Hali, Derrick Johnson and Eric Berry all look like their old selves. With a weak schedule remaining, there’s little reason to believe they can’t keep it going.
4. Is there a running back controversy? Ware proved to be the tougher runner today! -@chieftain58
You never know — Chiefs coach Andy Reid has shown a tendency to ride the hot hand, and Spencer Ware looked outstanding in relief of Charcandrick West, who left the game because of a hamstring injury. Ware brings a lot to the table — he’s a versatile guy who can run, catch and block — and someone to keep an eye on going forward, especially if West’s hamstring injury lingers.
5. Wouldn’t the Chiefs’ offense be more productive if Reid dumped all the bubble screens and just ran the ball more? #WareBeast -@DenBlee
Wow, looks like Ware impressed you guys. In general, the belief here is that the best way to build a winning offense is with a physical ground game — yes, even in today’s pass-happy NFL — that will allow you to set the tone up front, protect the quarterback and play-action off that. Things are never as simple as just running the ball more, though; some of the horizontal stuff they call is to take advantage of what Smith does best. That’s smart game-planning, even if Chiefs coach Andy Reid occasionally gets a little too cute.
201 — Yards the Chiefs held the Chargers to, which was a season-low for San Diego.