Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith erased his own name from the club’s record book on Sunday.
Smith completed 24 of 28 passes for 226 yards in the Chiefs’ 34-7 victory over the St. Louis Rams for a franchise-record 85.71 percent completion rate. That broke the club-record of 85.0 Smith set last year when he completed 17 of 20 passes at Oakland.
And it could have been better Sunday.
“Really, it felt like the ones that were not completions, very easily could’ve been,” Smith said, citing a first-quarter incompletion intended for tight end Travis Kelce and a third-quarter pass intended for running back Knile Davis that fell short.
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“So there’s still room for improvement. I took a couple of sacks that you wouldn’t like to take.”
Smith completed passes to eight different receivers, the third time this season he has connected with eight or more teammates. But only seven of his 24 completions went to wide receivers — Dwayne Bowe caught six passes for 64 yards and Frankie Hammond Jr. caught one for 9 yards.
The other 17 completions were underneath routes to tight ends and running backs. And Smith’s longest completion was 30 yards to running back Jamaal Charles, with 20 of those yards coming after the catch.
Most of that was by design, especially with the Rams’ rookie cornerbacks E.J. Gaines and Marcus Robinson, who played off the line and allowed underneath routes.
“Some of that stuff that we had called, it dictated that it went to the backs and tight ends,” Smith said. “They had two rookie corners that weren’t going to come up and press, and they weren’t going to play aggressive, and they were going to help the young kid, 47 (Marcus Roberson), all day today with the safeties over the top.”
Smith did not throw a touchdown pass for only the second time this season, but he also did not throw an interception, and his 100.3 passer rating marked his eighth regular-season game with a 100 or better rating since joining the Chiefs last season.
Kelce caught four passes for 45 yards, and he leads the Chiefs with 28 receptions for 352 yards and three touchdowns.
“In this offense, you’re going to make plays with one-on-one matchups,” Kelce said,. “We have to make sure we protect (Smith) and run crisp routes for him. He got out and for some first downs when he had to.”
Smith scrambled four times for 24 yards, with his biggest play coming on third and 13 in the third quarter. He ran for 15 yards to the Chiefs 37, and another 15 yards was attached to the play when Gaines was called for a late hit.
“It was a big conversion there,” Smith said. “The percentages are down anytime you’re in a position like that, and you have a chance to convert. I was able to use my legs and got some good blocks downfield and was able to keep that drive going.”