Second longest streak of pass attempts without throwing an interception in NFL history. Not a bad distinction.
Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith entered Sunday’s 10-3 victory over the Chargers without having thrown an interception since a loss at Green Bay on Sept. 28. The streak stood at 305 attempts, and with Smith’s fourth attempt Sunday, he passed Bernie Kosar for second place on the all-time list.
Next up, Tom Brady at 358 attempts.
That one will have to wait.
Smith’s personal turnover streak ended when his deep ball down the right sideline intended for Jeremy Maclin was slightly underthrown and picked off by a cornerback Jason Verrett in a dive.
The play survived a replay review and the amazing streak was over at 312 attempts.
“It was close, I was still looking at the replay,” Smith said. “Just trying to take a shot, we were right there, felt good about it, we had the matchup we wanted with Jeremy … the kid made a good play.”
The Chiefs lost three more games after falling to the Packers but brought a six-game winning streak into Sunday, giving Smith nine full games between picks.
Also, in those 312 attempts, Smith completed 205 passes (65.7 percent accuracy), for 2,432 yards and 11 touchdowns and a 101.1 passer rating.
If there’s an ideal time for an interception, this was it. The Chiefs missed a scoring chance, but the turnover gave the Chargers possession at the 4. They eventually punted.
The conditions were ripe for sloppy play. Rain fell during the morning and throughout the game. Smith said he wore gloves for the first time in his career.
“I just felt better with it,” Smith said. “I’d fooled around with them, I’d never practiced with them, never played in a game with them. I tried them out during pregame and felt OK with it. I felt like I could get a decent grip on the ball, so I just went with it.”
Smith’s next pass attempt after the interception went for a touchdown, a 44-yard catch-and-run on a slant to Albert Wilson.
“The way they were playing, even from the first game, we saw some looks that we wanted to take advantage of,” Smith said.
Smith also showed a hot-blooded side on Sunday. After a slide, he barely avoided taking a shoulder to head by safety Jahleel Addae. Later, Addae was flagged for hitting Smith out of bounds at the end of a run.
At one point, center Mitch Morse pulled Smith away from a confrontation.
“I didn’t want anyone throwing cheap shots at my guy,” Morse said. “Alex is a veteran. He knows how to handle himself. I was just there as extra security.”
Smith thought the Chargers and Addae were taking shots.
“It felt like some of the stuff there, they tried to head-hunt a little bit there,” Smith said. “I was jacked up.”
Asked specifically about Addae, Smith cited the division rivalry as a source of tension.
“He’s a physical player, nothing against him, he’s a physical player,” Smith said. “He brings it. He hits hard. It’s a division game, it’s going to be heated. That’s what football is about. It was that type of game today for sure.”
It was also a game in which Smith lost a streak but the Chiefs kept one going. They’ve won seven in a row.