The Chiefs offense, ranked 24th, failed to get the ball moving. This lack of production ultimately held back the Chiefs’ potential.
The 32nd-ranked passing game was the main culprit in the Chiefs’ disastrous 2-14 season. Neither Matt Cassel nor Brady Quinn were able to prove that they were any more capable at their position than a mannequin.
However, the Chiefs’ deal to land Smith comes with good and bad sides.
Here is the breakdown of the Chiefs’ trade.
It cannot get any worse for the Chiefs under center. They only managed to put up a tepid 169.6 passing yards per game, good for last in the league.
Matt Cassel threw for six touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He had a 66.7 passer rating and failed to throw a touchdown in five of his eight starts. His overall inefficiency caused the midseason switch to Brady Quinn, who didn’t do much better.
If anything, a change under center will reinvigorate a franchise desperately in need of a new start. Smith will serve as a fresh face under center who has proven he can be successful.
It guarantees that the fans won’t become impatient with the direction of the team and show signs of protest against the organization.
Also, the pick gives the Chiefs a lot of flexibility with the No. 1 overall pick. It was once assumed that the Chiefs would be forced to use the pick on Geno Smith, just like the Raiders were forced to draft JaMarcus Russell when Calvin Johnson was clearly the best player available.
Andy Reid is considered by many to be a quarterback guru, and he should be able to help sustain Smith’s success.
The Chiefs can either draft Geno Smith and give him time to be mentored by Alex Smith, or they can use the pick to fill one of their other needs on their roster.
Remember the last time the Chiefs went after the young, hot quarterback that came out of nowhere? That’s when Matt Cassel happened.
Just like Cassel, Smith is going from an elite organization and coach to a rebuilding situation. In San Francisco, Smith was just a game manager and was never asked to carry the team.
Kansas City is not an elite organization, and he will be asked to do more than simply manage games. He will have much more pressure on him to instantly deliver now than he has had since he began his tenure in San Francisco in 2005.
Although Kansas City is a team with potential, it does not have the defense or offensive line of the 49ers. The entire organization is in an entirely different state of mind, and it doesn't have the confidence that the San Francisco organization now has.
Furthermore, the Chiefs gave up a second-round pick in the 2013 draft. This is a team with holes to fill, and giving up a high draft pick isn’t going to make this job any easier.
They may have been better off keeping their second-round pick to draft a rookie like Matt Barkley or Ryan Nassib.
The trade for Alex Smith was a necessary move that will add much-needed excitement and energy to the Chiefs organization.
However, it is impossible to know whether the Chiefs will get Harbaugh’s Alex Smith or the pre-Harbaugh Smith.
It wasn’t too long ago that the Chiefs decided to trade for the unknown commodity in Matt Cassel. Cassel turned out to be below average, and it was the Patriots’ talent and brilliant coaching staff that masked his flaws.
Alex Smith will most likely help the Chiefs, but that’s only because they really can’t get any worse.
The biggest unknown with this trade is whether Smith is capable of carrying a team to the Super Bowl, something you need a franchise quarterback to do.