Alex Smith Replaces Derek Carr at Pro Bowl: Latest Comments, Reaction

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 17, 2017

KANSAS CITY, MP - JANUARY 15:  Quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the Kansas City Chiefs throws a pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second half in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Alex Smith of the Kansas City Chiefs will replace the Oakland Raiders' Derek Carr as one of the quarterbacks on the AFC roster for the 2017 Pro Bowl.

Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk passed along word of the change Tuesday. The Chiefs also congratulated their quarterback:

Carr was forced to remove himself from the league's annual All-Star game due to a fractured fibula.

It's the second Pro Bowl selection for Smith. He previously appeared in the 2014 game and connected with DeMarco Murray on a 20-yard touchdown pass with 41 seconds left that, when combined with Mike Tolbert's two-point conversion, helped Team Rice pick up the 22-21 victory.

The 32-year-old Utah product is coming off another efficient season leading the K.C. offense. While he threw only 15 touchdowns in 15 games, a strikingly low number in the current pass-happy era, he completed 67.1 percent of his throws en route to a 91.2 passer rating. He added five rushing TDs.

Smith is coming off a lackluster showing in the Chiefs' playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, though. He completed 20 of 34 throws for 172 yards, one touchdown and one interception in the 18-16 loss.

Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star passed along comments from the 2005 first overall pick after the defeat about letting a golden opportunity slip away.

"Big, big opportunity for us—we knew what we were capable of," Smith said. "Certainly, offensively, we didn't hold up our end tonight. Didn't get it done. I thought we had a chance to come back there, and obviously, put it into overtime or a shot, and we came up short."

Ultimately, the loss only furthered the longstanding debate around Smith. He's shown the accuracy and decision-making skills to guide a team to the playoffs. But whether you can win a Super Bowl with him is a serious question mark given his limited ability to challenge defenses over the top.

That's something the Chiefs must decide over the next few years. He's under contract through 2018 with cap hits of $16.9 million next season and $20.6 million for the final year if they decide to keep him, according to Spotrac.

For now, he joins an AFC quarterback group that also includes the conference championship game combatants, Tom Brady of the New England Patriots and Ben Roethlisberger of the Steelers. One of them will be removed after he earns a Super Bowl trip.

Smith will look to match his 2014 heroics as the game returns to an AFC vs. NFC format for the first time since 2012. This year's game will take place Sunday, Jan. 29, from Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.

                                             

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