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Chiefs Must Bench Alex Smith in Order to Save Season

Mike Freeman@@mikefreemanNFLNFL National Lead WriterNovember 27, 2017

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 26:  Quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the Kansas City Chiefs is tackled by Jerry Hughes #55 and outside linebacker Ramon Humber #50 of the Buffalo Bills after scrambling during the game at Arrowhead Stadium on November 26, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

This is not stated with any type of maliciousness. It's not a hot take to get people screaming. It's a measured response to what the eyes see and what you see are the wheels falling off in Kansas City.

It isn’t only the wheels, though. It's also the landing gear, the wings, the fuselage...all of it is coming apart. It's like that scene in Gravity when debris hits the space station and all that's left are all of these itty-bitty pieces of metal floating in low orbit. Man down, bro.

A Chiefs team that started 5-0 is now 6-5. On Sunday, it lost to a mediocre Buffalo team, in Kansas City, 16-10, and the score wasn't really that close. The Bills dominated, besting K.C. in total yards, time of possession, rushing yards, turnovers and, of course, points.

The game ended with Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith throwing an awful interception to seal the victory for Buffalo. And Smith is where we need to begin and end.

The Chiefs have to sit Smith to save their season.

I don't know if you bench Smith for a half, a game or longer, but he's got to take a seat.

You can see the pressure building on him with each loss, and it's clearly affecting the team. When Smith threw the game-sealing pick Sunday, tight end Travis Kelce threw up his hands (h/t Pro Football Talk) in frustration. It's not good when players start visibly showing up their quarterback.

Ian Wharton @NFLFilmStudy

It's time for Mahomes. https://t.co/D31gh9HGlH

Earlier this season, I wrote that we weren't going see the same old melting-down Chiefs. We were going to see Smith take that 5-0 start and power into the postseason. Boy was I off.

Instead, we've seen a shaky Smith. Worse, we've seen a sometimes-gutless Smith. The seasoned veteran who took chances and threw the ball deep earlier this season has morphed into Tim Tebow. His throws lack accuracy. They reek of a QB playing it safe.

The swashbuckler we saw light up the Patriots and Eagles with aggressive play and fearlessness now looks...timid.

He's playing scared. There's no other way to say it. He looks terrified to try to make a play.

We saw this version of Smith once before, when he was in San Francisco. The same lack of confidence and uber-safe play led then-49ers coach Jim Harbaugh to stick with Colin Kaepernick. The 49ers went to the Super Bowl.

After Kansas City's game Sunday, coach Andy Reid told reporters he didn't consider benching Smith for rookie Patrick Mahomes. When asked if he would consider making a change in the future, Reid said, "No. That's not where I'm at right now. There's a couple other things I got to take care of."

Respectfully, I don't believe Reid. He is right that there are other issues plaguing the Chiefs: Their defense has become leaky and a once-powerful running game has slowed because of offensive line issues. But it would be coaching malpractice for Reid not to consider benching Smith.

During the team's three-game losing streak, the Chiefs are averaging just 12 points a game. When the Chiefs started 5-0, and beat the Eagles and Patriots—two teams likely headed to the Super Bowlthey were averaging 32.8 points a contest.

The primary culprit is pretty obvious, especially when he's thrown four interceptions in those past three games.

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 26: Quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the Kansas City Chiefs is visibly frustrated after a play against the Buffalo Bills during the second half of the game at Arrowhead Stadium on November 26, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. ( Photo
Peter Aiken/Getty Images

Who knows if Mahomes would be better, but there's no reason why Reid can't see what the rookie can do. If it doesn't work, Reid can go back to Smith.

No, none of this is stated with maliciousness. It's not a hot take. It's a measured response to what the eyes see and what you see are the wheels falling off in Kansas City.

They are falling off of Alex Smith.

It's time for the Chiefs to get new wheels.

    

Mike Freeman covers the NFL for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter: @mikefreemanNFL.

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