The Kansas City Chiefs continue their road through the 2016 NFL playoffs on Saturday when they travel to face the New England Patriots. It's been several years now since Alex Smith was traded away, but I think a lot of us are still following his path, and rooting him on. I know not everybody cares about Alex Smith anymore, but it's been a fascinating tale, and given his extensive history with the 49ers, it's not going to be easy for some of us to forget him.
There's a couple interesting articles worth reading as we approach their divisional round matchup with the Patriots. On Thursday, the Kansas City Star wrote about how he has taken the high road throughout his career. It's an intriguing read, particularly with quotations from family members.
The other article was at the MMQB leading up to the Chiefs wild card matchup with the Texans. It talks about how Smith and the Chiefs turned the season around following an awful start. It includes some discussion with Greg Roman about the tumultuous times in San Francisco. Roman talks about how he worked to help Kaepernick prepare for the NFC title game, with the noise of the Georgia Dome impacting the game plan.
Smith and the Chiefs face a tall task against the Patriots later today. New England stumbled through the end of the season, losing their final two games, which cost them home field throughout the playoffs. But they got a much-needed bye, and are slightly healthier than they might otherwise have been. Julian Edelman is expected back, and Rob Gronkowski, while seriously banged up, is expected to play.
I think this ends up being a close game, but the Chiefs are going to need a strong game from Smith. Although Smith made some important plays against the Texans, the Chiefs won in large part because the Texans offense was abysmal. Brian Hoyer threw four interceptions and lost a fumble. The Chiefs did enough to win easily, but I don't imagine it will be quite so easy against New England. Can Alex Smith & Co. get enough done to upset the Patriots as 5-point underdogs?