The final pass Alex Smith threw this season was an incompletion over the middle on fourth down Authentic DJ Chark Jersey , one that would have given the Kansas City Chiefs a chance to kick a winning field goal had he completed it.
It may ultimately be his final pass with the Chiefs, too.
Smith is under contract next season, but the cash-strapped Chiefs are expected to trade or release the veteran quarterback and turn the franchise over to first-round pick Patrick Mahomes II. And if that is the case, Smith’s career in Kansas City will be summed up by that errant throw over the middle.
He was good enough to lead the Chiefs to the playoffs.
He wasn’t good enough to lead them much farther.
”I’ll get into all that in the next couple of weeks,” said Smith, who did say that he wants to remain with Kansas City, but ultimately knows the decision is out of his hands.
”I’m under contract for another year,” he said. ”Like I said, I’m not thinking about anything else. Right now, I’m obviously disappointed. Like I said, I felt like we had a good chance. It’s gone. It’s over.”
As the Chiefs head into the offseason after a 22-21 loss to the Tennessee Titans on Saturday, a game in which they blew a 21-3 halftime lead, the biggest question mark becomes their quarterback situation.
Smith certainly made it a tougher decision than most had expected.
He threw for more than 4,000 yards for the first time, and he had 26 touchdown passes with just five interceptions during the regular season. He led the Chiefs to back-to-back AFC West titles for the first time in franchise history Authentic Mike Gesicki Jersey , made the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons and set all kinds of club records along the way, including pass attempts and postseason touchdown passes.
Reid has professed his admiration for Smith countless times over the years, and he was in favor of the trade that brought him to Kansas City from San Francisco. But the coach is also aware that the NFL is a business, and sometimes finances dictate difficult decisions.
”I can’t get into all that right now,” Reid said. ”I don’t know. We’ve got to go back and go through all of that. It’s a long process and surely after that game isn’t where you go with that.”
As the Chiefs head into the offseason, Smith isn’t the only topic of conversation:
RETIREMENT QUESTIONS: Chiefs linebackers Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali could consider hanging it up after another letdown. Johnson still played at a reasonably high level, and said he’ll head home to Texas and ponder his future, while Hali was reduced to a part-time role because of his ailing knees. If he does not retire, the Chiefs will almost certainly release him.
PROMISING YOUNGSTERS: The Chiefs have reason for optimism in that most of their biggest stars are young. Tyreek Hill had a breakout second season as a wide receiver, Kareem Hunt led the league in rushing as a rookie and defensive tackle Chris Jones is an emerging star on the other side of the ball.
COACHING CHANGES: Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy and special teams coach Dave Toub are expected to interview for head coaching vacancies in Indianapolis and possibly Chicago. Nagy has become a hot target after taking over play-calling with great success midway through the season, while Toub had interviews last season for head coaching vacancies.
DRAFT DEARTH: The Chiefs have traded away many of their future picks to acquire talent, including their first-round selection this year as part of the deal that landed Mahomes last year. So, they have only a second, third, fourth and sixth in the upcoming draft Authentic Jerome Baker Jersey , putting new general manager Brett Veach in quite a predicament as he tries to bolster a roster that was not quite good enough.
SNAKE-BIT FRANCHISE: Despite all the good that came of this season, the Chiefs still must feel like they’re a bit cursed. What would have happened had star safety Eric Berry not been lost for the season in their opener? Or if star tight end Travis Kelce didn’t go down in the first half against Tennessee with a concussion? ”The tendency is to look back and say, ”What happened?’ I don’t think that’s the way to go about it,” offensive lineman Mitchell Schwartz said. ”We just have to figure out how to play better.”
The Buffalo Bills fired offensive coordinator Rick Dennison after the team finished 29th in offense this season.
The team announced the move on Friday. Their running attack fell to sixth after leading the league the past two seasons.
Buffalo’s offense topped 300 yards just nine times in 17 games and scored only eight touchdowns in its final seven games. Dennison’s play-calling was questioned after Buffalo scored just three points against Jacksonville in the franchise’s first playoff game in 18 years.
Dennison wasn’t coach Sean McDermott’s first choice for the job last offseason – that was former San Diego Chargers coach Mike McCoy. But McCoy took the Green Bay Packers’ offensive coordinator job and was fired midseason.
McCoy is expected to be a candidate to join McDermott’s staff in Buffalo.
Other possible candidates include former Seattles Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, former New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo, former Indianapolis Colts offensive coordinator Rob Cudzinski. Mike Shula, the former offensive coordinator in Carolina, previously worked with McDermott and Bills general manager Brandon Beane.
McDermott was non-committal when discussing potential coaching staff changes during the season-ending news conference on Tuesday. The coach said any decisions would be his, but Beane would be involved with coordinating possible coaching changes with roster moves this offseason.
”We’re building this thing together,” McDermott said then. ”We are aligned philosophically on how we believe it should look and how we believe the building process should basically take shape.”
Dennison was criticized for giving quarterback Tyrod Taylor the option to pass on first-and-goal from the 1 instead of handing the ball off to star running back LeSean McCoy in the wild-card game against Jacksonville.
The play resulted in an offensive pass interference penalty on wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin and the Bills settled for a field goal in the 10-3 loss.
”There’s some calls we want back. That’s probably one of them,” McDermott said after the game.
Before coming to Buffalo, Dennison was Denver Broncos offensive coordinator for two seasons. He was replaced in Denver by McCoy after coach Gary Kubiak retired.
Dennison was Kubiak’s offensive coordinator in Houston from 2010-13 and had a previous stint as the Broncos’ offensive coordinator from 2006-08.
The decision to part ways with Dennison also raised questions about the future of Taylor, who has one year left on his contract. Taylor’s production declined in his third year as a starter and he was benched in favor of rookie Nathan Peterman for a game at the Los Angeles Chargers in November.
The quarterback change backfired after Peterman threw five interceptions in the first half of a 54-24 loss.