Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith took the field
with 47 seconds remaining Monday night, with Kansas City and the
Washington Redskins in a tie game.
The Chiefs had all three timeouts as they took over on their own
25-yard line, and it seemed like just another day on the practice
field. The result was a six-play, 50-yard drive that produced a
field goal and led to a 29-20 win.
“On offense sometimes you have a drive to finish off a game,
sometimes you’ve got to go get points to win one,” Smith said.
“We’ve spent a lot of time in all those situations practicing them.”
Time on task, Smith believes, is the key to the got-to-have-it
moments — those times in a game when you a play is needed for the
team to win.
In seasons past, the Chiefs found it difficult to muster
fourth-quarter comebacks or game-winning drives. But not this
“I think this team has been through way more as a whole,” Smith
said. “The core of this team has been through a lot, played on a
lot of big stages, is much more experienced.”
That experience showed Monday night on the game-winning drive.
“We go through that exercise every week, every single week about
what we like, what we want,” Smith said. “Because every week
they’re different, they’re different based on the matchup, based on
Smith freelanced on the first big play of the drive, scrambling out
of the pocket on second down and finding wide receiver Albert
Wilson for a 37-yard gain to the Washington 34-yard line. The
quarterback had a similar scramble earlier in the game, keeping the
ball for 32-yard gain up the right sideline.
Smith said of the late-game play, “Luckily I felt like that time
around I got some attention on me, and Albert was able to kind of
hit the seam there.”
That play flipped the field, but the Chiefs needed one more gain to
put the ball in position for a field-goal attempt. Smith fired a
pass to receiver Chris Conley for a 10-yard gain, setting up rookie
Harrison Butker for the decisive 43-yard kick.
“We had a lot of options on that play,” Smith said of the pass to
Conley. “Knew we were potentially getting pressure, and they did,
they brought everybody down and were bringing it. Two guys peeled
on the back, and I was able to hit Conley behind, which was really
The Chiefs (4-0) have won many games since Smith and coach Andy
Reid arrived in Kansas City in 2013. But the losses, especially the
three postseason defeats, have sharpened the club and helped build
This team expects to win. Linebacker Frank Zombo played on that
first Reid team in 2013, and he said this team feels different.
“I think we trust the guy next to us way more,” Zombo said. “We’ve
done so well the last five years, had a lot of winning seasons, and
yeah, I think we expect to win every time we go on the field on
Sundays and Mondays.”
Linebacker Derrick Johnson, another longtime Chief, said success
doesn’t surprise the 2017 squad.
“Now we expect to win more often,” Johnson said. “We have a really
good group, well-coached group and high-character guys that are
taking care of business offensively and defensively.”