Chiefs QB Alex Smith seeks sharper connection to receivers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith carries a reputation for no-mistakes play, which makes the procession of fumbles, dropped passes and poorly aimed throws on Sunday against the Houston Texans completely out of character for the team’s offense.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith delivers a pass during the team's overtime win over the Chargers, 33-27, at Arrowhead Stadium, Sept. 11, 2016. (Chris Neal/The Topeka Capital-Journal)

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith delivers a pass during the team’s overtime win over the Chargers, 33-27, at Arrowhead Stadium, Sept. 11, 2016. (Chris Neal/The Topeka Capital-Journal)

“I’ve been thinking about it and I’d be lying if I said it still wasn’t there a little,” Smith said.  “I  feel like we haven’t had a day like that in a long time. I can’t remember the last time.”

Smith completed just 20 of 37 passes Sunday, and connected on just six of 15 passes intended for wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.

“I was going through missed connections,” Smith said. “There were probably seven or eight of them and a lot of yards. For whatever reason with missed connections, and it was a lot of offense and a lot of plays that would have changed the day.”

Coach Andy Reid put the blame on poor communication and a lack of execution.

“It wasn’t necessarily accuracy, it was just being on the same page, the receivers and the quarterbacks on the same page,” Reid said. “If you’re off a hair it can affect things, that’s why we practice so much. We have to do a better job there.”

Wide receiver Chris Conley called the offense’s performance in Houston a fluke.

“But it also comes down to the way that we practice, so we have to be consistent here,” Conley said. “We have to hold ourselves accountable, and we have to do some things better in practice as well.

While the Chiefs experience a full game of doldrums in Houston, the same symptoms plagued the offensive during the first half against San Diego as well.

“We’ve got to get it figured out, come back, get back to our old selves and connect,” Smith said.

For his his part, Smith said he is focusing on the fundamentals with the offense.

“You go back to just the work, communicating, making sure we’re on the same page, and getting those things ironed out,” Smith said. “You can’t get everything repped in practice, so a little bit of that is on us to talk about different looks we see on film, the what-ifs for different scenarios.”

Reid wants to see his team demonstrate better discipline and ball security against the New York Jets Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium.

We have to take care of the penalties,” Reid said. “We had way too many and we went through a stretch there of 10 weird things happening in a row, 10 plays in a row.

“I don’t want this to be a thing here,” he said. “We need to get it stopped.”

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