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Wednesday, October 9, 2013
QB Watch: Chiefs' Alex Smith

By Adam Teicher

A weekly analysis of the Kansas City Chiefs' quarterback play.

Rewind: Alex Smith was 20-for-39 for 245 yards, no touchdowns and an interception this past week against the Tennessee Titans. Statistically, it was his worst game of the season. But Smith had it when he needed it the most. He completed his final five passes on the drive for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Fast-forward: This statistically should be a prettier game for Smith against the Oakland Raiders, who have allowed opposing passers to complete 72.5 percent of their passes and post a rating of 105.8. Smith has done a nice job this season taking advantage of opposing rookie cornerbacks, and the Raiders have one in D.J. Hayden, though he had an interception in last week's win over the San Diego Chargers.

Complete more passes: One area where Smith can improve is in his completion percentage, which is at only 58 percent. This isn't all on Smith because pressure has forced some off-target throws. But because he throws a lot of shorter and therefore easier-to-complete passes, his completion percentage should be a lot higher. Chiefs receivers haven't dropped a high percentage of his throws. Smith completed 70 percent of his throws last season for the San Francisco 49ers.

Prediction: Smith's completions and attempts have been within a relatively narrow range. In five games, his completions have ranged between 34 and 41 and his attempts between 20 and 24. Look for his numbers against the Raiders to be within those ranges again. Smith will throw at least one touchdown pass after being shut out in that category last week.