A weekly analysis of the Chiefs' quarterback play:
Rewind: The game against the Dallas Cowboys was typical for Alex Smith. He completed a relatively low number of his passes (21-for-36, 58.3 percent) in large part because he faced consistent pressure (sacked four times). But within that, Smith was able to get more big plays (three passes of more than 20 yards) than he did the week before. The Cowboys were intent on crowding the line of scrimmage in wait for Jamaal Charles and the running game. Smith was also able to be efficient, with two touchdowns and no interceptions, although the Cowboys dropped a couple of potential picks.
Fast-forward: Opposing passers have had their share of success against the Philadelphia Eagles, who allow quarterbacks to complete almost 69 percent of their passes and compile a passer rating better than 100. Smith has done a nice job of finding matchups that are favorable to the Chiefs, whether that’s hitting Charles when he is covered by a linebacker or getting the ball to Dwayne Bowe when he can run in the open field. Look for Smith to be able to locate such matchups against the Eagles.
Running wild: Smith led the Chiefs last week with 57 rushing yards. He has done a nice job of getting out of trouble when he’s been under a heavy rush. His 17-yard scramble on a third-and-15 snap was the key play on a first-quarter touchdown drive against the Cowboys. But the Chiefs have also called some planned runs for Smith, including some option plays.
Prediction: On average, Smith threw an interception every two and a half games his last two seasons with the 49ers. So look for him to throw his first pick of the season in the first half of the Chiefs’ third game. But he also will complete better than 60 percent of his throws and get a couple of touchdowns.