Smith leads Chiefs to second comeback win, 2-0 start

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Helix High School graduate Alex Smith continued to excel in the early going of the 2017 NFL season after leading the Kansas City Chiefs to a 27-20 victory against the visiting Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, Sept. 17.

Smith took a pounding after being sacked four times by the Philadelphia defense but came through with an inspired performance in the second half by leading the Chiefs to a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns.

His 15-yard shovel pass to tight end Travis Kelce with 6:25 left in the game put the Chiefs in front 20-13.

Helix High School graduate Alex Smith continued to excel in the early going of the 2017 NFL season after leading the Kansas City Chiefs to a 27-20 victory against the visiting Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, Sept. 17.

Smith took a pounding after being sacked four times by the Philadelphia defense but came through with an inspired performance in the second half by leading the Chiefs to a pair of fourth quarter touchdowns.

His 15-yard shovel pass to tight end Travis Kelce with 6:25 left in the game put the Chiefs in front 20-13.

Smith finished the game with 251 passing yards by completing 21of 28 attempts. He also rushed four times for 21 yards, including a pair of key first downs to keep drives alive.

In two games, Smith has thrown for five touchdowns without an interception, 619 yards to go with a quarterback efficiency rating of 134.1.

He’s averaging 309.5 yards per game and has completed 77.8 percent of his passes (49-of-63). The quarterback rating is the highest in his career and ranks second (to Minnesota’s Sam Bradford) in the NFL through two weeks.

Smith ranks fifth overall in the league in total passing yards. New England QB Tom Brady has thrown for 714 yards in two starts to lead NFL passers, followed by Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers with 654 yards.

“All week I was preparing for it,” said Smith, who is in the final year of his contract with the Chiefs. “You play enough snaps, they’re going to get home occasionally (to record a sack). It’s important not to let them rattle you, not to speed up your time clock, stay disciplined back there, trust in your fundamentals.

“They want you to speed up. They want you to make a mistake.”

Smith turned in one of the best games in his 13-year career after leading Kansas City to a dramatic 42-27 come-from-behind win over the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in the teams’ season opener on Sept. 7.

All four of Kansas City’s losses last year came after big wins, so a letdown was perhaps not unexpected on the part of the Chiefs in their home opener against the Eagles.

Sunday’s game lacked offensive production until the game’s final stages, with the Chiefs holding onto a narrow 6-3 lead at halftime on a pair of field goals by Cairo Santos. Both teams scored a touchdown in the third quarter. The Eagles went up 10-6 before the hosts came back to take a 13-10 lead.

The Eagles tacked on a field goal to start the fourth quarter to tie the game 13-13. Smith then took over to lead his team on a pair of touchdown drives.

Kelce finished the game with eight catches for 103 yards while rookie running back Kareem Hunt followed up his record-breaking performance in the Chiefs’ season opening win by rushing for 81 yards and two touchdowns.

He scored on a 53-yard breakaway run to put the hosts back in front, 13-10, with 1:26 left in the third quarter.

His two-yard run with 2:14 to play proved to the game-winning touchdown. He has scored five touchdowns in his first two games, tied for second most in NFL history.

Despite owning a 14-point lead with little time remaining on clock, the outcome of the game came down to the final play.

Philadelphia scored when quarterback Carson Wentz hit receiver Nelson Agholor on a touchdown pass to trim the deficit to seven points with eight seconds left. The Eagles then recovered the ensuing onside kick for one final play.

Wentz threw a long pass into the end zone that was tipped into the air by a group of players. However, the ball continued its flight out of the back of the end zone to fall incomplete to end the game in the Chiefs’ favor.

Wentz finished the game 25-of-46 for 333 yards with two touchdowns and one interception.

The Kansas City defense was equally ferocious during the game, played in front of 74,971 fans at Arrowhead Stadium, with six sacks and a pair of turnovers. Justin Houston, who recently signed a $101 million contract, recorded two sacks, three tackles for a loss and a pair of quarterback hurries to lead the hosts.

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid passed around compliments after the victory.

“I think Alex did a nice job,” Reid said. “He was resilient as he went. He took some big hits there. He rebounded and kept the guys playing. He kept the guys around him fighting. That’s an important trait in this league to not only get yourself but everyone else around you to rise up and continue to fight when things weren’t going good.

“You’re going to have games when everything doesn’t go the way you have it drawn up. That’s how things work. There’s a lot of competition; there’s a lot of parity in this league. For our guys to come out and battle like they did … I’m proud of them.”

Smith was equally proud of his teammates’ performances.

“I think we have a lot of guys who have played in big games and played a lot of football, guys who have played in big situations, guys who have confidence,” Smith said. “It’s almost a culture. I think it’s all the whole team, especially the defense. This wasn’t anything crazy … It’s next man up and kind of roll. That’s the type of culture we like to preach around here.

“Knowing it’s a long day, we’ll adjustments and get it going. We love the passion around here and we talk a lot of having personality and letting the personality show and playing with passion and enjoying what you do, your teammates and enjoying that kind of atmosphere.”

The Chiefs next travel to Southern California for an AFC West divisional game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday, Sept. 24. Kick off is 1:25 p.m.

The Chargers are 0-2 following last Sunday’s 19-17 loss to the visiting Miami Dolphins in front of an announced crowd of 25,381at the Home Depot Center in Carson.

For the second consecutive game, Younghoe Koo missed a critical field goal. His last-second field goal attempt was blocked in a 24-21 loss to the host Denver Broncos in the teams’ season opener on Sept. 11.

Koo missed a 44-yard attempt with five seconds to play Sunday to clinch the loss to the Dolphins (1-0).

A sizable portion of the fans in attendance appeared to be Miami fans.

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