The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Sports

December 18, 2013

Eye on the Opponent: Smith star of comeback story in KC

INDIANAPOLIS — A year ago, Alex Smith was buried on the San Francisco 49ers' sideline wondering where his next NFL start would come.

Now the former No. 1 overall pick has a starring role in the league's most surprising success story.

One year after finishing 2-14 and selecting first in the draft, the Kansas City Chiefs (11-3) are still alive for home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with two regular-season games remaining. Much of the credit goes to an opportunistic defense and explosive special teams, but Smith's own contribution is far from insignificant.

Benched for the Niners' playoff run last year as a casualty to Colin Kaepernick's stunning ascension, Smith already has posted career highs with 3,160 yards and 23 touchdown passes this fall. He's thrown just six interceptions and owns a 30-8-1 record over the past three seasons as a starter.

He wasn't the most popular choice to take over as the Chiefs' quarterback during the offseason. But he's proven to be the right one.

"This is almost sacrilegious, but I'm a BYU guy, he's a Utah guy," Kansas City head coach Andy Reid said. "They don't mesh normally. But it works here."

Smith was the consummate good soldier during the end of his run in San Francisco, but he had to be torn up inside.

Labeled a bust for much of his first five seasons in the league, something clicked in 2011 — Smith's first season under Jim Harbaugh. He completed 61.3 percent of his passes for 3,144 yards with 17 touchdowns and just five interceptions. And the 49ers finished 13-3, winning the NFC West and advancing to the NFC Championship Game before losing in overtime to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants.

Through nine games last year, Smith was even better — leading the league with a 104.1 quarterback rating while completing 70.2 percent of his throws. Then Smith suffered a concussion during the second quarter of a tie against the St. Louis Rams.

Text Only
Sports
  • SPT - HB0419 - Muller final - 077 Arabians make history in Muller thriller Pendleton Heights beat Anderson 3-2 to become the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament's first repeat champion.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lady Ravens refusing to lose

    The Anderson University softball team swept Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference foe Transylvania University on Saturday at Raven Field to finish a perfect 8-0 at home this season.

    April 19, 2014

  • Arabians win third straight County softball title It was a scenario Pendleton Heights had seen before. The game was scoreless late into the championship game of the Madison County softball tournament.

    April 19, 2014

  • Bulldogs rally past Eagles at Muller Kallen Brooks went 3-for-3 with two RBIs, including a walk-off double in the eighth inning, and Lapel rallied to defeat rival Frankton 3-2 on Saturday at Memorial Field.

    April 19, 2014

  • Eagles stop Lions to claim third place Frankton's Tia Sharp drove in three runs including the game-winner in the bottom of the sixth as the Eagles defeated Liberty Christian 11-1 here Saturday.

    April 19, 2014

  • PH pushes across only run in 7th

    After Frankton's Kyleigh Garner and Pendleton Heights' Bailey Benefiel battled one another to a standstill from the pitcher's circle for six innings, it took one mistake in the seventh to decide the outcome.

    April 19, 2014

  • SPT - HB0419 - County track - 116 Arabians sweep track titles again Beautiful sunshine and warm temperatures greeted the competitors at the Madison County track meet Friday at Madison-Grant. The Pendleton Heights boys and girls teams were looking to take the county for the third year in a row, but Anderson and Lapel had other ideas. It started off as a record-setting meet and finished with a bang as Pendleton was able to wrap up both titles. The girls held off a stiff challenge from Lapel to win 167.5-147, and the boys took the final event of the night to squeak out a 156.5-148.5 win over Lapel.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Arabians clip Eagles, go for Muller repeat The competitive feeling at Pendleton Height’s Bill Stoudt Field quickly faded Friday during the semifinals of the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament. The Arabians once again took advantage of the opposing team’s generosity as Frankton pitchers gave up six walks and hit five batters, and Pendleton Heights took the 14-3 victory.

    April 18, 2014

  • Arabians win County net title with 5-0 shutout

    An intriguing battle awaited and there was no indication what the team scores would be. Considering the Frankton Eagles had home court advantage, the Pendleton Heights Lady Arabians came hungry for the Madison County tennis title. Pendleton aced a 5-0 win and came away with the crown.

    April 18, 2014

  • Indians scratch back into Muller final A young and inexperienced Anderson team again proved its mettle Friday in the semifinals of the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament. The Indians (2-3), playing without several expected starters to open the season, clawed out a 10-6 victory against Lapel (2-2) at Memorial Field to advance to the championship game for the 10th time.

    April 18, 2014