Could Nick Foles take the starting job from Alex Smith?


Four years ago this month, then-49ers quarterback Alex Smith suffered a concussion. It opened the door for second-year second-rounder Colin Kaepernick, who seized the job and never looked back — at least not until a year or so after Smith had been traded to the Chiefs.

Now in his fourth season as the starter in Kansas City, Smith has another concussion. Unless he doesn’t. Unless he does. Unless he doesn’t.

A ping-pong week that had Smith removed from a game for a concussion evaluation, returned to the game with a clean bill of health, removed later for another concussion evaluation, diagnosed with a concussion that later was described as not a concussion, but then ultimately shut down for the Week Nine game against the Jaguars has opened the door for Nick Foles to get his first start since an abysmal season in St. Louis.

Foles played very well last week in relief of Smith, completing 16 of 22 passes for 223 yards, two touchdowns, a 135.2 passer rating, and perhaps most importantly an average-per-attempt of 10.1 yards.

If Foles, who has been reunited with the head coach who drafted him four years ago in Philadelphia, can continue to operate the offense that well, how can the Chiefs bench him?

For Smith, it may already be starting to feel eerily similar to 2012. For Chiefs fans, it may be a welcome development; the last time Smith lost his job due to a concussion (or, in this case, not a concussion), Smith’s replacement took the team to the Super Bowl.

32 responses to “Could Nick Foles take the starting job from Alex Smith?

  1. Smith is not the best q/b in the world, but I would be very shocked to see a q/b controversy, unless, he continues with this concussion/non-concussion problem. They should just be glad their back-up q/b can maybe win a game!

  2. Nick Foles played well in relief last week, but the Colts defense isn’t very good and after re-watching the game I didn’t see any throws made by him that Alex Smith couldn’t make. I was happy we signed him in the offseason, after losing Chase Daniel and needing a quality back-up to fill in just in case Smith got hurt.

    It would be one thing if the Chiefs had a 1st round draft choice at QB sitting on the bench, but Foles is classic Chiefs QB material- a cast-off from another team. I don’t see him as the real long-term “answer” at QB and therefore don’t see any sense in disrupting the overall plan for the team by replacing Smith with Foles. I hope he plays well on Sunday, Chiefs get the W, and Alex Smith comes back next week and keeps on rolling.

  3. Foles has something like 20 turnovers in his last 20 games. I don’t think Smith has 20 turnovers in his last 32 games.

    I also think your comparison of situations kind of answers itself. Don’t you think most 49ers fans (indeed every football analyst) would say that the 49ers chose the wrong QB in that situation?

    One has over 30 wins in 3 seasons….the other was backing up blaine gabbert…..

  4. “For Chiefs fans, it may be a welcome development; the last time Smith lost his job due to a concussion (or, in this case, not a concussion), Smith’s replacement took the team to the Super Bowl.” …and lost.

  5. despite the nightmare in stl, foles is a decent qb. he has a strong arm. but biggest weakness is lack of mobility/inability to escape the pass rush.

    he is, or at least was, the poster boy for slow feet.

  6. Alex Smith is a joke. He can’t throw past 10 yards with accuracy. He rather throw a check down than throw a 30 yards bomb to a wide open reciever. He has no confidence. Alex might get you a few wins. Possibly sneak into the playoffs, but he’ll never get you to the Super Bowl, much less win it. If your happy withthat, then Alex is your guy. If you want to make it to the Super Bowl then a change at qb is desperately needed. Nick foles is a good start. He’s confident, has a great arm , has good accuracy. He can read defenses and goes through his progressions. As a niners fan, I would take foles in a heartbeat. I’d trade kaep, gabbert , ponder and a 4th round pick for nick foles.

  7. All the people who are critical of Alex Smith’s play (i.e. Redandgoldhitman) are continually quoting a common false narrative that seemingly perpetuates itself.

    While Alex Smith does take care of the ball, he also does indeed throw downfield. However, not unlike the current election cycle, people who want to believe their own opinion as fact will inturn repeat their opinions as fact as often as they can. Are these downfield strikes as often as other QBs? Yes and no. But he wins folks, Nicks deep throws last week were sometime wounded ducks.

    KC was 2-14 in 2012! We didn’t have a quarterback! Since then, Smith and Reid have won…they won a playoff game last year, coaching, not QB play, kept us away from the AFC title game.

    Nick Foles is NOT Rich Gannon, folks! He will be a good back up, just like Chase was. Alex Smith is a good QB and we are lucky to have him. Any controversy is simply in the minds of people who enjoy controversy.

  8. Broncos fan, so I would fully support KC making a bad personnel move, but there is no way that the Chiefs have a QB controversy. Smith is often criticized for the check down passes, but he’s had no problems leading 4th quarter comebacks on multiple occasions. He’s also only had running backs and a tight end to throw to until they got Maclin.

  9. Meh. I see a lot of folks dismissing Foles and bringing up his stats with the Rams, but Foles’ connection with Reid is something worth considering, and let’s not pretend this guy didn’t have one of the best seasons by a QB in recent memory. If Reid can tap even some of that…we could have a controversy.

  10. “It would suck if he got Kaep’d again. Or is it Romo’d? Wait, what are we calling it this week..?”

    Bledsoed. It’s always Bledsoed, which is the football version of Wally Pipped. Wally took a game off and they put in Lou Gehrig….

  11. arrowhead1970 says:
    Nov 5, 2016 6:22 PM

    All the people who are critical of Alex Smith’s play (i.e. Redandgoldhitman) are continually quoting a common false narrative that seemingly perpetuates itself.
    Smith averages about 7 yards per attempt, and has 8 TDs so far. Mediocre, but the Chiefs aren’t built around the QB. What could push Smith out the door is his cap hit. It’s 17M next year, and 20M in 2018. Foles has a 10M number next season, so one of them won’t be back.

  12. Alex Smith is the guy that had a year where he didn’t have a single touch-down to a receiver, yet still had 18 TDs – 6ints, and 3200 yards.

    There is no QB controversy.

  13. Chiefs are the kind of team that doesn’t scare anybody. Every game is a theoretical tossup at best. Put one qb in instead of the other . . . still a tossup. If the Chiefs make the playoffs, not one single Chiefs fan in the universe will have high expectations for a single playoff win. Truthfully, I’d like to see what Kaep could do under center for the Chiefs. It couldn’t hurt much of anything.

  14. I’m not sure if Foles would be the answer and I’ve defended Smith in many conversations but it is getting old watching him miss wide open receivers down field so he could check down to the running back. Yes, he does throw down field but not much and maybe it’s the play calling but Foles was throwing down field last week with same play caller. If he gets yardage and really wins this game instead of having to count on the defense to get a score and hold the other team in the red zone over and over I’d let him ride until he doesn’t. That 5 minute drive last year with Alex dinking and dunking down the field against the Pat’s was agonizing!

  15. I don’t know if Foles is the answer but I know that Smith is not. At some point, it would be nice to get a good QB. All this mediocre, play it safe, check down stuff gets old. When you have a dominant roster, you can get by with a game manager, but you’re always going to have an early exit come playoff time.

  16. @luvkcchiefs

    The 5 minutes drive was not Smith’s fault, Andy Reid has no time management skills and drained time calling plays for Smith to run. He played great against New England. His only bad game in the postseason was against the Giants and he should have had a chance to win that game also but their PR gave the ball to NY. He obviously doesnt get credit for his game play in the postseason because they lost. Whats more ridiculous is when the win the regular season they want to defer his play to every other player besides him.

  17. Alex Smith is the stable QB that you know what you will get. Not a Pro Bowler but not a bottom tier QB. He’ll win you games and keep the ball safe the majority of the time. Is he gonna win you a superbowl? Maybe if his defense and running game is there. While with Nick Foles probably has the talent he just doesn’t have the consistency. But sometimes he has flashes of brilliance that make you wonder.

  18. How about we stop with the random speculation and see what Foles actually does with his first start as a Chief? His career to this point has been 1 great season and 3 not so great seasons. Potential? Yes, but his track record up to now says he’s more likely to tank than he is to soar.

    Either way, it’s way to early to start speculating like this.

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