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Alex Smith absolutely has to complete the key, clutch passes

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – If Alex Smith is ever going to become a championship quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs, he needs to complete passes like the final two throws that he missed in Sunday’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings.

The Chiefs trailed by six points with more than two minutes left. On third and fourth downs on what would be Kansas City’s final two plays, the Vikings gave the deep out to wide receiver Albert Wilson.

Smith on each play had time for the route to develop and to step up and into his throw. He shorthopped Wilson each time and the Vikings took over and were able to run out the clock.

Those are throws that an NFL quarterback has to make. We know the Chiefs have been awful in the Smith era when they need a game-winning touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter.

Smith doesn’t carry complete blame for all of those failures. But never has his blame been so obvious in a late-game situation as it was in Minnesota.

“The third down one, the route has a lot of adjustments on it kind of on the fly there,’’ Smith said.

Smith has to throw to a spot on that play. His comment suggested Wilson ran his route too deep.

But Smith went on to explain Wilson did the right thing.

“(Wilson) ran a good route,’’ he said. “I let it go and felt really good about it but you have to hit it. Especially that third down one, I thought it was cleaner. The guys did a good job of battling. I was able to step up and get a clean look at it. You have to hit that.’’

It’s nice to hear Smith take the blame instead of passing it. It would be better if he completes the pass and doesn’t have to take it.