KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Doug Pederson threw 522 passes with 19 interceptions during his 10-year NFL career with the Dolphins, Packers, Eagles and Browns. If anyone has an appreciation for Alex Smith's current streak of 305 passes without an interception, it’s Pederson, now his offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs.
“It’s tough to do in this league with all the different defenses and disguises that you’re seeing in the secondary nowadays and fire zone blitzes and guys coming from all over the place," Pederson said. “So for him to be able to take care of the football like he does is a tremendous feat. He studies so hard during the week that he knows our offense and knows where to go with the football even during blitzes, if they don’t blitz, even if they play man or zone. He’s very well-rehearsed when it comes to that and he has a knack for either throwing it away or using his legs to run and that’s been helpful to him, too."
It helps to have a little bit of luck as well. A few of Smith’s last 305 passes could have been intercepted but were dropped.
Still, 305 passes without an interception is a remarkable streak. The streak is third-longest in NFL history. Smith needs four passes without a pick to pass Bernie Kosar (1990 and 1991) of the Cleveland Browns to move into second place. Smith could pass Kosar in the first quarter of Sunday’s game against the San Diego Chargers at Arrowhead Stadium.
Smith has thrown three interceptions this season, but none since a game on Sept. 28 against the Packers in Green Bay. He has thrown .8 interceptions for every 100 passes this season, the best such percentage in the NFL.