Mailbag: Who's to blame for passing woes?

Here is this week’s edition of the Kansas City Chiefs’ mailbag. To ask a question for a future edition, send it to me via Twitter (@adamteicher) and tag it #ChiefsMail.

@adamteicher: You're forgetting the protection. Quarterback Alex Smith frequently is forced to get rid of the ball before he might like. Fans were all over Smith this week for his inability to throw deep passes at the end of the Arizona game when the Chiefs needed to quickly get down the field and into field goal range. But he was under pressure on all but one throw. So there's plenty of blame to go around. Smith needs to take more chances, within reason. But the receivers need to play better as well. I think Jason Avant helps. He's not fast but knows how to play the game. @adamteicher: This is in reference to something I wrote about the Chiefs' playoff chances being in danger because the passing game isn't working right. The Chiefs have a lot of flaws and a lousy run defense is one of them. But everything with them revolves around their balky passing game. The Chiefs don't force many turnovers or get many big plays on special teams so they have to go a long field almost every time they get the ball. That's difficult to do without getting many big plays. To their credit, the Chiefs were able to make it work during their five-game winning streak because they scored touchdowns when they get inside the 20 and they were remarkably efficient in converting on third downs. But the Chiefs haven't converted as well on third downs during their losing streak. So their offensive inability is putting pressure on everything else, including their run defense. The Chiefs didn't play good run defense during their five-game losing streak but it didn't matter because they were making up for it in other ways. Not anymore. @adamteicher: They both need work. The difference is I think the Chiefs have some options on their roster for the offensive line. That really doesn't exist at wide receiver other than perhaps Albert Wilson. But on the offensive line, they could go into next season with Eric Fisher and Donald Stephenson at tackle, Jeff Allen and Zach Fulton at guard and Rodney Hudson, if they re-sign him, at center. That's better than what they have now. Plus they have developmental prospects in Eric Kush and Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. If they draft a lineman in, say, the first three rounds, that should give them enough competent bodies at those positions. @adamteicher: I've heard worse ideas. But they need to throw numbers at wide receiver in particular this year. The Chiefs have let those positions decay. @adamteicher: Mike McGlynn has had a miserable season for the Chiefs. They picked him up shortly before the start of the regular season and he has played like a guy who didn't have a job. He played for Andy Reid for a time with the Eagles, so I know Reid is comfortable with him. If the Chiefs thought they had a better option, they would go with him. But they feel McGlynn is the best they have. @adamteicher: No, the Chiefs' third-string rookie quarterback has been inactive for all 13 games. For settling that, I'll take 20 percent of the cut.