Alex Smith is more than a game manager

Could Chiefs be AFC favorites? (1:57)

Tony Kornheiser details why the Kansas City Chiefs could be the team to beat in the AFC. (1:57)

ESPN NFL Insider Mike Sando spends each Sunday with ESPN NFL analyst Jon Gruden and the Monday Night Football crew. This week, they're in Houston for the Kansas City Chiefs-Houston Texans wild-card matchup on Saturday (ABC/ESPN/WatchESPN, 4:20 p.m. ET). Here are some takeaways from Gruden on Alex Smith's success.

HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans and Kansas City Chiefs both made it to the AFC wild-card playoff round without their franchise running backs. Both teams can play dominant defense. Both have been scrambling on their offensive lines. Both have 1,000-yard wide receivers.

Alex Smith's dual-threat capabilities as the Chiefs' quarterback could give Kansas City a winning edge in a game we'll be calling on ESPN and ABC. People like to call Smith a game manager in a negative way, but he is more than that for the Chiefs. This trip into the film room will focus on the athleticism, audible skills and arm talent that have propelled Smith to one of his finest seasons -- despite issues along the Chiefs' offensive line and despite the absence of running back Jamaal Charles.