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NFL Star Watch: Smith, Chiefs remain league's hot ticket at 5-0 Phillip Brents | Fri, Oct 13 2017 02:52 PM

The Kansas City Chiefs remained the NFL’s lone unbeaten team at 5-0 following their 42-34 victory against the host Houston Texas last Sunday (Oct. 8) on NBC-TV’s nationally-delivered Sunday Night Football telecast.

Quarterback Alex Smith (Bonita Vista Middle School/Helix High School) completed 29 of 37 passing attempts for 324 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. He was sacked once in the game but finished with a quarterback efficiency rating of 130.2.

The Chiefs bolted to a 23-7 halftime lead. The Texans (2-3) rallied with 27 second-half points to make it a six-point contest early in the fourth quarter. But Smith calmly directed his team down the field for a touchdown to extend the lead for the visitors to 30-20.

Tyreek Hill later returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown to pad the Kansas City lead.

Charcandrick West (two catches, 12 yards) caught two of Smith’s touchdown passes, both from short range, while De’Anthony Thomas hauled in a 10-yard scoring pass.

Tight end Travis Kelce was the major recipient of Smith’s passing game with eight catches for 98 yards. Tyreek Hill had four catches for 68 yards.

Rookie Kareem Hunt continued his assault on the NFL record book by rushing 29 times for 107 yards. He now has four 100-yard rushing games this season.

Smith has had a resurgent season in 2017-18 with the Chiefs, with whom he is under contract to through 2019 (this season and next season). He’s stated he’s playing as if this could be his last year with the team. If so, he’s going out a like a champion. He’s thrown for 11 touchdowns without an interception, a total of 1,391 yards and a quarterback efficiency rating of 125.8.

Smith’s QB rating and completion percentage (76.6) lead all NFL starters. He ranks fifth in the league in passing yards behind New England’s Tom Brady (1,702 yards, 11 touchdowns), Philadelphia’s Carson Wentz (1,584 yards, 13 touchdowns), Arizona’s Carson Palmer (1,573 yards, six touchdowns) and Carolina’s Cam Newton (1,476 yards, eight touchdowns).

Houston quarterback Deshaun Watson passed for 261 yards and five touchdowns in the loss. He was sacked three times to finish with a 119.8 quarterback efficiency rating.

A season-ending injury to Texans star J.J. Watt (tibial plateau fracture), a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year, marred the game. Watt, who has poured his energy into raining millions of dollars for the Houston community following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, tweeted the following on Monday: “I can't sugarcoat it, I am devastated. All I want to do is be out there on that field for my teammates and this city. I'm sorry.” 

The Chiefs lead the AFC West standings over the Denver Broncos (3-1), Oakland Raiders (2-3) and Los Angeles Chargers (1-4).

Kansas City host the Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2) in a game that could determine the course of their season on Sunday, Oct. 15. The Steelers eliminated the host Chiefs, 18-16, in last year’s NFL playoffs.

 

Tony Jefferson (Eastlake High School)

Jefferson, playing in his fifth NFL season and first with the Baltimore Ravens, recorded four tackles, including three unassisted tackles and one tackle for a loss, in a 30-17 victory at Oakland on Sunday. The Ravens improved to 3-2 with the win. 

On the season, Jefferson has recorded 26 tackles and two sacks.

The Ravens racked up their points on the strength of two rushing touchdowns, one defensive touchdown and three field goals by Justin Tucker.

Eric Weddle led the Baltimore defense with seven tackles while Jimmy Smith returned a fumble for a touchdown.

The Ravens host the Chicago Bears (1-4) on Sunday, Oct. 15.

 

Jason Myers (Mater Dei Catholic High School)

Myers booted a 47-yard field goal and converted three of four extra-point kicks to account for six kicking points in the Jaguars’ 30-9 win at Pittsburgh on Sunday.

On the season, Myers has converted 10 of 12 field goal attempts (83.3 percent) and 13 of 15 extra-point attempts (86.7 percent).

Leonard Fournette rushed for 181 yards and two touchdowns to spur the Jacksonville offense. But it was the Jag’s defense — five interceptions of Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger – to turned the course of the game.

Jacksonville (3-2) hosts the Los Angeles Rams (3-2) on Sunday, Oct. 15.

 

John Fox (Castle Park High School/Southwestern College)

Fox saw his record drop to 10-27 in his third year as head coach of the Bears following their 20-17 loss to the visiting Minnesota Vikings in a nationally-telecast NFC North Monday Night Football matchup on Oct. 9.

The Bears led 2-0 after the first quarter on a safety and trailed just 3-2 at halftime in the unusually low-scoring game. But two third quarter touchdowns by the Vikings gave them a 17-9 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

The Bears tied the game, 17-17, on a 20-yard scoring pass from Mitchell Trubisky (128 passing yards, one touchdown, one interception) to Zach Miller (three catches, 39 yards) with 6:07 left in the game but Minnesota’s Kai Forbath kicked a 26-yard field goal with 2:08 to play to provide the Vikings with their margin of victory.

 

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