Alex Smith: QB Will Benefit from Playing in AFC West

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistMarch 9, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 20:  Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers drops back to pass against the Oakland Raiders at Candlestick Park on August 20, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After spending his entire seven-year career in the NFC West with the San Francisco 49ers, Alex Smith will benefit from moving to the AFC West with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Fox's Jay Glazer reported last week that the Chiefs have acquired the former No. 1 overall pick, but it can't be official until next week.

Smith is leaving the division at the right time. San Francisco's defense was ranked second (according to in points allowed last year, but Seattle was even stingier and allowed nearly two fewer points per game than the 49ers. The St. Louis Rams were tied for 14th, and the Arizona Cardinals finished 17th in the league in scoring defense.

The Denver Broncos were the only team in the AFC West to finish higher than 15th last season. They were also the only team to finish above .500 last season. The NFC West had two teams above .500 and one team at 7-8-1.

The Oakland Raiders allowed quarterbacks to post a 97.5 rating, which was the third-highest in the league. The San Diego Chargers also ranked in the bottom half of the league by allowing opposing quarterbacks to have an 87.9 rating.

Oakland had the second-fewest sacks in the NFL and was tied for 23rd in interceptions. Both Oakland and San Diego finished in the bottom five of the league in allowing plays of over 40 yards or more.

Smith will have plenty of chances to make plays against opposing defenses within the division. Yes, Denver's pass rush will be tough to handle. However, the other defenses inside the division are much worse than those he faced in the NFC West.

With his move to the AFC West, he will be facing the NFC East and AFC South in his first season.

Last season, the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants ranked in the bottom five of the league in passing yards allowed. The Dallas Cowboys finished in the bottom half of the league as well.

The Philadelphia Eagles, the Redskins and the Cowboys all finished no higher than 22nd in scoring defense last year.

Over in the AFC South, the Indianapolis Colts, the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans finished in the bottom 11 of the league as well. The Titans allowed the most points in the NFL.

All three teams were in the bottom half of the league in passing yards allowed and opponent's quarterback rating. 

Although he will face a couple of good defenses, such as Denver and the Houston Texans, the move to the AFC West sets Smith up to succeed. The schedule is statistically favorable for the quarterback.

Kansas City had six Pro Bowlers last season, so there is talent on the team.

Smith will get another chance to prove he is capable of leading a team to the postseason, and moving to the AFC West was the best possible scenario for the veteran quarterback.