KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith usually keeps his temper in check but had some pointed words for Mike Mitchell after the Pittsburgh Steelers safety dived into the back of his knees following a third-quarter pass in Sunday’s game.
“Certainly when I got fired up, I thought [the hit] was pretty late,” said Smith, who screamed something at Mitchell after the hit. “I mean, when you get hit in the back of your knee like that, I didn’t understand how that happened. Certainly guys falling, rushing the quarterback, I get it when it’s happening from the front and guys are trying hard. That one to me just seemed so weird to get hit that low coming from behind.”
The officials agreed with Smith on this one. Mitchell was penalized for roughing the passer on the play. Smith avoided a blitzing Mitchell on the play in question and stepped up in the pocket to throw a pass that Kareem Hunt took for a 37-yard gain. Mitchell hit Smith in the back of the knees well after the ball was gone. Smith said he didn’t know whether Mitchell hit him in the back of the knees intentionally.
“I haven’t seen the play, so I couldn’t tell you,” Smith said. “Just fired up at the time.”
The Chiefs and Steelers have played one another in four straight seasons and in the playoffs last year. Some of those games have featured some bad blood.
“In the same conference, we play a lot of games against each other,” Smith said. “These guys have gotten the last three now. They’ve all been hard-fought. They’ve all been physical. Anytime, I feel like, we play each other, they’re physical games, intense. I don’t think anybody. … I think it’s just guys playing hard.”