If you ask Bill Romanowski to name the best teams in the NFL, he’ll name the 11-2 Cowboys, the 10-2 Patriots, and the 8-5 Steelers who have won four straight games and have perhaps the best offensive trio in football. Romanowski, however, will not name the 10-3 Chiefs, who, as of now, trail only the Patriots in the AFC.
“Here’s the problem: it’s Alex Smith,” the four-time Super Bowl champion said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “When I look at teams that are going to make a run, I really look at the quarterbacks. Alex Smith is not a guy, to me, that is going to win in the playoffs. When you need to score, he’s going to be a guy that’s going to be dinking and dunking, and they’re going to have to run the football, but he’s not going to take you down and win a game for you. He is a good, solid game manager, not a game winner.”
Smith has completed 67.3 percent of his passes for 2,831 yards, 12 touchdowns and five interceptions this season. Five interceptions in 12 games is great. Smith, however, ranks 22nd in passing yards and 27th in passing touchdowns.
Those numbers are hardly elite.
“(The defense and special teams) are good and what they do on defense is they make plays. So I like that part of them,” Romanowski said of the Chiefs. “But (in the playoffs), it still comes down (to needing) your quarterback to take you down (the field). Everybody is going to be good, everybody is going to be fired up, everybody is going to know intimately what the other team is going to do and how they’re going to attack them. Now it comes down to the guy that touches the ball on every offensive play, and that’s the quarterback. All the teams I said, I trust the quarterback, but I just don’t trust Alex Smith to win deep in the playoffs. I think he can win the first game against a Wild Card team at home, but I just don’t think he can win the next game or go to the Super Bowl.”
Moving to the NFC, Romanowski took Cam Newton to task for his poor play and even poorer attitude this season. While few people expected the Panthers to go 15-1 again, just about everyone expected better than 5-8.
The Panthers, however, have struggled all season, and Newton hasn’t exactly won over many new fans in the process.
“Guys, after what I saw at the Super Bowl and what I’ve seen this year, one thing that really bothered me is when he started saying it’s just not fun anymore,” Romanowski said. “Are you kidding me? When I heard those words come out of his mouth, this is the leader of your football team? I need that guy to say, ‘I will fight through anything. There’s no adversity I can’t handle. There’s nothing that I will not do to help my team get back to the Super Bowl.’ That’s what I want to hear from this guy – and I don’t. And it bothers me.”