They share a namesake. But that's not where the similarities end for Vikings S Harrison Smith and Chiefs QB Alex Smith. That's why Sunday's Smith vs. Smith battle is the subject of this week's Ticketmaster Hot Matchup.
Both Smith's will take the field at the same times on Sunday. Both are looked at as leaders on their side of the ball. Harrison leads a young and athletic Vikings defense. Alex leads a Chiefs offense that is missing its best piece – Jamaal Charles – for the rest of the season because of a knee injury but also a Chiefs offense that is designed by Andy Reid, a well-respected offensive mind in the League, and that is full of other playmakers who can challenge opposing defenses.
Alex is in his 10th season and his third with the Chiefs. He was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, selected by the San Francisco 49ers following a prolific career at the University of Utah. In 117 career games for the 49ers and Chiefs, Smith has completed 60.5% of his passes with a 127-79 TD-INT ratio for a passer rating of 83.1. In three seasons as the Chiefs starter, Smith is 20-15 in 35 regular season games with a 46-16 ratio and a rating of 90.7. Smith is also a threat on the ground, where he as a career rushing average of 4.3 yards per carry with 6 TDs.
Harrison's career has been shorter than Alex's, but no less impressive. The No. 29 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, Smith earned all-rookie honors his first season and set a team rookie record for starts with 16. In 2014, he led the team in tackles with 120 and INTs with 5; he was also the only NFL player in 2014 with at least 3 INTs and sacks. Smith's three career INT return TDs are a franchise record.
Which Smith's team will come out on top this Sunday? A lot of things will factor in to the decision. But given the importance each Smith has to his team's outlook and given the two Smith's will oppose one another all afternoon, whichever Smith has the better game will likely be an indicator as to which team comes out with a victory.