KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Quarterback Alex Smith is still winning in red, but he is doing it for the Kansas City Chiefs these days.
Mike Wallace is finally happy in Miami and another receiver, Anquan Boldin, is making people happy in San Francisco — and those players are merely the start of the new faces in new places making a splash this season.
Wes Welker went from hauling in passes from Tom Brady in New England to doing the same from Peyton Manning in Denver. How did Welker get so lucky? Ex-New York Jet Darrelle Revis is defending passes in Tampa Bay and former Denver standout Elvis Dumervil is putting heat on quarterbacks for Baltimore.
After Smith was benched in favor of Colin Kaepernick during San Francisco’s NFC championship run last season, he began looking elsewhere to play this year. The 49ers worked a trade in February to send him to Kansas City, and Smith is running the offense for first-year coach Andy Reid.
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He is doing it well, too. Smith has thrown four touchdown passes without an interception in beating Jacksonville and Dallas, matching the Chiefs’ victory total from all of last season.
“From about midseason last year, I was thinking about where my next opportunity was potentially going to come,” Smith said, “and when this presented itself, I jumped at it.”
• Atlanta running back Steven Jackson will miss at least Sunday’s game at Miami because of a thigh injury and Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon will be out for at least eight weeks because of a foot injury.
• San Francisco nose tackle Ian Williams was placed on injured reserve with a broken left ankle suffered in Sunday’s 29-3 loss to the Seahawks.
• All-Pro left tackle Ryan Clady of Denver might miss the rest of the season or at least a good chunk of it because of an injured left foot, though team officials haven’t specified the exact nature or extent of his injury. Chris Clark is likely to take Clady’s place.
• Fans at the Super Bowl can prepare to pay double for the best seats.
League officials expect the most expensive tickets for the Feb. 2 game will be about $2,600 each for 9,000 premium seats at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. That is more than twice the $1,250 cost for similar tickets at last season’s Super Bowl in New Orleans.