The Kansas City Chiefs have been in a similar spot for a while as they've lost in the divisional round of the playoffs in each of the past two seasons.
Alex Smith has played well to get them to that point, but it feels like the second round is the ceiling for how far the Chiefs can go with him at quarterback. That would explain why they moved up and drafted Patrick Mahomes with the 10th overall pick in this year's draft.
Mahomes balled out in the preseason, throwing for four touchdowns and no interceptions in four games.
Still, Chiefs GM Brett Veach says he isn't anywhere near Alex Smith's level yet.
"Coach made a statement a few days back; there's no gray area. Alex is our quarterback," Veach said. "Alex is so far advanced from the mental side of things in regards to his ability to read coverages, to shift to better plays and really play the chess game. He's so far ahead of what Pat is."
This could be true as far as understanding the playbook and reading defenses goes. However, looking at talent, Mahomes already has shown the ability to do things that Smith has yet to do after 12 seasons in the league.
Take this deep ball Mahomes threw on the run, for example.
It wasn't that long ago that Smith found himself overshadowed by Colin Kaepernick in San Francisco. It won't be long before Mahomes becomes the starter in Kansas City.
Patrick Mahomes might not be on Alex Smith's level yet, but it's just a matter of time before he's beyond it.