Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows that I am a staunch advocate of not booing your own players and not being a d**k about guys on your own team. By default, this makes me a defender of Alex Smith. Or as the 'haters' would call me - 'a lover of' or a 'excuse maker for' Alex Smith. If Smith was as bad as some of the crazier, more vociferous haters would suggest, then I would just shut my mouth, cross my fingers and hope for the best (wait for Kaepernick, because he is not ready yet).
So after the jump (always wanted to say that!), I will put up some numbers that you all may find quite interesting. They are the sort of numbers that the 'haters' don't want to hear. Please, look at these numbers with an open mind and consider what would be said about a QB on any other team that was posting them.
"We Want Carr! We want Carr! We Want Carr!" Candlestick Park, San Francisco, CA. 10/10/2010
I decided to take a little statistical look at Smith over the last calendar year, which nicely fits in with 'that' game v's the Eagles on the 10/10/2010. What date is it today?... 10/10/2011... would you look at that, perfect!
Since the Eagles at home last season, Smith has started only 12 games due to the injury he suffered in Carolina 2 weeks later. I have taken all his single game stat and added them all together to see what they look like. I have also averaged them out to see what they look like over a full season. I'll give you the stats now, then I will add a little commentary as to the how's, what's and why's afterwards.
Smith's Last 12 Starts
Att - 307 Comp - 194 Comp % -63.2 Yards - 2415 Td's - 18 INT's - 4 QBRTE - 101.6 Fumbles Lost - 3 Sacks - 31
Win/Loss Record 7-5
What These Stats Say To Me
Firstly, for a guy that has thrown 18 TD's to 4 INT's and given up 3 Fumbles to be on a team that is only 7-5, well that team has greater worries than the QB.
Secondly, 31 sacks given up over a 12 game stretch! It's amazing he hasn't thrown MORE INT's, lost MORE fumbles and spent MORE time on the physios table than he already has.
Stats Averaged Out Over a Season
This is a bit of a self indulgent hypothetical set of numbers to be looking at, but it gives interesting results that might not be too far wrong come the end of the season.
Att - 408 Comp - 258 Comp % - 63.2 Yards - 3220 TD's - 24 INT's - 6 QBRTE 101.6 Fumbles Lost - 4 Sacks -41
Win/Loss Record 10/6 or 9/7 (depending on which way you round up or down the numbers beyond the decimal point)
Again, what does this mean?
Well really, a whole lot of nothing. But to look at these numbers and and then look at a 9-7 record, I'd expect a QB posting these numbers to be on at least a 11-5 team. What it says is that for a QB that's been sacked 41 times to ONLY throw 6 INT's and give up 4 fumbles is nothing short of a miracle. It also says that along with the offensive line, either the Defense and/or the running game isn't pulling it's weight.
Again, I'm not saying Smith will finish the season with these stats - they may be worse, or they may be better. Who knows? But I do think they can be used as a decent indicator as to what to expect over the next 11 games. Here is the opponent breakdown of the 12 game sample and the final 11 games of this season;
Wins: v's Oakland, v's Seattle, v's Arizona, v's Seattle, @Cincinnati, @Philadelphia, v's Tampa Bay
Losses: v's Philadelphia, v's Carolina (Injured 3rd Q), @San Diego, @St. Louis, v's Dallas
@Detroit, v's Cleveland, @Washington, v's NY Giants, v's Arizona, @Baltimore, v's St. Louis, @Arizona, v's Pittsburgh, @Seattle, @St. Louis
With stat's like Smith is putting up this year, considering his last 12 starts AND the hypothetical 16 game season - I fully expect a worse case scenario out of these remaining 11 games to be 7-4. 9-2 wouldnt be out of the realms of possibility for any other team sitting at 4-1 with a QB posting these types of recent numbers.
So the 16 game projection is just that, but to be honest, looking at the remainder of the schedule, I think it's under what it will eventually be. If the O-Line can tighten up and reduce the sack out put by 1 sack a game, that's down from 41 to 25... 25!!! That alone should be good for an extra 10-12 completions and 2-3 TD's, it would also likely drop INT's and Fumbles given up by 1 or 2.
At the end of the day, anything can happen in football. We all know Smith can't throw 60 yard bombs, we all know he might only ever be 1 heavy blitz away from a pick 6 disaster or 6 weeks out injured, but the chances of these bad things happening are lessening and lessening with every game. This is due mainly (but not exclusively) to the fact that Harbaugh employs a system that doesn't rely on 60 yard bombs. He has also given Smith the confidence no one else has been able (or willing?) to give him. NEWSFLASH! Our starting QB really is not as bad as some people think he is! So the next time you hear a hater talking s**t about Smith, think about these stats and tell that hater 'that's my Quarterback, that's unfair, we lost as a team'.
Does anyone still want David Carr?