FanPost

Alex Smith's yearly improvement and 2012 predictions.

I read a post several months ago that mentioned that Alex Smith has improved each year he has played. Even though I've always rooted for Alex I was still surprised and unsure if that was true. I decided to go back and take a look for myself.

YR

CMP

ATT

CMP%

YDS

YDS*

AVG

TD

INT

QBR

GP

2005

84

165

50.9

875

1555

5.30

1

11

40.8

9

2006

257

442

58.1

2890

2890

6.54

16

16

74.8

16

2007

94

193

48.7

914

2089

4.74

2

4

57.2

7

2009

225

372

60.5

2350

3418

6.32

18

12

81.5

11

2010

204

342

59.6

2370

3447

6.93

14

10

82.1

11

2011

273

445

61.3

3144

3144

7.07

17

5

90.7

16

There are two aberrations in this chart. First, year 2007 was down across the board because of Smith's shoulder injury. Second, I included a "YDS*" that lists the projected yards if Alex had played 16 games each year. You can see in that column how there was fewer total yards in 2011 than in the previous few years. I attribute this to the system more than any decline in Smith's skills. In fact, his yard AVG and his quarterback rating continued to increase in 2011 as well. Just looking at those two columns, it's obvious to me that, outside of 2007, he is improving even in the face of every difficulty.

Of course, what we're really interested in is how will he do in 2012. To project out to 2012 I came up with the following incremental numbers. The first line is based off of his year to year totals above. I did some other work based on 2011's quarter to quarter numbers and came up with about 120 yards per quarter improvement on average. If the offense continues at that rate, they should break 3600 for 2012. The second line reflects that increase. The assumptions I made were that Coach would run a similar style of play, and that Alex would regress to his average interception rate of 10 per year.

YR

CMP

ATT

CMP%

YDS

AVG

TD

INT

QBR

2012

282

445

63.38

3304

7.424

28

10

97.43

2012

307

464

66.16

3600

7.760

32

10

103.55

There is a case to be made that the improvements could be even more dramatic. These results are based on a historical and relentless improvement in Alex's game and do not include other factors. For instance, I did not adjust for Alex being in the same system for a second year. Also, the total yards calculated is just from the increase in the avg, and doesn't account for additional first downs and extended drives, which would mean more passing attempts and a greater yard total. Also, increased efficiency should translate into a higher redzone percentage, increasing the touchdown total. I could see an argument made for 4000+ yards and 36+ touchdowns through the air.

I think these numbers look pretty reasonable and give cause for excitement, but would like to see what others think?

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.

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