Niners go as QB Smith goes

Getty Images File PhotoWhen quarterback Alex Smith is on

Getty Images File PhotoWhen quarterback Alex Smith is on

When Alex Smith is good, he can be very good. When Smith is very good, the 49ers are practically unbeatable.

While the staples of San Francisco’s success this season remain a rock-solid defense and the NFL’s top-ranked rushing game, Smith’s play at quarterback has been a key variable that’s put the 49ers over the top in a string of lopsided victories.

The first-place 49ers, coming off a bye week, begin the second half of the season Sunday against the St. Louis Rams at 6-2 with a 1½-game lead in the NFC West. The six victories have come by an average margin of 20 points, and Smith has a 120.0 quarterback rating in those games.

The eighth-year veteran knows his strong season to this point will ultimately be judged by what he and the 49ers do the remainder of the year.

Smith says he’s “not really reflecting” on a first half that has established him as one of the league’s top performers so far. Smith ranks fourth among NFL quarterbacks with a passer rating of 102.1.

“You hope you’re playing your best football come November and December,” Smith said. “As you move into the back half of the season, thes

When quarterback Alex Smith is on, the 49ers are hard to stop. The balanced offense has been running on all cylinders recently and San Francisco has been able to string together some lopsided wins.

e are huge games, so you hope you’re playing better and better as the season goes on.”
San Francisco has been striving for balance against opponents that key on three-time Pro Bowl running back Frank Gore and the power rushing attack the offense revolves around.

“We present a lot,” said Smith, who has completions to 11 different players this season and also has rushed for 129 yards. “I love getting everybody involved, that’s for sure. I feel like we’re not predictable.”

Smith’s consistency and efficiency also have helped in San Francisco’s climb to 13th in the NFL rankings for total offense this week after finishing 26th in that category last season.

49ersNFLSan FranciscoSan Francisco 49erssports

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Police Chief Bill Scott on Wednesday said a rebranding and reoganization of the former Gang Task Force amounts to “more than just the name change.” (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Faced with surge in shootings, Chief Scott reenvisions SFPD’s Gang Task Force

New Community Violence Reduction Team adds officers with community-policing experience

Stores including Walgreens and Safeway are required to pay their employees additional hazard pay under a city ordinance that is currently set to expire later this month. (Shutterstock)
Grocery workers could gain additional weeks of $5 per hour hazard pay

San Francisco will vote next week on whether to extend a law… Continue reading

The fatal shooting of San Francisco resident Roger Allen by Daly City police on April 7 prompted protests in both cities. (Jordi Molina/ Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Daly City approves body-worn and vehicle cameras for police after fatal shooting

Daly City officials on Wednesday approved body and vehicle cameras for police… Continue reading

Baseball Hall of Famer Willie Mays attends an event to honor the San Francisco Giants' 2014 World Series victory on Thursday, June 4, 2015, in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)
Willie Mays turns 90: San Francisco celebrates the greatest Giant

By Al Saracevic Examiner staff writer I couldn’t believe it. Willie Mays… Continue reading

Ja’Mari Oliver, center, 11, a fifth grader at Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, is surrounded by his classmates at a protest outside the Safeway at Church and Market streets on Wednesday, May 5, 2021 in support of him following an April 26 incident where he was falsely accused by an employee of stealing. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
School community rallies behind Black classmate stopped at Safeway

‘When you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us’

Most Read