49ers nearing significant NFL record

September 14, 2012, 9:07 pm
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Alex Smith is not the only player etching his name in record books these days, with his 253 consecutive passes without an interception.

Smith now holds the franchise record for most consecutive completions without an interception, surpassing Steve Young at Green Bay this past Sunday, but the team is closing in on a significant record of their own.

The 49ers have not committed a turnover in six consecutive regular season games, dating back to last season, which is good enough for second in league history behind the 2010 New England Patriots -- a record the 49ers can match on Sunday against the Detroit Lions.

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Smith is a big reason for that with his interception-less streak, but the team itself has not lost a fumble since Vernon Davis coughed up the ball on November 6 against the Washington Redskins.

The 49ers have not committed a turnover in the regular season since the Harbaugh Bowl on Thanksgiving against the Baltimore Ravens.

In the backfield, Frank Gore has not lost a fumble in his last 226 carries, and Kendall Hunter has never fumbled in the two seasons he has played.

"In the history of the NFL, the strongest correlation to winning and losing is the turnover ratio," Smith said. "The turnover battle is the No. 1."

Last season, the 49ers led the NFL with a plus-28 turnover differential on their way to a NFC Championship berth.