Alex Smith could set records despite short season


Alex Smith could set records despite short season

Alex Smith hasn't seen the field since he suffered a concussion against the Rams on Nov. 11, but that doesn't mean his stellar start to the 2012 season will be swept under the carpet. In fact, Smith has a chance to enter his abbreviated campaign into the NFL record books.

Smith has attempted 217 passes this year, seven shy of the 224 attempts the league requires for eligibility in yearly records (14 attempt-per-game average). It's significant because Smith is on the doorstep of two NFL honors.

The 49ers backup quarterback has a chance to finish the season with the highest QB rating in the league, and he is within striking distance of the NFL record for single-season completion percentage set at 71.2 last year by Drew Brees.

Aaron Rodgers currently owns the top QB rating in the league with a 104.7 mark. Robert Griffin III is close behind him at 104.2, followed by Smith at 104.1. If Smith qualifies with another seven attempted passes this season, there are numerous scenarios in which he surpasses Rodgers and Griffin for the title.

In their final two games of the season, Rodgers faces the 19th- and 23rd-ranked passing defenses of the Titans and Vikings, while Griffin faces the 13th- and 14th-ranked passing defenses of the Eagles and Cowboys.

Smith has connected on 152 of his 217 pass attempts this season, giving him a clean 70.0 completion percentage that falls 1.2 percentage points behind Brees' NFL record, even though Brees attempted significantly more passes with 657 attempts.

As the New York Times points out, an additional nine completed passes would give Smith the all-time record with a completion percentage of .71238, barely besting Brees' .71232 mark. Duplicating his last full game -- an 18-for-19 effort against the Cardinals -- would be more than enough to do the trick with a dominating completion percentage of .72033.

The 49ers have their playoff berth clinched, but they are still jockeying for standings superiority and the all-important first-round bye. Head coach Jim Harbaugh won't throw Smith out there just for the pursuit of records. And you shouldn't expect him to tailor his play calls towards breaking the records if Smith does end up in the game.

As long as Colin Kaepernick continues to play at an Offensive-Player-of-the-Week caliber, that might not happen.

"The only thing I did to lose my job," Smith said, "was get a concussion."

It's true, Smith didn't do anything to lose his job. But football is a business, and the brutal reality is that Alex Smith is only one play away from once again being the 49ers starting quarterback -- with a pair of records in reach.

Fans raise funds to fly anti-Baalke banner before 49ers game

Fans raise funds to fly anti-Baalke banner before 49ers game

San Francisco 49ers fans came together last season and raised money to fly an anti-Jed York banner over Levi's Stadium on three separate occasions. With the team 1-6 this year, there is a new push for a banner calling out a different member of the team’s front office. 

[REWIND: Banner flies over Levi’s calling for 49ers, York to mutually part ways]

On Monday a crowdfunding campaign was created with the goal of raising $1,076 by Oct. 28 in order to fly a banner that reads “49ers: Fire Trent Baalke” over Levi's Stadium on Nov. 6 before the team’s game against the New Orleans Saints. The fundraising goal was fulfilled in 11 hours by 58 people as it reached $1,095. 

The campaign proceeds are promised to Aerial Services of Livermore, which charges $1,024 for two hours of airtime, according to the post, and, which takes five percent of all funds raised -- $51.20.

The three banners that flew over Levi’s last season read “Jed York And 49ers Should Mutually Part Ways," "Hold Jed Accountable," and "Jed Here's Our Banner -- Where's Yours?"

Source: 49ers not shopping WR Torrey Smith

Source: 49ers not shopping WR Torrey Smith

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Torrey Smith is the subject of trade discussions, according to multiple reports.

The 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles have discussed a trade involving Smith, but a deal is not imminent, reports Pro Football Talk. ESPN reported that the 49ers are open to trading Smith and multiple teams have shown interest. The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday, Nov. 1.

A league source told the 49ers are neither shopping Smith nor is a trade anticipated.

Coach Chip Kelly on Monday denied a report from PFT that left tackle Joe Staley was on the trade block. He was not asked about Smith’s status with the team.

“I understand how it comes up because we’re 1-6 and Joe is a veteran player, but it doesn’t matter where you are that’s going to be speculation no matter what team you are and where you are, who are your older players,” Kelly said about the Staley report. “It’s kind of the nature of the sport we play.”

Smith is the 49ers’ third-leading receiver with 13 receptions for 199 yards and two touchdowns. Last year, Smith caught just 33 passes for 663 yards with four touchdowns in his first season with the club.

The 49ers last year signed Smith to a five-year, $40 million contract. He is signed through the 2019 season with scheduled base salaries of $6.5 million, along with roster and workout bonuses totaling $1.5 million in each of those seasons.