Harbaugh: 'Not perfect, but beautiful' win over Browns

October 31, 2011, 2:04 am
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SAN FRANCISCO -- Alex Smith's passer rating continues to hover a shade below 100. And for the first time in his NFL career, he is the quarterback of a winning team.Even with a 6-1 record and a 95.6 rating that places him near the top of the NFL, the 49ers' passing game isn't exactly a sight to behold.On Sunday, Smith completed 15 of 24 passes for 177 and a touchdown in the 49ers' 20-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns."It was a hard-fought battle," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. "They all are in this league. Not perfect, but beautiful."Smith continued to play with efficiency without being the least-bit flashy. He has thrown just two interceptions in seven games. But he has averaged 181 yards passing through the first seven games of the season."When you play quarterback, you're just trying to win games," Smith said. "That's all I care about. I don't care about style points, how I'm doing it, as long as we're winning."Frank Gore rushed for 134 yards and a touchdown on 31 rushing attempts. The 49ers rushed for 174 yards. Smith got into the act with some designed runs, as he gained 22 yards on five carries. And Smith threw for 174 net yards, too."This was a team that was second against the pass in the NFL and 19th against the run," Smith said. "And we aren't going to be cookie cutter. You're going to try to play to your strengths and where we match up against them."We felt like we had some good matchups in the run game, and I think we really exploited them in the first half."Gore, who climbed into second place on the 49ers' all-time rushing list, gained for 103 yards in the first half. But the 49ers' offense stalled in the second half.The 49ers managed just one first down in their first five possessions after halftime. Finally, they strung together three first downs to put the game out of reach on David Akers' field goal in the closing minutes.Receiver Braylon Edwards gave the 49ers another piece to the passing game, as he returned to action after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee, which he sustained Sept. 18 against the Dallas Cowboys.Edwards caught four passes for 42 yards, while Michael Crabtree had five receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown."You've got to get the ground game going to get the pass game going and vice versa," Edwards said. "When you've got a running back that's running for 100 yards a game and the offensive line is just tremendous up front in giving him room, it really opens up the pass game and allows us to do the things we did. And now you get us doing what we can do, it opens up the running game."

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