Wins are only stat that matters to Smith

November 7, 2011, 8:15 am
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LANDOVER, Md. -- The 49ers are 7-1. And that's all 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh needs to see to evaluate the performance of quarterback Alex Smith."He's so smart. He's talented. He's very tough," Harbaugh said after the 49ers' 19-11 victory over the Washington Redskins on Sunday."He (Smith) does everything that you want a team guy to do in that position. You're only judged by one thing, like a pitcher in baseball, wins and losses. And he's the guy out there doing it."Smith completed 17 of 24 passes for 200 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. Smith has done a remarkable job of taking care of the football. He has thrown just two interceptions in eight games.Moreover, Smith has managed to hold onto the football when he's gotten hit.Smith sustained perhaps his biggest hit of the season when rookie defensive end Ryan Kerrigan splattered him with a blindside sack on the first series of the game. Somehow, Smith maintained possession of the ball.
"(I) didn't see him," Smith said. "Fortunately, I held onto the ball."Smith said he credits better fundamentals -- holding the ball higher -- for his ability to keep the ball in his grasp.
"I don't know how he holds onto those," Harbaugh said. "It's uncanny how a quarterback holds onto the ball like that. He has had that happen probably a half-dozen times this year, but he keeps possession of the ball."Smith has a career-best passer rating of 97.3 through eight games. He has thrown 10 touchdowns and two interceptions on the season. But he is averaging fewer than 200 yards passing, as Smith threw for just 1,467 yards in the first eight games."I'm not worried about credit as long as we keep on winning," Smith said. "Ultimately, that's what a quarterback is evaluated on. I'm not worried about anything else: yards, rating, any of that stuff."