San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith was asked this week whether he has any hope of passing for as many yards as New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees when the teams meet on Saturday. Smith said he’s not the least bit worried about that.
“I don’t care,” Smith said. “I really don’t care. I’m looking to outscore him. He can throw for how many yards as he wants.”
It’s a good thing Smith doesn’t care because Smith doesn’t have a prayer of putting up the kinds of numbers that Brees puts up. Brees set a new NFL record with 5,476 passing yards in the regular season, then added 466 in the playoff opener against the Lions. Smith threw for 3,144 yards in the regular season, the lowest total in the NFL among quarterbacks who started all 16 games (and quite a bit lower than some quarterbacks who didn’t start 16 games).
But Smith is right not to care, because the 49ers have found a winning formula that works for them. Smith threw only five interceptions all season, which is also the lowest total in the NFL among quarterbacks who started all 16 games (and quite a bit lower than some quarterbacks who didn’t start 16 games). Playing good defense and avoiding turnovers on offense has worked beautifully for the 49ers, and Smith deserves a lot of credit for the role he has played in making the 49ers a winning team.
“There are a lot of different ways to win in this league,” Smith said. “We’re not going to be somebody we’re not. We’re going to continue to do what we do.”
The 49ers would be happy to have Smith continue to do what he does on Saturday. Just as long as the 49ers’ defense can continue to do what it does against Brees.