Alex Smith: I don’t care how my yardage compares to Drew Brees


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.

75 responses to “Alex Smith: I don’t care how my yardage compares to Drew Brees

  1. What the heck kind of question is that? I swear, no wonder some athletes get pissed of at you media guys….you ask the most nonsensical things.

  2. Is there an award for game manager of the year? Give it to that man! The 49ers win in spite of Alex Smith, not because of him.

  3. You know, it wasn’t too long ago that passing for over 3,000 yards was considered a good season. Of course in these Madden times anything under 5K is apparently a failure.

    Here’s all I know, Smith hit multiple game winning passes in the 4th quarter this year. He also rarely turns the ball over.

    What more can(or should) you ask for from a QB?

  4. He means “if our defense can outscore them”. He surely won’t. FGs won’t get it done vs. NO.

    Candelstick is a dump. Their only hope of stopping Brees is for the power to go off again.

  5. Go 49ers! Continue to win despite Alice Smith! If they somehow win the Super Bowl this year, someone will finally surpass Trent Dilfer as the worst championship winning QB OF ALL TIME.

  6. Nothing wrong with having a ‘winning formula’ that gets a team through the regular season & into the playoffs …….. But, if that ‘winning formula’ includes kicking multiple FGs instead of TDs, the 49’ers are going to be a quick one & out ……

    That extra yardage that Brees manages to accumulate in games is that TD pass ….. Last I looked TDs are still better than FGs ……..

  7. I really haven’t been a niner believer yet. I’ll know after this game one way or another. I’m just curious if the niner offense can put up 30+ points to keep into contention with the saints. Cause right now I don’t think that there is anyone that can hold the saints down offensively.

  8. Alex Smiths passing numbers would have been better if he had stayed in until the ticking seconds of blowout games shamelessly throwing touchdowns…..

  9. As a diehard Panther fan, I hope the 49ers stomp a mudhole in the Saints this weekend.

    Just don’t turn the ball over Alex.

  10. What the hell did they expect him to say…. that he expected to throw for 600 yards and 7 TDs?

    I don’t think there’s too many players in the league that would care if they outperform a player from the opposing team statistically as long as they get the “W” (except maybe Santanio Holmes)

  11. @cakemixa says:

    You obviously no nothing about the 49ers this year and only watch the hating on ESPN or NFL Network. Alex will shine this week and he will make believers out of all the haters!!!

  12. In the last five years, the team with the largest turnover differential during the regular season is 0-5 in the playoffs. These teams committed a total of 17 turnovers in those five games.

    Remember how Pittsburgh gave up only 7 pass plays longer than 30 yards all season, and then gave up 5 last week?

    Alex Smith has thrown only 5 interceptions all year.

  13. No one will replace Namath as the worst QB to ever win a SB. Look at his career numbers. Atrocious. Namath is a HOFer due to a guarantee.

    It would be nice if Smith threw for more, but let’s face it, who exactly is he throwing to besides Vernon Davis and Crabtree? That’s what I thought. Give the man some weapons and he might have more yards.

    Brees may throw for a ton of yards, but he plays in a dome, that is their offensive philosophy, and he has way better weapons.

  14. Saints fans keep acting like Smith is the worst QB in the league. It will make it that much harder to wake up Sunday morning knowing your team lost to him.

  15. Blast him all you want, but Smith did what Harbaugh asked him to do. He played well-enough to let the defense do it’s job and didn’t kill drives with bad interceptions (only 5). Harbaugh was smart enough to realize Smith’s limitations and work around them. Payton needs Brees to throw for over 4,000 yards. Harbaugh doesn’t require that. Apples and oranges.

    I also don’t understand the point of this question. If Smith wins Sunday, he gets the last laugh. Idiotic.

  16. mattsffrd says:
    Jan 11, 2012 9:15 AM
    Defense wins championships. Give ‘em hell niners.

    Many seasons ago it did but in this day and age that is not always the case.

  17. Some people here act as if a high powered offense has never been stopped or limited by a good defense before. I think the 49ers have an excellent chance to slow down the Saints, and the Saints don’t have that great of a D to shut down SF. Not saying 49ers will win, but should be close.

  18. 9’ers don’t have a chance this weekend but this is a team to watch out for next year if they get a quarterback. They should make a run at Flynn.

  19. I have a lot of respect for GB and NO but I hope SF goes to the SB. I love that style of football, and it would be nice to see it can still get teams to the SB over videogame passing.

  20. Drew Brees cant throw for ridiculous amounts of yardage if he doesn’t have the ball. A game manager can keep the ball out of his hands and keep his defense fresh.

  21. For all the people who think this will be a blowout… SF averages 28 points a game at home. NO averages 26 points a game away from the dome (against much worse D’s than the 9ers).
    If Brees throws his usual 3-4 balls right into the D’s hands (like he does every game), SF will catch them unlike DET, CAR, etc.

  22. Complain about Alex Smith all you want, I’ll take him in Washington over what we had this season. And I’d take him over several others in the NFL as well.

  23. I think that many of us, including the media, forgot that this game is between The saints vs 49ers and not some sort of passing contest between Brees and Smith.

  24. He may not care how many yards Brees has, but Im sure he cares how many rings he has… he has no shot of out scoring da Saints

  25. The 49ers averaged 24pts a game this season. That means that a lot of games they scored more than 24. If they can score slightly above their average and the defense can play top notch as they have all season, I think they have a chance to be in the game. It might come down to a David Akers FG, but I believe they have a chance to win it.

  26. I like how suddenly, because Brees had a few bad passes in their most recent win, everyone likes to label him as throwing 3-4 bad balls every game.

    Hey guys..I’m a Saints fan, not a Niner fan commenting on the Saints. I’ve watched every single game they’ve played this year. Stop pulling statistics out of your ass based on one game and applying them to an entire season.

    This will be a good game, but something you’re forgetting is the Saints are actually very good against the run right now. How many yards did Chris Johnson have? 23. Adrian Peterson? 60. Michael Turner in our last meeting? 39. The Lions altogether? 87.

    What am I getting at? The reason the 49ers have been so successful this year is because of the run. It’s the only reason that Alex Smith can play as comfortably as he has. What happens when/if the Saints take away the run? Do you have confidence that Alex Smith can pick up the slack through the air?

    As a Saints fan, I hope that’s the case. If Alex Smith is forced to throw, the 49ers will not have a chance. And there’s a very realistic chance the Saints could very well take away the run.

    We’ll see you on the field Saturday..and lets hope this game is as good as it should be.

  27. I will be very surprised to see the 9rs advanced to the Superbowl with Alex behind center. Although I am pulling for them to win it all, really think they are the 4th best team left in the NFC, even with the 2nd seat. Their D is amazing, but Alex is just awful. Good luck!!

  28. Alex Smith has no multiple interception games this season. None.

    As a Saints fan, my concerns are simple. Ours is a timing offense. I expect errant throws when the receivers aren’t where Drew expects them to be in his progression due to the spongy field.

    If the Saints can be even or better in the turnover differential, I believe they will win. If they lose the turnover battle, the postseason misery away from the Superdome will continue.

  29. Football is basically where baseball was 10-15 years ago–in the midst of an undue love for the big offensive play. In baseball it was the homerun. In football it is the touchdown. Just as the record number of homeruns got old, so will the passing records. A 45-42 pinball game is OK, but I’ll take an intense, bloody, 13-10 game anyday of the week.

  30. I wonder if Brees wishes he didnt have to pass for over 400 yards per game to win every week. Drew Bress is a different kind of guy. He is a rare mix of talent and intelligence that not many QBs have anymore. That said… He isnt perfect. He has bad games against quality opponents on the road, dome or not. If that 49ers front can get to him without blitzing everybody then they can easily win this game. However, if they let Brees sit back there he’ll be a sharpshooter.

    To compare these 2 QBs isnt fair. Alex has to learn a new system everry year and Brees has had relative stability during his tenure in New Orleans. Is Alex “capable” of putting up those types of numbers? Only time will tell, but considering how long Marino was able to hold that record even under these new “pass-happy” rules is a monument to how special 5000 yards used to be in the NFL. The only true stat that matters are SuperBowl wins. So far Brees is up 1-0.

    Go get em 9ers! 31-20 San Fran on Saturday. 🙂

  31. Another great game to watch. Old school vs. new school. Smash mouth vs. aerial attack.

    2FGs & 3TDs for NO
    5FGs & 2TDs for SF

    Niner’s win by a foot..David Akers’ foot!

  32. smith had more passing yrds than brees last year when they played in candlestick on monday night week 2. niners lost because of turnovers and a blown snap first offensive play .

  33. The 49ers win as a complete team – that’s been their formula from the start, and a very good one at that. Week in and week out one phase or another steps up, which has parlayed itself to a 13-3 season and a bye week. People overlook that Alex has directly contributed to several 4th quarter comebacks.

    There are very few teams that can continue without missing a beat if an injury were to occur. Of course, statistically speaking, Smith is nowhere near the elite qbs with regards to yardage and td’s. The great thing is, is that he doesnt have to be. If he were to miss some time, we have a system that should make the transition for a backup easier. The same can’t be said of the Saints, Colts, Lions, Giants, Pats, Cowboys etc…

  34. illinininer says:
    Jan 11, 2012 9:31 AM
    Saints fans keep acting like Smith is the worst QB in the league. It will make it that much harder to wake up Sunday morning knowing your team lost to him.

    Most Saint fans I know just became fans of the team a few years ago, so I wouldn’t put too much stock into what they think about Alex Smith. If the Saints lose, these fans will just go to their closet and dust off their Tom Brady jersey.

  35. Who cares that he throws for 110 yds a game, they are in the playoffs, their D is stout, and their kicker is Superbad!

  36. I’d like to repeat the question from above, isn’t this the same Alex Smith all 49ers fans wanted run out of town the last few years? All of a sudden this is a new Alex Smith? Nope. They just give him way less chances to make mistakes, which is cool when you aren’t playing the #1 offense in the league. When you do face the #1 offense, as you will Saturday, you will be required to score TDs, not throw the ball into the stands on 3rd and goal from the 3 because a receiver isn’t wide open as Alex Smith has done all year. He plays to punt and kick FGs as that is what is required of him. The Saints play to score TDs and Drew is po’d when he doesn’t. Smith smiles as the FG unit trots onto the field. Different expectations I guess.

    Oh, and the Smith smiling as the FG unit hits the field is a generalization of the one time I saw him do it, kinda like the generalization the 49ers fans have been making that Drew throws 3-4 balls a game “up for grabs” based on the Lions’ game. Seems fair.

  37. Alex Smith doesnt have to win the game, his running back and his defense do that. He just needs to make sure he doesnt lose the game. Drew Brees has to win the game. After Peyton Manning, Drew Brees is the most important and irreplacable player to his team.

  38. Here’s hoping the Niners play a solid game and acquit themselves well, win or lose.

    There are no guarantees for the Saints. They are far from invulnerable on the road – remember their pathetic road losses to the Bucs and Rams this season, where they only scored 20 and 21 points? They’ve played terrifically well for most of the year, but they are not immune from breakdowns in the wrong environment.

    The Niners, on the other hand, have lost to better teams than the Saints have. They’ve beaten the Steelers, Lions, Giants, and Eagles this year.

    Two quality teams, neither any kind of fluke. Hope we get a good game out of it.

  39. I’m not saying it will happen but if then Saints drop 40 plus Niners on Saturday and win what the Niner’s fans excuse be…..the field was too soggy for the defense or Alex Smith didn’t feel well? I just wouldn’t bet on the Niner’s shutting down the Saints defense. The Niner’s have not played as well as it did at the beginning of the season on defense.

  40. As the Big Tuna once said, “you are what your record says you are”. Niners get the edge and homefield because of a better conference record so as of now they are the better team. Will they win this weekend? That is why they play the games. Niners are solid in all phases of the game, they don’t beat themselves. Their style is physical, tough D, ball control. They are not in the no huddle O all day trying to out point you. At 13-3 the formula seems to be working so it should be a classic match up. The game should swing on a couple big plays and turnovers.

  41. At this point I don’t think Alex Smith is trying to light up the YPG statistic. He’s spent many years in a losing system and is now 13-3 with a #2 seed. I hardly doubt he’d really care about comparisons to Trent Dilfer. Dilfer won a Super Bowl no matter how people try to say he didn’t contribute. There were many very good QB’s that never won anything (i.e. – Marino). Not saying Dilfer and Marino are in the same league because they are miles apart but what’s more important? Winning a Super Bowl or gaudy numbers? Forunately for Brees, he’s done both.

    I think the 49er’s have a very realistic shot at beating the Saints. The Saints are facing a stout defense that’s can stop the run without dropping everyone down in the box. The Saints need to play a better 1st quarter against SF than Detroit. SF’s D is better and can capitalize on mistakes where the Lions didn’t. Frank Gore is also better than all the running backs on the Lions roster. When you see “can anyone stop the Saints?” I just think there are a few teams that could stop the Saints…but it doesn’t mean they will.

  42. After 10 years of being awful, it’s really nice to finally read good things about the 49ers. We’re back, baby!

    Having said that…I think this game presents some really interesting matchups. The Saints offense against the Niners defense. Let’s say those cancel out. The Saints defense and the Niners offense are weaker, but I’ll take the Niners in that matchup by a small margin. That leaves special teams…and both NFC all-pro kickers are 49ers. I think that gives them a real advantage.

    And of course Candlestick is a true homefield advantage. The weather forecast looks pretty good, but you know they’ve been running the sprinklers all week. And even on nice days that place is really windy. Advantage – 49ers.

  43. The niners, in their most recent games, have given up 21 points to the Cardinals, 17 to Seattle, and 27 to a Rams team on it’s 3rd QB. Their win in that stretch came against an extremely hobbled Big Ben and the Steelers. Doesn’t seem like their best defense was being played to end the season, especially considering we are talking about the #23, #24, and dead last scoring offenses in the league getting at least 17 points. I think the Saints can match, and exceed that, which will be too much for the 9ers.

  44. I like Brees personally, and really don’t know that much about Alex Smith beyond the 49ers’ success this year. But … you go, Alex!! That was a great quote!! I’m so sick of this yardage obsession. Since the Steelers have been eliminated, I’m for whatever teams can show me some smashmouth football–defense, running, and passing to win instead of passing to pass. If I wanted to see an arena game, I’d watch … an arena game.

  45. @ratedgap

    vs Seattle and St. Louis Justin Smith was a bit hobbled and you could tell it effected the play of the front 7. Also Arizona haaaaaaates the 49ers and have too much pride(especially on D) to let them walk into their house and win. I think that is a legit excuse considering if you are discrediting the Pittsburgh win because Roethlisberger being hobbled then you should discredit Seattle and St. Louis putting up points on the 49ers because Justin Smith was hobbled.

    That week off will do wonders for Smith’s knee.

  46. As for the whole passing yards obsession the 49ers are 3-1 in games where the opposing QB threw for 300 yards or more. 1-0 when the opposing QB threw for 400 or more.

  47. Whats the most important stat in football again? Oh yea, Turnovers. The Niners give the ball away the least while the Saints D creates the LEAST turnovers in the league. The Niners D creates the MOST. As a Niners fan, I’ll be looking forward to when everyone is shocked that the Saints couldn’t come up with a win.

  48. musiccitymiracle says:
    Jan 11, 2012 9:12 AM
    Sucks when your goal in life is to be the next Trent Dilfer.
    His life is probably a whole lot better than your. He has millions and you are probably working a job.

    Besides, it won’t be a bad thing to be Dilfer. After all,
    Dilfer = Brees when it comes to superbowl rings.

    Regarding all this chatter about passing yards and TDs. It’s called stats inflation. Only a few years ago 3100 yards would be considered pretty good.

    Brees is a phenomenal QB but 10 years ago Brady won a superbowl with 2800 yard season.

  49. dvdman123 says:
    Jan 11, 2012 11:51 AM
    I’m not saying it will happen but if then Saints drop 40 plus Niners on Saturday and win what the Niner’s fans excuse be…..the field was too soggy for the defense or Alex Smith didn’t feel well? I just wouldn’t bet on the Niner’s shutting down the Saints defense. The Niner’s have not played as well as it did at the beginning of the season on defense.
    Actually if the field is too soggy it should favor the niners.

    If the Saints win I (as a niner fan) would tip my hat to them. I like Brees. I would rather they win the superbowl if the niners can’t.
    It’s nice to see them win after being perennial doormats. I remember the old NFC W days.

  50. Smith has averaged 196.5 yards per game this year. Does anybody know what Joe Motana’s CAREER yards per game average is??? I do it was 211.2 yards per game! This formula has worked for years!
    Its sexy to throw for a boatload of yards but that doesn’t always equate to winning championships. He had to endure a season where both his number 2 (Josh Morgan) & number 3 (Braylon Edwards) receivers were her for alomst all of the year. And later his other receiving target TE (Delainei Walker) got hurt. I can’t wait to see him next year with the addition of another receiver and a full offseason. Joe Montana recently said something which I thought was telling, he said it was fun to watch the 49ers play again.

  51. Last month I picked the 49ers not the Saints to appear in the Super Bowl. No, really, stop laughing. If I’m right, that’s certainly better than passing yardage. Either way, Smith’s got more than I do.

    (No, I’m not a 49er homer. I’m a Panther homer. Yes We Cam.)

  52. Albeit one game….

    Tim Tebow….

    Has the highest QBR in playoffs history.

    Scored 3 TD’s and threw for 300+ yards in a playoff game

    Beat the AFC defending champions and 6 time Super Bowl champs Pittsburgh Steelers.

    So yeah, Alex Smith beating Drew Brees really isn’t that far fetched.

  53. Predictions are foolish. If its a foregone conclusion that the Saints are going to roll the 9ers, why bother playing the game? The Saints have not been impressive on the road this year. Could they break the trend and play well on the road? Sure. Could the 9ers break their trend and drop 300+ passing yards on the Saints and get burnt by VD and Crabs. The 9ers have been solid at home this year. This game is being played at Candlestick park not the Superdome. If Drew can’t get onto the field then he can’t really do his thing. More than likely it’s going to take some time to adjust to the soggy sod and if the 9ers are chewing up the clock then it’s probably going to be a long day for NO. Did anybody think that LSU would get shut out by Bama? I didn’t. Who sez Defense doesn’t win chamionships?

  54. At the end of regulation come Saturday the only thing that will matter is the scoreboard!! Aints fans are all about their numbers & records as of late, & that’s fine.. You guys are looking at what has transpired in the (past), so if we are looking to go back in time with Doc & McFly you will see that last year on Monday Night Alex Smith actually PASSED for more yards than your precious QB ! See ya’ll Saturday I will be there will you ?
    CANT WAIT #Saints fans delusional ! 50-20 ? Ludicrous !
    Obviously passing statistics are not going to win a game football is a team sport & the 49ers are all team !!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!