Over the next few days, I’ll give midterm report cards for the 49ers starting players and coaches. Let’s start with Alex Smith.
His completion percentage is 69.4. That’s the best in the NFL and 10 points higher than his career average. His TD percentage – 5.7 – is 7th-best in the NFL and 2 points higher than his career average.
His interception percentage is 2.4, which is close to his career average of 2.9 and almost a point-and-a-half higher than his league-low 1.1 interception rate last season.
He’s been sacked 22 times, and he was responsible for 7 because he held onto the ball too long.
He’s at his best when the opposing defense expects the 49ers offense to run the ball. He still struggles in obvious passing situations, like when the 49ers are losing by 10 or more points.
He’s had four outstanding games – in Arizona against the Cardinals, at home against the Bills, at home against the Lions and in Green Bay against the Packers.
He’s had three not-so-good games – at home against the Seahawks, in New Jersey against the Jets, in Minnesota against the Vikings.
And he’s had one terrible game – at home against the Giants.
Smith has not played three good games in a row. To win the Super Bowl, he’ll have to play at least three good games in a row in the playoffs.
MIDTERM GRADE: B-.