Statistics do not support Alex Smith

On Wednesday at his locker, Alex Smith explained to Bay Area reporters why taking a sack is not all that bad.

Here’s Smith’s exact quote: “A sack’s not the end of the world. Sometimes the best thing is to protect it in the pocket and take a sack. A lot of times, the ability to make plays with your feet, you get out of the pocket, you scramble, you run, you make a play, those things don’t happen if you’re constantly just trying to get rid of the ball. A little give and take there. When you look at it, yeah we don’t want to take them, but some of them aren’t terrible.”

Alex Smith is doing great this season – all deference to him and the 49ers – but the facts don’t bear out his assertion.

Tom Moore, Peyton Manning’s offensive coordinator on the Indianapolis Colts for 14 seasons, did a study on sacks. This is what his study revealed: For every offensive series in which a sack occurs, the offense’s probability to score a touchdown or a field goal drops to one in seven. That’s a 14 percent chance.

Moore’s study also revealed that a penalty is not nearly as detrimental because the offense gets a repeat down to gain back the lost yardage. When a quarterback takes a sack, he loses yardage and the down.

Perhaps Alex Smith and the 49ers should reevaluate their thinking with regard to taking a sack.

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