On the same day 49ers QB Alex Smith showed his appreciation for the San Francisco Giants by chauffeuring Matt Cain at the victory parade, he was also named the NFC’s Offensive Player of Week. Smith almost had a perfect game in completions and QB rating in the 49ers’ 24-3 win over the Cardinals last Monday. He completed 18 of 19 passes for 232 yards and three touchdowns. The quarterback set an NFL record for completion percentage (94.7) with at least 15 passing attempts.
The 49ers passing offense looked like a high-powered machine thanks to not only Smith, but also receivers Michael Crabtree and Randy Moss who had three well executed touchdowns. On his two touchdown receptions, Crabtree made Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson look like a rookie playing in his first NFL game. Moss’ lone touchdown and reception of the game was impressive as well, catching an out route and then juking and outrunning two defenders for a 47-yard score.
What allowed Smith to have such a successful day was offensive coordinator Greg Roman establishing the running game early in the first quarter. It also helped the Cardinals defense game planned to stop the Niners rushing attack first and made Smith beat them down the field, which he accomplished. In the game Smith completed passes to nine different receivers which spread out the Cardinals defense.
Smith’s 94.7 completion percentage tops Steve Young (93.8%) and Joe Montana‘s (84.4) best single-game marks in 49ers history. The 49ers are 7-0 when Smith completes at least 75% of his passes, so let’s hope he can continue his hot streak after the bye week. This was Smith’s first career Player of the Week Award and the last Niners offensive player to win the award was Frank Gore in 2009.
Greg Roman on Smith’s performance:
Alex was very sharp playing quarterback. He took it one play at a time, stayed very sharp. I think he had a real understanding of what the Cardinals were trying to do and was very good, very efficient with his reads, very accurate, and the guys made plays, the wide receivers made plays. That was great to see.