In my previous post which linked today’s column, I maintained that Alex Smith already has thrown three stinkers this season and that means 33 percent of his starts fall into the stinker category. Mark M helpfully pointed out that Smith’s start against the Jets also was a stinker. How could I have forgotten? I mean, I was in New Jersey and covered that game. I went back to the play by play and sure enough Mark M was correct. Although the Niners won 34-0 against the horrendous Jets with the blowhard coach, the game was still a game at the half, SF led 10-0. The only first-half touchdown was a Colin Kapernick run. As usual, Smith led the team to no points in the first quarter — it seems to be one of his specialties. FYI, Smith threw NO touchdowns as in NONE in the game. Big stinker.

That means Smith has had four stinkers in nine games. Could someone please tell us what percentage of stinkers that is? I lost the ability to figure out percentages around the age of 12.

If you think I’m picking on Smith, you’re wrong. I always maintain he is a nice guy. I simply judge him as a quarterback, judge him on his performance and I simply cannot see him as a long termer with the Niners.

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  1. Piggyback Doug

    I started counting how many of your last 20 blog entries were ‘stinkers’ but I lost count when I ran out of fingers.

    November 18th, 2012 9:05 am

  2. CohnZohn

    Hey, Piggyback, you seem to read me religiously. What does that say about your reading taste?

    November 18th, 2012 9:09 am

  3. Piggyback Doug

    I’m impressed you can determine my reading habits by my occasional comment here. I visit this site ~ twice a week on average and tend to skim a lot. You do some nice work sometimes and I don’t mind sorting through the stinkers for the occasional nugget.

    November 18th, 2012 9:15 am

  4. Neal

    Lowell, you are better than Alex Smith, out of every 10 blogs , you have about two lingering stink bombs. Although I only read about the Giants and the Niner’s. Don’t care about the A’s. Warriors and Raiders. Maybe the new theme song for Alex Smith, should be from Meatloaf, two out of three ain’t bad.

    November 18th, 2012 10:24 am

  5. D Urrutia


    It really doesn’t matter that you think Alex Smith is a “nice guy”, the problem, again, seems to be that you know nothing about football. (And, yes, we remember that you were friends with Bill Walsh.)

    For the season, Alex Smith is completing over 70% of his passes, averaging almost 8 yards a play; he also has a better than 2:1 ratio of TDs to INTs, not to mention that his 104.1 QB rating is third in the entire NFL. The second rated passer, Aaron Rodgers, has already lost to Smith and has been outplayed by Smith at Lambeau.

    In terms of “stinkers”–every QB in the league has at least three this year, including Rodgers and Peyton Manning, the only two QBs ahead of Smith. The great Eli Manning has at least four, and we’re barely halfway through the season.

    Get a new chew toy, Lowell. You’ve clearly worn this one out.

    November 18th, 2012 12:38 pm

  6. Johnc

    To answer your question , Lowell, Alex Smith has a 44% rate of stinkership this season.
    I agree with your analysis…personally he is a nice man but I feel the same way about his performances on the field. Many a game he has prevailed by the strength of the defense or running game. He manages a game and except for one playoff game (New Orleans) I have not seen him show the abilities of any super bowl caliber quarterback.

    November 18th, 2012 2:08 pm

  7. Dr. Feelgood

    Your professor at Stanford is rolling over in his grave. Specificity; out the window? He’d demand a re-write.

    November 18th, 2012 5:23 pm

  8. CohnZohn

    Dr. Feelgood, I think stinker is a good word. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve tried to make my vocabulary very basic — the exact opposite of the vocabulary I used at Stanford when i wrote essays on Joseph Conrad and would use phrases like in the final analysis, etc. That’s a real stinker.

    November 18th, 2012 5:26 pm

  9. mbabco

    ESPN has something called QBR – Total Quarterback Rating. It attempts to factor everything a QB does that can have an affect on a game’s outcome. Here’s the top 10: Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Andrew Luck, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger, Jake Locker, Robert Griffin III, Alex Smith, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees.

    Lowell, you seem to see the 49ers as winning in spite of Alex Smith when it’

    November 18th, 2012 6:37 pm

  10. mbabco

    [Whoops, hit enter by mistake:]

    Lowell, you seem to see the 49ers as winning in spite of Alex Smith. Yet with his lack of turnovers and style of play, it’s more likely that he’s a major contributor to their success.

    Even a team built like the 49ers wouldn’t have such a good winning record over the last year-and-a-half if Smith was as terrible as you seem to think he is.

    November 18th, 2012 6:40 pm

  11. dave

    You don’t consider Alex Smith a long-termer. He’s been the starter for 6 years and should get to 7 or 8. Isn’t that a long-termer?

    November 18th, 2012 8:57 pm

  12. Nate

    The issue actually is that Lowell (like many people) is incapable of recognizing mediocre QB play. To them QBs (both overall and individual games) are either good or bad, never just ‘eh’.

    He’s only had one game that was an out and out stinker this year – the Giants game. Against the Vikings, Jets, and Seahawks, he was in the ‘meh’ to ‘eh’ range.

    It’s probably far more useful to point out that he’s 4 very good games this year, which has almost tied his record for a season.

    So that is: His career best % for very good games was last year: 5/16. He’s already at 4/9 this year.

    November 18th, 2012 9:32 pm

  13. Abel

    FINALLY someone that isn’t an Alex Smith sympathizer like all these other fools that refuse to see Smith for what he is!

    This article, along with “SMITH AT A CROSSROADS” hit the nail on the head! Alex is a game manager AT BEST and he can’t get it done unless the defense and special teams are having an outstanding game. If either one of those has a sub-par game then Alex simply can’t carry the team.

    And before you sympathizers throw the Saints game at me let me cut you off by saying that Alex was spotted 17 points in the first quarter, 5 turnovers by the defense and STILL almost lost the game. And if that’s not enough, I’ll throw the following week’s game against the Giants as more evidence of Alex’s inability to carry the team. In the Gaints game, the 49ers went 1-13 on third downs which falls directly on the QB. Alex admitted so himself. IN FACT, he only went 4-15 on 3rd downs against the Saints which probably led to the Bree’s led comeback. So in the two most important games of the year, Alex managed to go only 5 for 28 on 3rd downs. Sorry, I wouldn’t even qualify him as a adequate game manager with those stats.

    FYI, Tim Tebow had a better 3rd down conversion rate last year and just as many 4th quarter comebacks. He also had just 5 less TDs in 7 less games. So for those that use these ridiculous stats to justify Alex being top 10, he’s really no better than Tebow…if you go by the stats.

    And he’s ranked 31st in attempts for those that hang onto his percentage so tightly. Not hard to throw for a high percentage when you barely throw the ball and when you do it’s only for 5 or 10 yard routes. PATHETIC!

    Let the Kap era begin NOW so he can be ready for the playoffs.

    November 19th, 2012 2:25 am

  14. Streetglide

    You can do better than thisLowell-san, much better. There’s no news here, nothing remotely interesting. I vastly prefer your human-touch pieces about your life. Those are uniformly great, your sports analysis not so much these days.
    This is a great time to visit the north coast. Take a trip up to Healdsburg and turn left at Dry Creek and taste some wine. Mazzocco should have some decent Zins and Chardonnay. Then hit Andeson Valley on 128 for more vinous pleasure, then up to the coast. Fort Brag is more interesting than poor old Mendo these days. Great coffee shop there and some good food as well.
    A drive up to Westport and back, maybe get some crab at Noyo Harbor and have it with sourdough and the Sauvignon Blanc you picked up at Husch Vineyards in Philo; I recommend sitting on the docks in the cool sunshine while enjoying your repast.
    I’d read about that with pleasure instead of another rehash of A.S. so-called faults for the umpteenth time.

    November 19th, 2012 5:56 am

  15. CohnZohn

    Streetglide, Tonight I’ll be writing about Kaepernick. Hope you are well.

    November 19th, 2012 8:43 am

  16. lameduck

    Are the stinkers Smith’s or Roman’s or is it by design? I’m hoping that we see the entire team elevate their play in the playoffs – elevate their play higher than their opponents elevate their play – and bring home some playoff wins.

    If they don’t, I guess I’ll follow the Warriors closer until spring training.

    It may be all about the playbook. I always remember this quote for the Dodgers pitching coach – he was asked what makes a good pitching coach? “good pitchers” was the answer.

    How the season plays out will help clarify if good QB’s make good offensive coordinators/head coaches or vice versa…

    November 19th, 2012 8:44 am

  17. CohnZohn

    lameduck, I never have been impressed with Greg Roman’s passing concepts.

    November 19th, 2012 8:54 am

  18. Abel

    Looking forward to the Kaepernick article tonight. He’s going to shine tonight and finally put an end to Alex’s career!

    November 19th, 2012 9:01 am

  19. Mark M

    LOL, thx for noticing Lowell. A 44% stinker ratio feels about right in my gut after watching this mediocrity manage to stick through thick and thin here in SF for so long.

    Interesting seeing all the talk about QBR. Alex is proof of just how little stats can tell you. He’s run up big numbers against the Bill and Cards of the league and stunk out the joint against many of the tougher D’s. Watch with your eyes people and stop trying to justify this guy with a stat sheet.

    November 19th, 2012 9:37 am

  20. Streetglide

    Actually Lowell-san, the old ticker is on the blink again. Add that to the need for two knee replacements and I’m hobbling around on statins. Other than that, life is very good and I hope you write a knock-out article on Colin. I’ve rooted for him since college days and I was ecstatic when the Niners drafted him. And if I can do one post with out typos I’ll be a happy camper… -L-

    November 19th, 2012 12:25 pm

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