|ESPN.com: NFC West||[Print without images]|
|Alex Smith carried more of the offense than usual in the win against the Giants.|
"The Smith question is difficult and inexact. If Ginn catches the pass, then they are still driving, so there are more plays there for Smith, etc. Then the clutch weight could change for later plays based on the score being different, etc.
"For a simple scenario, let’s suppose Ginn caught it at the 20 and got no YAC (setting up 3rd-and-6 from the 20), then someone else fumbled on the next rushing play and the rest of the game went exactly as it did. Smith would get about 50 percent credit for this play, which would still be negative, but less so. His QBR for the game would end up at 72.0."
"Statistical analysis showed that what we call a dropped pass was not all a receiver's fault, either. A receiver might drop a ball because he wanted to run before catching it, because the defense distracted him, because it was a little bit behind him or because he was about to get hit by a defender.
"If the defender was there a half second before, the defender would have knocked the ball free and it would have been called a 'defended pass,' not a 'dropped pass.' There are shades of gray even on a dropped pass, and analysis showed that. Drops are less a QB's fault than defended passes or underthrows, but the QB does share some blame."