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Wednesday, October 31, 2012
No parade for this near-perfect game

By Mike Sando

I'll have to check with Elias Sports Bureau to see whether Alex Smith gets credit for a game-winning drive Wednesday.

The San Francisco 49ers' quarterback has joined his head coach, Jim Harbaugh, in driving cars featuring San Francisco Giants players during the baseball team's World Series parade. Special thanks to AFC West blogger Bill Williamson for emailing with the information a while back. He lives in Northern California and was watching the parade on local TV.

Smith was driving a car featuring pitcher Matt Cain and Cain's family. Harbaugh was driving a car featuring first baseman Brandon Belt.

And if the 49ers keep winning, perhaps the Giants can return the favor some day.

Of course, I won't really be contacting Elias on the game-winning drive info, but we can put to rest a legitimate statistical question stemming from Smith's performance in Week 8.

The league will not be awarding an additional completed pass to Smith for a first-quarter play officials negated for pass interference.

Officials had indeed enforced the penalty on the field. That part had been unclear, and in the absence of clear enforcement, the play could have been changed to reflect a 7-yard completion. Also, it ultimately wasn't clear whether Mario Manningham had caught the pass.

Had Manningham caught the ball, the 49ers would have gained nothing from accepting the 7-yard spot foul over a 7-yard gain because second-and-4 was the situation.

Smith completed 18 of 19 passes in the game. He needed 20 attempts to qualify for the NFL's single-game record for completion percentage.

Another play featuring a backward pass to Michael Crabtree also arose as one worth revisiting. Replays showed Smith throwing the ball backward even though the play had been called as a pass in the huddle.