Smith leads 49ers to win and top QBR

October, 10, 2011
10/10/11
5:16
AM ET
Alex Smith
Smith
While six starting quarterbacks were enjoying their bye week, Sunday was no day of rest for Alex Smith. The 49ers quarterback not only led his team to their most lopsided win since Super Bowl XXIV, but also topped the Week 5 QBR list.

Alex Smith’s Career Day (98.2 Total QBR)
Alex Smith had a solid day by the traditional stats but an extremely efficient day by Total QBR. On the first three drives he was on the field, Smith led the 49ers to two touchdowns, with the other drive coming up empty after Frank Gore lost on a fumble on the Tampa Bay 11 (obviously not Smith’s fault).

On his nine action plays on those three drives, Smith was excellent, going 6-7 for 92 yards (71 air yards) with five first downs (including a 26-yard TD strike to Delanie Walker). Not only that, but Smith helped draw a 24-yard pass interference penalty that set up San Francisco with a 1st-and-goal at the 1 before their third touchdown to put them up 21-3.

Smith played fine from that point on (2 TD, 0 sacks, 0 turnovers), but the 49ers had an over 95 percent win probability on the rest of his plays. Since the game was way out of hand at that point, those later plays were weighted much less toward his overall game rating than his incredible start was.

Smith finished with a spectacular Total QBR of 98.2, the highest of his 27 career games since 2008. Not only that, but Smith’s 98.2 rating was the highest by a QB in a single game this year (minimum 15 action plays).

Tim Tebow (83.2 Total QBR) Makes Case To Be Broncos’ Starter
Tim Tebow came in for Kyle Orton at halftime and almost led the Broncos back from a double-digit deficit against the Chargers. Both quarterbacks were on the field for six drives. Orton led the Broncos to just three points while he was on the field (the Broncos' only first-half TD came on a defensive return) and threw an interception, while Tebow led the Broncos to two touchdowns and had no turnovers.

While Tebow's rally fell just short, he finished the game with an excellent Total QBR of 83.2, while Orton's ineptitude resulted in a paltry score of 5.1.

TOTAL QBR EXPLANATION
As a reminder, Total QBR is a quarterback rating that takes into account all of a QB’s contributions (passing, rushing, sacks, fumbles, penalties) to his team’s scoring and winning and summarizes them into one number on a 0-100 scale, where 50 is average.

- For a game, the number can be interpreted as a percentile, so a score of 80 means a QB’s performance was better than 80% of all QB games.

- For a season, a Total QBR of 65 or better is roughly Pro Bowl level and a rating of 75+ is MVP level.

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