Alex Smith: The Stats Are Deceiving

I've been back and forth on the Alex Smith trade for awhile now, but the more I analyze it, the more good I see out of it. No, Alex isn't the absolute star that we hoped for, but he's one heck of an improvement from what we've become accustomed to. We're too used to the failures of retreads in Kansas City to accept such a trade at such a cost. We're sick of our losing sports franchises and want to go a new direction by drafting the first QB in the first round in 30 years (man that hurts to say every time). We want a true franchise QB that can throw for 300+ yards on any given Sunday. We don't have that in Alex Smith, what we do have is a QB that is improving and a QB whose stats are deceiving. We have a guy that is a much better QB than his career stats say. I've heard the argument he's only been good under Harbaugh, or he's only thrown for over 3,000 yards once. Let's take a little closer look.

1. Looking at last years stats his 173 YPG looks pretty awful, until you take away the two games in which he threw a combined 9 passes (one game he threw just one). Removing the game he was injured in and the game he came in to spell Kapernick in week 16 his average jumps to 207.3 YPG. That puts him on pace for a little over 3,300 yards for the season. Very respectable with a TD/INT ration better than 2:1.

2. Looking at 2011 you'll see he threw for 3,100 yards with better than a 3:1 TD/INT ratio. I'll take it.

3. In 2010 he was injured and played only in 11 games, starting 10. He played in the majority of all 11 games so we'll include all of them in the analysis He averaged 215 YPG with better than a 3:1 TD/INT ratio. At this pace in 16 games he's on pace to be over 3,300 yards. Oh yeah WITHOUT Harbaugh

4. In 2009 he started the season as the backup to Shaun Hill. Hill didn't get the job done so Smith came in in week 6 playing the final 11 games of the season. He averaged 213 YPG and if he had played an entire season would have had over 3,300 yards. Once again WITHOUT Harbaugh.

Granted in today's NFL 3,000 yards isn't spectacular, it's absolutely necessary and expected. In his one full season in 2011 he threw 465 times which was good for 20th in the NFL. 3,300 yards in the last 3 NFL seasons would put a QB right around 15th in total yards. Considering he's throwing significantly fewer passes than the guys at the top (Around 100 less attempts than the #9 guy in the past 3 years of the total yards list) of the YPG and total yards lists, that's not too shabby.

You see in his 2009 and 2010 seasons he had his best YPG average at over 200 YPG each season. Harbaugh hadn't developed him yet....when he was on pace for his best years. Harbaugh utilized Alex well, to the tune of a 70% completion percentage and a little better than 2:1 TD/INT ratio. However, what people have failed to see is that Alex had similar and actually better numbers (other than completion percentage) prior to Harbaugh getting his hands on him.

In the WCO Smith will get more opportunities to throw the ball making his total yardage numbers and YPG increase. He has a better backfield in KC to set up his passing game and to keep defenses honest. The WCO fits guys like DMC and Wiley in the slots and Charles out of the backfield extremely well. Smith's pocket awareness will cut down on sacks and give his receivers more time to run an actual route.

Smith has only had one full season in the NFL. In his past 4 seasons, he was on pace for over 3,000 yards. Alex isn't a Matt Cassel clone. Alex isn't Peyton Manning. Alex is a solid NFL QB, the likes of which we haven't seen in KC since Trent Green. I'm not saying Alex will be as successful as Trent Green, nor am I saying that he won't be as successful. But this doom and gloom has gotten out of hand and is ill advised. So to those of you who say, "his stats are just like Cassel's" or "He can't do it without Harbaugh," I say look again. His career stats sure do make well with Cassel, but look at the last 4 years and see the vast improvement. No matter your opinion let's welcome our new QB with open arms and help him feel at home in KC.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.

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