49ers want NFL to change box score, give Alex Smith passing record
San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith completed 18 of 19 passes on Monday night. But the 49ers want to change the stats to 19 of 20.
Coach Jim Harbaugh confirmed today that the 49ers want the NFL to review the game and change the official box score because the 49ers contend that one play on which Smith threw the ball to Michael Crabtree behind the line of scrimmage -- a play that went down in the stats as a run by Crabtree -- should have been counted as a complete pass from Smith to Crabtree.
“It definitely was a pass,” Harbaugh said.
Why is this such a big deal? Because if Smith gets one more completion, he’ll have the all-time record for highest completion percentage in a game in NFL history. To qualify for that record, a player has to throw at least 20 passes in a game.
The record is currently owned by former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner, who completed 24 of 26 passes (92.31 percent) in a 2009 game against the Jaguars. In second place is former Browns quarterback Vinny Testaverde, who went 21-for-23 in a 1993 game against the Rams. Third belongs to former Bengals quarterback Ken Anderson, who went 20-for-22 in a 1974 game against the Steelers.
If Harbaugh gets his wish and Smith’s stat line is changed to 19-for-20, he’ll be at 95 percent, the best completion percentage in a game in NFL history.
Unfortunately for Smith, it seems highly unlikely that his stat line will get changed: The ball clearly did not travel forward, and the official scorer got this one right. Smith had a great game, but not a record-breaking game.