49ers appeal ticky-tack call so Alex Smith can hold an obscure record
One of Justin Smith's bosses apparently disagrees. The 49ers are now appealing an on-the-field ruling from a completely insignificant garbage-time play in Monday night's win over the Cardinals in order to secure quarterback Alex Smith with a relatively meaningless NFL record.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports that the 49ers are appealing the ruling of an early fourth quarter play in which one of Smith's completions was ruled a lateral and not a forward pass. Should the NFL reconsider the play as a forward pass, Smith's stats would be upgraded to 19-for-20 instead of his current stat line, 18-for-19.
And who on earth cares whether Alex Smith went 18-for-19 or 19-for-20? (Other than "losers"?) Well, Alex Smith cares, and probably also Kurt Warner. If it is ruled that Smith attempted 20 passes as opposed to 19, Smith's evening against the Cardinals sets the single-game completion percentage record for an NFL quarterback.
You see, a quarterback cannot be eligible for that record unless he attempted a minimum of 20 passes in that game. Nineteen pass attempts make Smith ineligible for the record.
So the 49ers are asking that Smith be granted a forward pass attempt on a throw to Michael Crabtree that was ruled a lateral. Then Smith will have a 95% completion record on 20 pass attempts, breaking Kurt Warner's 92.3% for a 24-for-26 game in 2009.
"It definitely was a pass," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh told USA Today.
"It was definitely not a pass," USA Today responds, with video and photographic proof.
If Smith and the 49ers somehow win the appeal, the Cardinals won't just have lost the game -- they'll have lost a record. When Kurt Warner set the single-game completion percentage record in 2009, he did it as an Arizona Cardinal.