By Scooby Axson
July 06, 2012

Niners QB Alex Smith says he got carried away with saying passing yards don't equal winning and using Panthers quarterback Cam Newton as an example. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Alex Smith probably knows that he was a Peyton Manning signing away from being another team's backup.

As with many athletes who don't think before they speak, Smith's comments about Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton comparing passing yards to winning have come back to haunt him.

“I could absolutely care less on yards per game,” Smith said in May. “I think that is a totally overblown stat because if you’re losing games in the second half, guess what, you’re like the Carolina Panthers and you’re going no-huddle the entire second half.  Yeah, Cam Newton threw for a lot of 300-yard games.  That’s great.  You’re not winning, though.”

Newton threw for 4,051 yards in 2011.  The Panters went 6-10, while the 49ers lost in the NFC Championship Game to the New York Giants.

“Obviously I got carried away there,” Smith said to the San Jose Mercury News. “I was going after more of the passing-yards statistic and I don’t really believe there’s a great correlation to winning in the NFL. I don’t.  I don’t buy it.  If you’re looking for a statistic that has a better correlation to winning, it’s probably yards-per-attempt.”

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