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Smith paces 49ers to team-record 621 yards in rout of Bills

The SportsXchange

SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco 49ers rewrote their storied offensive record book Sunday, rolling up a franchise-high 621 yards in a 45-3 rout of the Buffalo Bills at Candlestick Park.

The offensive explosion was fueled by one of the best games in quarterback Alex Smith's career.

The 49ers broke their old mark of 598 yards, which was set Sept. 13, 1992, in a 34-31 loss to the Bills. The Bills, meanwhile, were on the wrong side of team history, allowing a record number of yards. Their old mark was 598, set in that 1992 game.

"I didn't know it until the end," Smith said of the record. "Very cool. A lot of great offenses. When you think of the 49ers, you think of great offenses. Quite an honor."

Smith, who sprained his right middle finger on his final pass, deserves much of the credit for the record. He threw for 303 yards -- just 7 shy of his career best -- and posted a career-high 156.2 passer rating. He completed 18 of 24 passes and also ran for 49 yards.

"He was just on fire," 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman said of Smith.

Smith wasn't the only 49er to enjoy a big day. Wide receiver Michael Crabtree caught six passes for 113 yards and a touchdown, while tight end Vernon Davis caught five passes for 106 yards. Frank Gore rushed for 106 yards on 14 carries.

"The playmakers really shone brightly," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. "There were some shining stars out there today."

The 49ers (4-1) pulled into a tie with Arizona for first place in the NFC West. Buffalo, which was coming off a 52-28 loss to New England, fell to 2-3 with another disheartening defeat.

Bills coach Chan Gailey said the back-to-back blowouts are beyond embarrassing.

"I'd use another term I don't want to use in public," Gailey said. "It's not all my fault, but it starts with me. It's my responsibility."

One week after shutting out the Jets, the 49ers' defense held Buffalo to a field goal and just 204 net yards. Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 16 of 26 passes for 126 yards with an interception and a passer rating of 57.5. The Bills entered the game ranked No. 4 in the league in rushing but ran for just 89 yards.

"Offensively, just never got anything going, and I feel like that is not who we are as an offense, but unfortunately that's what we put out there today," Fitzpatrick said.

Smith came out throwing in the first half, completing 12 of 15 passes for 237 yards -- a career high for a half -- and two touchdowns as the 49ers built a 17-3 lead. He also had a perfect passer rating of 158.3, another career high for a half.

Crabtree caught five passes for 103 yards and a 28-yard touchdown in the first half, while Davis grabbed four for 82 yards. Wide receiver Kyle Williams caught a 43-yard touchdown pass, his first score of the season.

"It's just huge chunks of yards we gave up," Bills defensive end Mario Williams said. "You can't play defense like that."

The 49ers took the opening kickoff and marched 79 yards to the Bills' 1 before stalling and settling for David Akers' 19-yard field goal. Buffalo pulled even at 3-3 on Rian Lindell's 31-yard field goal with 10:46 left in the first half.

But the 49ers needed just two plays to reach the end zone and take a 10-3 lead. Smith hit a wide-open Crabtree over the middle for 36 yards to the Bills' 43. On the next play, Williams lined up wide right and beat cornerback Aaron Williams in man-to-man coverage on deep route down the sideline. He caught Smith's back-shoulder pass inside the 10, spun free and raced into the end zone.

"Everybody brought their 'A' game to the stadium today," Roman said.

It looked as if the Bills would be down by just seven points at halftime after forcing a 49ers turnover deep in Buffalo territory. San Francisco backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick lined up deep in the backfield, took a pitch from Smith and headed around left end for 6 yards, but safety George

Wilson forced a fumble, and Buffalo defensive tackle Kyle Williams recovered at the Bills' 17 with 49 seconds left.

Instead of running out the clock, the Bills attacked. On third-and-6, Fitzpatrick hit tight end Scott Chandler for 11 yards, but 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis forced a fumble, and safety Dashon Goldson recovered.

"If I take a knee, you're going to ask me why I took a knee at halftime," Gailey said. "I'm trying to win a game."

On first down, Crabtree ran past rookie corner Stephon Gilmore on what appeared to be a broken coverage, and he was wide open in the left corner of the end zone, where Smith hit him with a 28-yard strike. That put the 49ers up 17-3 with 24 seconds left in the half.

"We've got athletes, we've got playmakers," Crabtree said. "We just have to use them. We've got to create an identity."

Gore's 1-yard touchdown run made it 24-3 with 9:06 left in the third quarter. Smith's 10-yard touchdown pass to Mario Manningham put the 49ers ahead 31-3 with 14:12 left to play.

Kaepernick's 16-yard touchdown run on a read-option increased San Francisco's lead to 38-3 with 9:55 remaining, and Anthony Dixon added a 3-yard touchdown run with 1:11 left.

NOTES: Harbaugh had no update on Smith's injured finger other than to say "it looks like just a sprain" and that the quarterback would have it examined. ... San Francisco running back Brandon Jacobs (knee) practiced this week but was inactive for the game. He could be in line to make his 49ers debut next week against the New York Giants, his former team. ... Bills starting left tackle Cordy Glenn (ankle) and right guard Kraig Urbik (ankle) were inactive. Chris Hairston started for Glenn, and Colin Brown subbed for Urbik. ... Akers extended his streak to 21 games with a field goal, tying Bruce Gossett's team record. ... Buffalo's Leodis McKelvin had an 80-yard punt return for a touchdown in the first quarter nullified by a holding penalty on Jairus Byrd. ... Byrd left the game in the second half with a chest injury. Gailey said Byrd had an X-ray after the game, but he didn't have the results. ... Bills guard Chad Rinehart suffered a calf injury.
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