Interesting

*Who would have thought Michael Crabtree's strained neck would cause Alex Smith so much pain?*

After Crabtree missed most of training camp with his injury, his connection with his quarterback has been crippled in the season's first three games.

In fact, the numbers are stunning.

On Smith's 19 passes targeted at Crabtree, he has six completions for 81 yards with no touchdowns and four interceptions. Quarterback rating: 6.6.

On Smith's 100 passes targeted at other receivers, he has 66 completions for 651 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Quarterback rating: 86.7.

In other words, throwing to No. 15 has cost Smith, who has a 66.2 rating, about 20 points.

It's been assumed that Crabtree is one of the "playmakers" the Niners will want to do a better job of "getting into open space" under Mike Johnson. Not saying that's a mistake - it's clear Crabtree has Pro-Bowl potential - but it's worth monitoring how much longer it takes Smith and the second-year wideout to get on the same page.

Here's a look at Smith's numbers when targeting Niners receivers this season (minimum 5 targets):

To WR Josh Morgan

Smith: 10 of 17, 114 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT

QB Rating: 98.7

To TE Delanie Walker

Smith: 6 of 8, 59 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT

QB Rating: 95.3

To RB Frank Gore

Smith: 22 of 29, 203 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

QB Rating: 91.6

To TE Vernon Davis

Smith: 15 of 25, 173 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT

QB Rating: 80.9

To WR Dominique Zeigler

Smith: 5 of 8, 50 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT

QB Rating: 80.2

To WR Michael Crabtree

Smith: 6 of 19, 81 yards, 0 TD, 4 INT

QB Rating: 6.6

And, absolutely free today, Smith's numbers when targeting running backs, tight ends and wide receivers. :

To RBs

Smith: 26 of 35, 216 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

QB Rating: 87.3

To TEs

Smith: 24 of 36, 252 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT

QB Rating: 86.8

To WRs

Smith: 22 of 46, 264 yards, 1 TD, 4 INT

QB Rating: 36.9

After Crabtree missed most of training camp with his injury, his connection with his quarterback has been crippled in the season's first three games.

In fact, the numbers are stunning.

On Smith's 19 passes targeted at Crabtree, he has six completions for 81 yards with no touchdowns and four interceptions. Quarterback rating: 6.6.

On Smith's 100 passes targeted at other receivers, he has 66 completions for 651 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Quarterback rating: 86.7.

In other words, throwing to No. 15 has cost Smith, who has a 66.2 rating, about 20 points.

It's been assumed that Crabtree is one of the "playmakers" the Niners will want to do a better job of "getting into open space" under Mike Johnson. Not saying that's a mistake - it's clear Crabtree has Pro-Bowl potential - but it's worth monitoring how much longer it takes Smith and the second-year wideout to get on the same page.

Here's a look at Smith's numbers when targeting Niners receivers this season (minimum 5 targets):

To WR Josh Morgan

Smith: 10 of 17, 114 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT

QB Rating: 98.7

To TE Delanie Walker

Smith: 6 of 8, 59 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT

QB Rating: 95.3

To RB Frank Gore

Smith: 22 of 29, 203 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

QB Rating: 91.6

To TE Vernon Davis

Smith: 15 of 25, 173 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT

QB Rating: 80.9

To WR Dominique Zeigler

Smith: 5 of 8, 50 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT

QB Rating: 80.2

To WR Michael Crabtree

Smith: 6 of 19, 81 yards, 0 TD, 4 INT

QB Rating: 6.6

And, absolutely free today, Smith's numbers when targeting running backs, tight ends and wide receivers. :

To RBs

Smith: 26 of 35, 216 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

QB Rating: 87.3

To TEs

Smith: 24 of 36, 252 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT

QB Rating: 86.8

To WRs

Smith: 22 of 46, 264 yards, 1 TD, 4 INT

QB Rating: 36.9