Super Bowl

49ers Hoping Alex Smith is the Answer

Alex Smith

49ers quarterback Alex Smith is looking to turn his career around.

When you draft a quarterback number one overall, you expect him to be the cornerstone of your franchise for a long time to come.  That’s what the San Francisco 49ers were looking for when they drafted Alex Smith out of Utah back in 2005.  What the 49ers have gotten in return, however, is anything but a sure bet.

Smith’s time with this rebuilding franchise can be summed up by his quarterback ratings from 2005-2009:

  • 2005: 40.8 QB Rating
  • 2006: 74.8
  • 2007: 57.2
  • 2008: Did not play due to injury
  • 2009: 81.5

Those numbers tell the story of a lot of disappointment, with a ray of hope at the end.  It’s that last number from 2009 that has made the 49ers a popular pick to win the NFC West.

The hope is that a more consistent performance from this once highly-touted quarterback will mesh nicely with the already solid running of Frank Gore.  A balanced offensive attack will, in turn, go together with one of the league’s better defenses and produce a winner.

But if Week 1 of the 2010 season was considered the dawn of a new era in San Francisco, 49ers fans had a very rude awakening.  The 49ers took a 31-6 beating in Seattle and nothing went according to coach Mike Singletary’s plans.

Smith was especially poor, completing 26 of 45 passes for 225 yards and 2 interceptions (52.5 QB Rating).  He was also sacked twice and fumbled once.  And while the 49ers offensive line deserves some of the blame for the poor passing game, Smith’s decision making wasn’t so great either.

While one bad game shouldn’t decide his fate, Smith has to know that 2010 is going to be his make or break year in the NFL.  In the past, the 49ers have benched him in favor of journeyman type players such as former Saint J.T. O’Sullivan and Shaun Hill.

Singletary is going to give Smith time to find his rhythm.  Let’s face it, I don’t see this team expecting backups David Carr or Troy Smith to take the 49ers to the playoffs.  Smith has talent and last year showed a work ethic that may not have been there in past years.

But you only get so many chances.  Smith and the 49ers will get another shot in week 2 as they host the Saints on Monday Night Football.


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