Alex Smith Boosts Offense

Shaun Hill and the offense looked awful to begin today’s game. Wait, let me correct myself. Shaun Hill and the offense WERE terrible to begin the game. From the very first play, Hill set the tone for the day. He took a simple three-step drop and tried to force the ball to Michael Crabtree. With Mario Williams in his face, Hill didn’t try to avoid the rush, or look for his outlet receiver, he tried to look around Williams and pass to Crabtree, only to be sacked. Hill’s poor day assisted in the 49ers quick 21-0 deficit at halftime. It wasn’t all his fault, a muffed Arnaz Battle punt return played a big part, but Hill did not seem to have a grasp on the offense today. He finished the half 6-11 for 45 yards. The offense in total had 50 yards for three first down. Pathetic. After a bye week, the team falls down 21 points and expect to compete with only three first downs? That is unacceptable.

Fortunately, Mike Singletary pulled the struggling HIll and Alex Smith came out firing. Smith provided a spark to the offense immediately and added a new dynamic they were sorely lacking. His arm and apparent studying of the playbook showed an instant improvement. As we all knew coming into the season, Hill was considered the better leader, decision maker, and overall winner. Smith however, was viewed as the superior athlete and it really showed today.

Smith surpassed Hill’s statistics in two passes. In his first series, he went 2-2 for 46 yards and a touchdown. What looked like a rout, Smith was able to turn into a winnable game, but fell just short of an amazing come-back.

What’s most important about Smith’s emergence is how good the offense looked. He finished 15-22 for 206 yards 3 touchdowns and that game-ending interception. Vernon Davis obviously benefited the most with Smith at quarterback. His seven receptions led the team, as well as his 93 yards receiving. Davis was also on the receiving end of all three of Smith’s touchdowns. This firepower was greatly needed and Smith came in and provided the 49ers with the offense it needed to keep up with the high scoring Texans.

There were a lot of positives to take away from the game. The best is how this loss doesn’t leave a sour taste in the team’s mouth. Fighting back from a 21 point deficit to have a chance to win, on the road, speaks volumes about their will to win. The defense gave up their share of points and plays, but still gave the offense a chance to win the game in the end. This loss could and was going to be much worse, but it’s a loss that doesn’t demoralize the team like last week. Now for the bad news. Next week the 49ers travel to Indianapolis to face arguably the best quarterback in the league in Peyton Manning. The Colts gave it to the Rams to the tune of 42-6. If the 49ers have any chance to beat the undefeated Colts, they are going to have to keep pace with that high octane offense. I don’t see the defense giving up many 40+ point games, but we know it’s possible. But Manning will throw for his yards and touchdowns. If the defense can hold the damage to a minimum, the offense must do their part and out score Manning.

Singletary faces a decision to make, and I don’t think it’s a hard one. Hill performed how we all thought he was going to. He passes for short, high completion passes, didn’t turn the ball over, but showed no big play ability. When facing an offense that can move the ball, shots downfield are necessary. If your quarterback is unable to throw the deep ball, well, you usually see a 6-11 for 45 yard day. I don’t think there should be any hesitation to name Alex Smith the starter. I am not being premature after one game by Smith. We had six games to see the ineptitude Hill shows at quarterback. And after losing three of the past four games, changes must be made, especially in a team that showed promise at the beginning of the season. I expect Mike Singletary to keep his decision a secret until closer to game-time, but will be surprised if he doesn’t name Alex Smith the starter.


I have been a 49ers fan my entire life and will continue to be one long after I'm dead. My plan for the afterlife is to haunt the Dallas Cowboys and ensure they will never win another Super Bowl. My favorite 49er of all time is Steve Young, and my favorite current 49er would probably be Alex Smith. (I take a lot of sh** for that, even from Niner fans.).
  • http://www.49ersnews.com John

    Alex will be the starter its a No-Brainer!

  • New Mexico 49er

    Come on SIng, name Smith the QB and take the Colts next week. Hill is ok for going against week teams but we need Smith for the next 5 games. GO 49ers

    • Brodie12

      This is so not a dilemma – Smith is our only and best chance to salvage this season. If the defense can step up next week, Smith and Co. might make it a game.

      We may make it after all.

      • redandgold

        I been saying that smith is our only chance from day 1, and I said it myself, if he is not, I’ll be the first one to tell you Im wrong…

        • Brodie12

          Many of us have been saying since day 1 that Smith should have been in there all along. Imagine, a QB who can actally get the ball in there on time.

          Now with Smith at QB, Gore will fare much better,plus not get the snot kicked out of him.

          Spread it out and let's see how we do.

  • J Mack

    START ALEX SMITH NEXT WEEK!!! Hill is a good game manager, but against the colts we're gonna need to keep up with their high powered offense. We're definetly not gonna do that "managing the game".

    Also, we need to mix more passing in our game plan. If we start smith and open up the passing game, we can maybe get defenses to stop putting 8 in the box and open up things for frank gore. Unlike Hill, who is very limited, Smith has a strong enough arm to throw those intermediate passes downfield, where hill can only throw short 5 to 10 yard passes. If we can open up the passing game more, we can defitnetly keep the defense off-balance… as long as jimmy raye mixes up the playbook and doesn't call run, run, pass. Kinda gets predictable after a while…

    If we're gonna have any chance to beat the colts, our D is gonna have to play 60 min of football, I'm willing to bet if we fall behind 21-0, we're not gonna have a chance. We gotta focus on covering the tight end more. Owen Daniels had 140 yards reciving today, and next week we face another top 5 tight end in Dallas Clark.

    GO NINERS!!!

  • dosia510

    i admit that i gave upon smith a long time ago and was and avid hill supporter, but if smith continues to play and show the potential he did today, im all for it. he played wit a chip on his shoulder and i hope its consistent and not just "flashes" like it was before. hopefully all my previous thoughts and feelings about him were wrong, and he can take this team to the playoffs!!!!

    • Niner Paul

      I'm with these exact comments!!!!! The thing is that this offense seems to suit Alex better as the game was called for him in the "come back offense mode" as also the Texan's did not game plan for Alex and the Spread offense >>> So this is going to be interesting because Alex will be named the starter and then what? What is going to be the offensive game plan? Is Sing going to let it fly as like the plays that were called today against the Texan's. Or are we going to go back to the Run, Run, third and long offense again. Because if thats the case we might see more of the same plays like the last pass Alex threw that ended up an INT.

  • A True Niner Fan

    Im a huge Hill supporter but what Alex did today was pretty Amazing…wish he didnt throw that pick at the end all we needed was field goal range but really it was just 1 game and you have to be consistent in this league…Alex seemed to be on fire out there except when he did bonehead mistakes like delay of game penalties, that one at the end that turned a 4th an 5 to a 4th an 10 really hurt us. and Alex usually plays well until he gets hit and thats when things go bad but we didnt see that today cause the O line actually blocked for him so I guess will have to wait n see if an when he does get hit if he can hold onto the ball and not have his throwing mechanics get all screwed up again worrying about the pass rush from the Defense…if he has matured and is really the best chance to win then Im all for it…Wins are what Matters!

  • wickerman

    The delay of game penalties were real bad. I wonder how much of it was not paying attention to the clock and how much of it was not being 100% up to speed. He seemed to be verifying the play call a lot – wandering over to the sideline for instructions. He definitely needs to fix that if he wants another shot.

    Cross your fingers that we get pressure on Peyton next week or it won;t matter if Smith can throw 3 TDs per half – the colts will be scoring 10!

  • Niner Paul

    I'm hoping no matter what that the offense opens up!!!!!!!!!! Shaun, Alex, Nate Davis whoever I just hope they understand that they (Sing and Raye) need to open it up!!!! That is what are personel lends to. Gore is a top back but run him a supplement back to the pass like in Mike Martz's system, pretty much the offense we ran today after we got behind. We do not have a 1,2 Punch running game Like Peterson and Taylor of the Viking's, or Ward and Jacobs for the Giants. Gore will get busted up taking to much of the load. So Alex will get the start, there is no doubt about that. By the design of the offense like i've said before Hill doesn't have a chance. It does not lend to his game. Alex is better for what they are trying to do, because of the third and long situations. If they do run the same offense i believe the odds will be working against us……

  • dosia510

    “And after a three game losing streak, changes must be made,”….its 2 bro but i agree with u!

    • 3 in a row

      1)Vikings

      2)Falcons

      3)Texans

      • Flash80

        We beat the Rams after the Vikings, then lost to the falcons n texans. 2 in row.

      • not3inarow

        I agree with you but hey its two in a row 3 in the last 4

        Vikings = L

        Rams = W

        Falcons = L

        Texans = L

        • Jarrod

          My mistake. After that loss against the Vikings, I wished so bad for the record to be 3-0. I must have convinced myself that the 49ers did start 3-0, but sigh, only in my dreams.

  • mark

    i can honestly say i thought smith would play atleast one game this season and do decently but he really is looking better than hill. i had faith he would become a great player and now i have even more. we looked like a different team with smith in there and hes the answer. i hated the guy until he accepted a contract for less money to stay with us and now i believe he deserves a chance, he could have left somewhere else for more money to be a backup but he wants to prove himself. give him a chance against manning.

  • redandgold

    Im not saying that smith will take us to the playoffs, but he is our best chance

    • mark

      exactly, smith might not be the permanent answer but like someone else said on one of these posts hill is maxed out do you really see him getting any better? i see smith getting better especially since the pressure of being the first overall draft pick is off his mind and he knows he got nothing to lose. start the man or i will tune out.

  • Eleven11

    Right there with you man. I will be shocked and appalled if Smith is not the starter next week. Do I think he will be a permanent replacement? Maybe, maybe not. All I know is to compete against the Colts we need big play ability, and we don't have much of any with Shaun Hill.

  • mark

    exacatly, people hating on him cuz he didnt win but he was a step up from hill just like hill was a step up from jt. give smith the rest of the season to prove himself and no not everyones on the bandwagon me and a lot of others have been waiting for smith to step up. im in no way a professional football analysis but my eyes arent fooling me when i seen a whole new team out there today. i felt like i was watchin a real team take some chances to win a game. pathetic if you dont start smith sunday…. finally i can whipe the dust off this jersey. we dont need cutler weve had our man here for years.

  • mark

    not to mention smith never had a team for him to work around like he does now. i cant accept that someone so good as him is as bad as hes made out to be. you want to see candlestick filled with number 11s than give the man a chance to take us to the playoffs. starter all year!

  • Brodie12

    One of those suspected delay of games was actually 12 men on the field, and I blame coaches on that. I also think there was a delay in calling the plays from upstairs – Raye has problems calling so many pass plays consecutively.

  • dosia510

    i can already hear the LL cool J song playing, "dont call it a comeback, i been here for years…"

    brodie12, i agree about raye, he is a piece of shit play caller. now that smith SHOULD be starter again, lets see if it changes.

  • http://Q Bobby Boucher

    Alex did everything he needed to take the job away from Hill yesterday. I cheered so loud when I saw him on the field after the half, that I can hardly talk today. Oh and after all three of his beautifully thrown touchdown passes as well. I thanked god that I was spared watching Hill putz around and fuck up for 30 minutes of football. No way Singletary plays Hill next week. Thank you Alex!

    Glad you're back….hope you're back for good this time! And how about Crabtree's hands? Wow!

    • dosia510

      crabby looked really good yesterday. his hands are fucking awesome man!!!

  • ninerfaithful

    alex smith needs to keep up this work ethic its really starting to show on the field im very excited about crabtree's hand and speed he is giving defenses something to plan for… and VD for President

  • http://www.49ersnews.com John

    I dont think the coaching staff is that stupid to see the difference between Shaun Hill and Alex Smith. Our O-Line is not good enough to block 8 and 9 man fronts. We have to establish the pass so teams can stop blitzing and open up the running game. Alex gives you a chance to do that with his Physical Mechanics. It seems Alex is a much overall better QB now then in 2006. Not only is the talent around him obviously better, but he had a lot of issues with the Little things like Accuracy. He seems to fit and know this Playbook real well and can see him flourish in it. If our D holds up and plays well and IF and I mean IF our O-Line can play atleast "decent", then we have a great chance to challenge for a playoff spot. I just hope we have found our Franchise QB and we will find out this season! GO ALEX!!!!

  • dosia510

    its official…..alex smith is starting!!!!

  • chuckle49er

    thats my boy alex fom utah university its time for you to shine
    prove everybody wrong yougot the recievers to win go niners!!!!!!!