Thursday, November 11, 2010

Niners to Start Troy Smith

Well, the Bay Area is in a sports frenzy right now. The Giants just won the World Series for the first time in their San Francisco history, the Warriors have gotten off to a nice 5-2 start to their 2010-11 season, and the Niners have a new starting QB.

As always, for more in-depth Giants talk, check out The Giants Baseball Blog, and we talked a bunch about them in the last post, so we'll hold off on them for now. The other San Francisco team has also been making some headlines this week too, as Mike Singletarry is leaning towards starting Troy Smith at QB on Sunday when the 49ers host the Rams. Smith wasn't flashy, but was efficient in the Niners win over Denver in London last Sunday, going 12-19 for 189 yards and a score. He seemed to gain confidence as the game wore on and actually looked like a starting NFL QB in that 4th quarter. It was weird, it's like something clicked with him in the 4th and it all came together. He led the Niners to three 4th quarter touchdowns and a comeback win over the Broncos that I don't think Alex Smith would have been able to pull off. Frank Gore helped carry the load by gaining 118 yards on ground and scored the TD which really put the game away on a 3-yard scanter with 3 minutes left in the game. What can't get overlooked in that win though was the play of the offensive line. They didn't allow any Bronco to get to Troy Smith, though part of that was Smith's athleticism, and they opened up holes for Gore when it counted and allowed the Niners to put the game away.

Now, the 49ers need to figure out what direction they go at QB from here. On one hand, you have Troy Smith coming off a win, and Alex Smith hurting and struggling, so the obvious choice would appear to be to roll with Troy. However, in this weak NFC West, the 49ers are still not out of this thing quite yet, and Alex Smith beat the Raiders then had the Niners in a good position vs. Carolina before going down with the injury. He's played with the unit all year long and still probably gives the Niners the best shot to win. It looks like Singletary is leaning towards Troy for this upcoming, season-on-the-line game vs. the Rams. If the Niners win that game, and Arizona manages to beat Seattle, they'd, amazingly, be just 1 game out of first place in their division, and with 8 games left, they may just make this interesting. For what it's worth, I think I'd go with Troy Smith as well this week to start things off and let Alex Smith take watch for a quarter or so. If Troy struggles in that quarter, or the Niners don't do anything offensively, then go back to Alex for the game.

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