After Troy Smith's most recent hideous performance vs. the Packers, Mike Singletarry and co. have decided to go back to Alex Smith, and it will probably be his job for the rest of the season.
Even at 4-8, the 49ers playoff hopes are still alive, and if they can pull of the win this weekend vs. the Seahawks, then they'll again be just 1 game out of first heading into the final 3 weeks of the season. They feel Alex Smith gives them the best shot at winning these next few games, and I don't blame them after the last few outings that Troy Smith had. Troy once again failed to complete 50% of his passes, going 10-25 for 198 yards with 1 TD and 1 Int. So, after his 3rd consecutive loss, the 49ers are going back to Alex, their #1 pick from the '05 draft, and the arm they pinned their hopeful 2010 season on, and if the Niners want to make their first playoff appearance since 2003, they'll need Alex to be nearly perfect over these next 4 weeks. Even more so now that Frank Gore is gone. And without Gore, and with Smith back at the helm, I think the 49ers need to open things up and run a spread-type offense. Remember when Smith had that hot streak in 2009? It was because the 49ers opened up the playbook and allowed him to throw 35+ times per week. The only problem with that game plan, is that it steered away from Frank Gore, the 49ers most valuable asset on offense. Well, now without Gore, they don't need to worry about that, as Brian Westbrook is one of the best pass-catching running backs of this generation, and could be huge in the passing game.
Either way, the 49ers are in a must-win situation Sunday, and need to pull out all the stops if they indeed have any hope of making a late season playoff run. But still, even if they did manage to sneak in and win this horrendous division, do you really see an offense led by Alex Smith and the aging Brian Westbrook doing anything miraculous in January? I hate to be a skeptic, but I don't. I'm more focused on the 49ers potential draft position than them making a playoff run to end this season and if the season did end today, the 49ers would find themselves with the 7th pick in the draft. Again though, there's still a month left, but at this point, again, I think it would be better for the Niners to lose out than to win out. If they win-out, they may sneak into the playoffs, only to be destroyed in the first round. Then come April, they'd pick around 20 rather than in the top-10. If they lose-out, they could find themselves in position to be in the top-5, and if they can get in the top-5, they should be able to figure out a way to get their QB. I never root for my teams to lose, but at this point, it would probably work out best for the 49ers in the long run.