It wasn't he prettiest win of the season, and wasn't especially re-assuring after the way they just lost to the Giants, but the 49ers did manage to hold of Seattle Thursday night for a 13-6 victory.
You can really chalk this win up to the defense, and the lucky fact they were facing a rookie quarterback cause it was another lack luster performance offensive for the Niners. After scoring just 3 points last week vs. the Giants at Candlestick Park, the 49ers put up just 13 against a solid yet unspectacular Seattle D. Alex Smith, who played his worst game of the season last Sunday, had a slight improvement in Thursday's game, but his final line of just 14 completions and 140 yards through the air was hardly inspiring. Fortunately for the 49er offense, they did get another exceptional day on the ground out of Frank Gore, but it may have come at a steep price. Gore was forced to the sidelines for much of the 2nd half after racking up 130 yards on just 14 carries. Kendal Hunter filled in nicely after Gore suffered the bruised ribs and had to exit, but the 49ers need their workhorse back healthy for next Monday vs. Arizona. The 49ers knocked off one of the teams chasing them in the NFC West, but the Cardinals have been showing they're for real too, and enter this weekend with a chance to break even with the 49ers again at 5-2.
One of the topics that has quietly been circulating around the Bay Area sports media over the last week has been the use of Colin Kaepernick, and whether or not Jim Harbough is trying to ease the youngster into the lineup more with his sights set on a possible QB swap at some point later in the season. Alex Smith has had his best statistical season of his career so far, but in the games the team has lost, he's been downright awful, and his performance vs. the Seahawks was hardly the turnaround he was looking for after his 3-interception game last week vs. New York. With that huge game he put up against Buffalo, I was hoping Smith would turn the corner and become more of that go-for-the-kill quarterback, but he's regressed significantly since that Week 5 showing. That said, the 49ers are winning, and Smith, for the most part, has played a relevant role in their victories. I do get the excitement over Kaepernick, as he's come in and electrified the offense with that wildcat set up, and has displayed that cannon right arm. I just don't think it's time to make a big change like that at this point in the season. I'd keep using Kaep like they have been, maybe get him a few more plays where he's throwing the ball rather than just running him all the time, but Smith is still the guy I want in there for the majority of the snaps.