Monday, November 15, 2010

With Troy Smith At the Helm, 49ers Hang By Slightly Thicker Thread

If you weren't sold on Troy Smith as quarterback of the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday night, you sure were by Sunday night.

Smith went 17/28 for 356 yards including a late 4th quarter drive culminating in a touchdown to Michael Crabtree with 2 minutes to play in regulation that could have sent chills up your spine if you were so inclined.

It was a huge win for the 49ers not only because it was against division rival St. Louis who fell to 4-5, but because the 49ers really don't have any choice from here on out but to win. They put themselves in a hole early in the season going 0-5, but now have put 2 wins back-to-back and look rather impressive with the "other" Smith at the helm.

Smith brings something different to this team. Maybe it was the 65 yard deep ball to Josh Morgan in the 1st quarter, but it seems Smith takes logical chances deep. When Alex Smith went deep, it usually meant bad news. But when Troy Smith throws deep, the ball seems to have life and the receivers seem to be better timed to catch it. Weird.

Taking good chances deep leads to more holes for Frank Gore to run through and a chance for OC Mike Johnson to open up the playbook a little more.

With Alex Smith, you needed him in the shotgun for him to do damage, if that. That led to Gore running into brickwalls. On Sunday, Gore ran for 87 yards and had 67 receiving yards. He was used on Sunday like he was always meant to be used, smashmouth runner paired with good receiving skills.

A happy Gore is a happy offense is a happy team......with wins.

Troy Smith has made life happy for this team within just a couple of weeks.

A big win against a legit division opponent could fuel something in the underbelly of this 49ers team. The problem is they don't have much room for error.

But that's nothing 4 remaining games against the NFC West can't fix.

1 comment:

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