After watching the San Francisco 49ers win their biggest game of the season on the road against the New England Patriots Sunday night, Jim Harbuagh probably feels a little better about his decision to go with Colin Kaepernick over Alex Smith. Kaepernick threw some perfect deep balls and helped hold off New England’s improbable comeback, proving the Niners are a legitimate Super Bowl contender with him taking the snaps.
Smith was one of the most efficient passers in the NFL prior to his concussion, but that means very little now that he is stuck holding a clip board. Aaron Rodgers, one of Smith’s good friends, feels Alex is under-appreciated in San Francisco.
“Alex and I are buddies, we both got drafted in 2005 NFL Draft, and he’s been through a lot,” Rodgers told NFL Networks Andrew Siciliano, via Around the League. “I can’t imagine to have to go through that many offensive coordinators and the turnover in coaches has been tough for him.
“He comes in, he’s 70 percent completion, he’s 100-plus quarterback rating last year, he’s like barely over one percent interception percentage,” Rodgers went on. “He’s a great quarterback, he just needs to go somewhere he gets appreciated for the skills he has and hopefully he gets a chance next year.”
It’s tough not to feel badly for Smith. He overcame being labeled a draft bust to lead the Niners to a 19-5 regular season record over the past two years and an appearance in the NFC Championship game last season. Before his head injury in Week 10, Smith had completed 70% of his passes and compiled a passer rating of 104.1.
Such is life in the NFL. The problem with going to another team is I’m not convinced Smith is a great quarterback. The 49ers have arguably the best defense in the NFL, and it’s likely Harbaugh found a way to squeeze just enough out of Smith to win games with the help of a tremendous defense. Whether or not he can enjoy similar success with another team remains to be seen.
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