After all the talk about a changing of the guard in the NFC West that would feature the Cardinals dropping off and the 49ers seizing the division we’ve seen a reversal take place since week one. The Niners have tanked their last two games while the Cardinals have won three straight, including impressive wins over the Texans and Giants. Making matters worse is the 49ers made a quarterback change from Shaun Hill to Alex Smith. Hill’s win-loss record had been solid despite his inability to put up stellar stats, but since he hadn’t helped the team move the ball and they were down 21-0 at the half, they decided to go to former top overall pick Alex Smith.
Smith sparked the offense while the defense finally started putting the clamps down on Houston’s offense, but it was too little too late — they lost 24-21. Many people in the Bay Area will be energized by Smith’s emergence considering he threw three touchdown passes to Vernon Davis. While there’s no way to say he didn’t do a good job bringing his team back in the game, fans must temper their excitement. The difference between coming in midway through a blowout to spark a team in a loss and starting a game and throwing three touchdowns that matter is immense. That’s the difference between Kyle Boller going 16/31 with two touchdowns against the Packers in garbage time and throwing for just 108 yards with two turnovers when he started the following week. That’s the difference between Byron Leftwich looking good in relief of Big Ben last year and stinking when he’s “the guy”. So if San Francisco decides to go with Alex Smith next weekend at Indy and the Colts have a whole week to pick apart his weaknesses, he’s going to be toast. Temper your excitement, 49er fans, and remember that this still is Alex Smith we’re talking about.Google+