If you haven’t been following the rest of the league this year, you might not know that the San Francisco 49ers are 4-1. Like the Lions, the 9ers have struggled in recent years and their last playoff appearance was in 2002. Adding insult to injury, the 49ers play in the NFC West and the division has been dismal for the last couple of years. The 49ers are off to a hot start and QB Alex Smith is a big reason why.
When you think or hear of Alex Smith, the words “bust” or “waste” probably pop up in your head. Smith was the first overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft but he hasn’t lived up to his hype or potential. In his rookie year, Smith threw one touchdowns compared to eleven interceptions. In his time at San Francisco, the 49ers haven’t once finished with a winning record. He’s been in the middle of many QB competitions, lost his starting spot many times, and for awhile it looked like his career was over.
Now it is different. His new coach, Jim Harbaugh, has implemented the West Coast Offense back which is similar to the scheme that Smith played in college. His offensive line is much improved from years past. Kurt Warner even ranked him as one of the five best QBs so far this season and this is what he had to say:
My big surprise: Alex Smith comes in at No. 4,” Warner said on NFL Network’s NFL Total Access. “A guy I probably didn’t expect to make this list all year long, but he’s got his team at 4-1 right now, he’s playing as consistent as anybody. And what I’ve seen the last couple weeks is him making the big play, something that he hadn’t done up to that point in the season.
So far on the season, Smith has thrown for 7 TDs (only 1 INT) and has a QB Rating of 104.1. Those are pretty good numbers considering he only throws around 25 times a game. The 9ers are well on their way to making their first playoff appearance in almost a decade as they have a 2-game lead on the Seahawks. Alex Smith isn’t the laughingstock of the NFL anymore and fans should worry a little more now when their team is playing Smith and the 9ers.