Print Edition: November 9, 2011
The San Francisco 49ers, with Alex Smith at quarterback, are 7-1. No, you are not being punk’d. It’s true; the football club out of northern California have lost only one game this season and are the second best team in the NFC.
Quarterback (QB) Alex Smith, who has previously been labelled as a bust after being drafted with the first overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft, has been playing like a top tier QB this season. Head coach Jim Harbaugh, who agreed to a five-year contract with the NFL club after serving as a head coach at Stanford University for four years, came into training camp and told Alex Smith that he was their guy; clearly the confidence and faith in Smith has allowed him to excel.
Prior to Sunday’s matchup versus the Washington Redskins, Alex Smith had thrown for 1267 yards, nine touchdowns, and only two interceptions, earning him a QB passer rating of 95.7. Smith hasn’t put up off the charts numbers, but he’s given his team a chance to win each game by not turning the ball over.
Head coach Jim Harbaugh replaced San Francisco’s previous offensive system with his own, pass-first West Coast offence. Harbaugh brought in his own offensive co-ordinator and signed wide receiver Braylon Edwards through free agency to be their featured guy. Add in a healthy Frank Gore and Harbaugh has perfected a winning formula.
On Sunday, Alex Smith once again threw a near perfect game. En route to a 19-11 win, Alex Smith was 17/24, throwing for 200 yards and a touchdown. Running back Frank Gore ran for 107 yards on 19 carries, the defence caused three turnovers and David Akers kicked four field goals as the 49ers won their sixth straight. It’s the longest winning streak the 49ers have compiled since 1997. With the win, San Francisco remains undefeated on the road, something they haven’t done since 1992.
In other news: The Miami Dolphins have finally won their first game of the season and they did it in a big way. The Fins downed the streaking Kansas City Chiefs 31-3. QB Matt Moore threw for three touchdowns, and the Dolphins now leave the Indianapolis Colts as the only winless team in the NFL.
The Green Bay Packers won a thrilling shoot out versus the San Diego Chargers 45-38. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers threw for four touchdowns as did Chargers QB Phillip Rivers. However, Rivers also threw three interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns. This game was every fantasy football fanatics dream game. Broncos rookie quarterback Tim Tebow rebounded from last week’s horrible performance, throwing for 124 yards and two touchdowns. Tebow also rushed for 117 yards as the Broncos downed the Raiders 38-24. Raiders recently acquired and out of “retirement” QB Carson Palmer threw for three touchdowns and three interceptions in only his second game of the season.