Around the NFL  

 

Do San Francisco 49ers really trust Alex Smith?

Entering Week 6 against the New York Giants, Alex Smith was the No. 1-rated passer in the NFL.

Things have changed in a hurry following back-to-back subpar outings by the San Francisco 49ers' quarterback. The Niners had a much more conservative game plan in Thursday night's 13-6 win over the Seattle Seahawks. How much did that have to do with their trust in Smith?

Lombardi: Passing concern
The 49ers and Seahawks waged a blue-collar battle, but Michael Lombardi says both teams are flawed. Plus, 10 thoughts. More ...

Niners coach Jim Harbaugh said Smith was "fantastic" all night, which is about as accurate as saying the team had no interest in Peyton Manning last offseason. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Smith's health -- he's still dealing with the effects of a sprained finger -- played a part in the less-aggressive attack.

Smith occassionally is spelled by rookie backup Colin Kaepernick, who is used as a change-of-pace runner. Yahoo! Sports columnist Michael Silver asked Smith if periodic jogs to the sideline can hurt his play.

"I'll say this: It's fun to come in when it's first down. It's not fun to come back in when it's third-and-long," Smith said. "In hindsight, it's easy to say (it's a mistake). But it's also been very effective for us at times."

Silver drew special attention to a fourth-quarter draw call deep in Seahawks territory. Smith threw an ugly red-zone interception earlier in the half, and the 49ers made sure that wouldn't happen again. Smith was stopped short of the first down, and the 49ers kicked a field goal to push their lead to seven.

Harrison: Week 7 predictions
Ravens or Texans in a battle of 5-1 teams? Can the Jets hang with the rival Patriots? Elliot Harrison forecasts Week 7. More ...

"Sometimes it's like that," tight end Vernon Davis (zero catches) said of the call. "Of course everybody wants to make their mark and help the team win. We'll take what we can get."

Wide receiver Michael Crabtree shook his head when asked about the draw, according to Silver.

"I don't want to talk about it, bro," he said. "Cause I know if I say something....We won -- you know what I mean? I can't say anything, because we won."

The 49ers lead the NFC West after beating a very good Seahawks team. But that doesn't mean all is well.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.

Fan Discussion

NFL News
CONTENT
15