Right now the best chance the 49ers have to win is to stick with Alex Smith. He knows the system the best by far, just as athletic, and has shown more promise than the three backups combined. And that is a bad thing. There is no trade that can be made and no up-and-comer behind him. The season goes as far as Alex lets it. He has played poorly and I no longer support him as a guy that just needs a chance. Not once has Alex dominated a game. A flash of greatness has to last longer than a drive, quarter, or half. Even a complete domination of one game is not enough (Kevin Kolb, Billy Volek, Rob Johnson). So the chance of Smith turning the corner for this team are over. Alex is not the whole problem, as us excusers have demonstrated since 2005. Alex did not blow this last game by himself, but he did not save it as a true starter could have.
The solution is a long process. One option is to sign a veteran QB in the offseason that can hold us together (McNabb for example, Vick was too unknown) that we now know we should have done. In the meantime groom our first round pick quarterback and release Smith. The other option is to hold on to Smith if there is not a true QB that will upgrade at the moment, still while the first round quarterback pick QB is developing. We could have had a project quarterback all along, but that is in the past. Use Smith while the new quarterback develops, and the young offense matures.
I know many will not like this, but a quick turnaround is not going to happen. David Carr is Alex Smith with a different helmet, most likely unaware and will be sacked too much. Troy Smith was just introduced to the team and has not shown any development in Baltimore whatsoever. Nate Davis isn't even a back up's back up. Sorry Ninersnation, we have a longer wait than expected.