Last week against the Green Bay Packers, 49ers tight end Vernon Davis blew up with four receptions for 126 yards, including a 66-yard touchdown. The performance was noteworthy because it involved his first touchdown with Troy Smith and was his biggest game by far with Troy. He did have four receptions for 79 yards his first game, but no scores.
Now Alex Smith is back in the picture, and I have to wonder if we'll see Vernon Davis consistently targeted a bit more this week and going forward if Alex keeps starting. Prior to Alex's injury at Carolina, he and Davis had connected for four touchdowns, all coming in the previous four weeks. Last season, through five and a half games Shaun Hill connected with Vernon Davis for 3 touchdowns, averaging out to .55 TDs per game. When Alex Smith took over at Houston, he and Davis went to connect on 10 touchdowns over ten and a half games, averaging out to .95 touchdowns per game.
Whether it's because of Alex Smith or something else, Vernon Davis has made his biggest mark when Alex is at the helm. Are people expecting big things between the two of them, or will it take some time to get the chemistry back? This really has nothing to do with whether the 49ers "open things up" or go to more of a "spread look." Alex and Vernon have long had a solid chemistry and have found a way to hook up on big plays.
The 49ers offense will be squaring off with a Seattle defense that actually ranks fourth in the NFL in defending against tight ends. Early in Davis' career he struggled against the Seahawks. In his first five games against Seattle he had a combined 10 catches for 80 yards and 1 touchdown. In his last two games (12/6/09 @ SEA, 09/12/10 @ SEA) he has had 14 catches for 184 yards and a touchdown. I'd like to think Davis will continue his run of success but I've been really wrong about a lot of things related to the 49ers this season. Will I finally get something right?