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Golden Nuggets: Alex Smith, Shaun Hill create controversy

I'll give you three guesses what a sizable chunk of today's links are about.  You get your Alex Smith/Shaun Hill, you get your furious second half comeback attempt, and of course you get a little Michael Crabtree on the side.  Obviously there are reasons to run with those stories.  However, lost amidst all that (and maybe it's a good thing), is the continued emergence of Vernon Davis as a top-notch tight end.

Pro Bowls are not the most accurate measure of greatness, but we'll use them for the time being for a very general assessment.  Among NFC tight ends, Vernon Davis is fourth in receptions, second in receiving yards, first in touchdowns, and tied with Brent Celek for most 20+ yard receptions.  Furthermore, he's surpassed, or is on pace to surpass, career highs in the big three categories (Rec/Yds/TD).  People may complain about Mike Singletary's game management yesterday (certainly worth addressing in the Approval Rating post later this week), but if nothing else, I'm willing to give a whole ton of credit to Singletary for turning Vernon Davis into a man.  Vernon Davis is the one making the plays, but he finally seems to have his head on straight.  He's never come across as a "bad guy."  However, he had a certain reputation.  And now he's left that far behind.  There isn't much mention outside the recaps, but I thought it deserved a little mention.

Smith's rally falls short; Singletary undecided on QB (Maiocco)

Niners players talk about loss to Texans (Maiocco)

Good start for Crabtree (Maiocco)

49ers' grades mostly bad (Maiocco)

49ers fail to overcome first half deficit (Maiocco)

49ers-Texans live in-game blog/chat (Maiocco)

Plenty more links after the jump...

Crabtree put himself in position to succeed (Barrows)

Texans hold on to beat 49ers 24-21 (Barrows)

49ers Blog and Q&A: Hill a stand-up guy; Crabtree a standout (Barrows)

49ers Fall to Houston 24-21 (

Niners start rookie WR Crabtree in debut vs. Texans (

Blog Archive Niners involve rookie WR Crabtree in the offense (

Is that Alex Smith … or Joe Montana? (

Crabtree, Smith can't save 49ers in second half (San Jose Mercury News)

49ers turn to Smith during 24-21 loss to Texans | 49ers Hot Read (San Jose Mercury News)

San Francisco 49ers vs. Houston Texans - Recap (

Texans use dominant first half to survive second half push in win over 49ers (Yahoo! Sports)

49ers get close on furious second-half comeback - Shutdown Corner (Yahoo! Sports)

Texans hold on to beat 49ers 24-21 (Yahoo! Sports)

After signing to end holdout, 49ers WR Michael Crabtree starts in NFL debut (Yahoo! Sports)

'The Catch,' by Gary Myers (

Rapid Reaction: Texans 24, 49ers 21 (Sando -

Smith, Crabtree brighten 49ers' outlook (Sando -

49ers change quarterbacks and fall short in comeback in Houston (49ers Examiner)

Alex Smith starting for the rest of season might be best option for 49ers (49ers Examiner)

Putrid Offense is Hindering Above-Average Defense (49ers Webzone)

Kawakami: 49ers, Singletary were ready to flip the switch (San Jose Mercury News)

Forgotten Smith could be 49ers' answer at quarterback (Don Banks -

Week 7 Bests, Worsts: Saints' historic comeback keeps dream season rolling - The Huddle: Football News from the NFL (