Although the San Francisco 49ers have one more game to play this season, all that remains is player evaluation and draft positioning. The team was officially eliminated from playoff contention courtesy of an ugly 25-17 loss to the St. Louis Rams. I was always hoping for a playoff spot, but now thatthe stake has been driven through the 49ers heart, I almost have a sense of relief. Change can finally take place across the board.
One area that will have plenty of contention is the quarterback position. Tomorrow at 10am pacific, Ninjames will have a post regarding Nate Davis and the season finale so I'll save comment on that subject for that post and beyond. In the meantime, I thought I'd put together one more recap-type post tonight looking at the 49ers quarterbacks that stepped on the field today.
On the day, starter Troy Smith was 7 of 19 for 153 yards with one touchdown, one interception, and three fumbles. While I don't think he lost any of his fumbles, one fumble in the end zone resulted in a safety for the Rams. Alex Smith came on in relief and was 10 of 15 for 120 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions and one lost fumble. He had a 91.0 quarterback rating and a high completion percentage, but as usual he had too many checkdowns.
It really was a fitting wrap on the quarterback play in 2010. We had the combination of Troy Smith chucking it deep whenever he could and Alex Smith continuing his Captain Checkdown mode. Throw in offensive line struggles and it wasn't a pretty day. Instead it summed up the QB play this season in a nutshell. One of the bigger stories involved Troy Smith and Mike Singletary yelling at each other on the sideline after the O.J. Atogwe interception. It appeared to be the second instance (Shaun Hill being the previous instance) of Mike Singletary threatening his QB with a benching to see how he'd respond. I see value in that in certain instances, but it continues the pattern of Mike Singletary generally flying by the seat of his pants.
The QBs were not the only players to blame on this day, but they certainly didn't help the mess. While Jed York didn't provide specifics on the future at QB, he certainly hinted at adding somebody through the draft. We'll have more on this topic tomorrow with Ninjames' Nate Davis post. In the meantime, feel free to revel in the awesome-ness of the 49ers QB performance today.