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Cardinals Vs. 49er preview: Looking at Alex Smith and his play

What do 49ers fans think of Smith now?


Quarterback Alex Smith has been in the league a long time now. Once considered an absolute bust as the top pick in the NFL Draft, he has now been the starter for the San Francisco 49ers for quite a while. In 2011, he had a very good year, leading the team to a 13-3 record and turning the ball over only five times. He has already matched that number so far this season.

With the Arizona Cardinals hosting the Niners on Monday night, David Fucillo from our sister blog Niners Nation answered a few questions about their team. I asked about Smith.


How do fans see Alex Smith? Is he the Niners' guy still? Is he playing different? He gets sacked a lot per attempt (but better than Cards' QBs). where does the blame lie mostly?

Answer from Fooch:

"Alex Smith is the guy for now. I think even with a Super Bowl victory, there would be complaints about Alex Smith because he does not put up the consistently big numbers. He has struggled the last two games after some huge efforts early on, but I don't think that's necessarily a "bad" thing. The Giants and Seahawks have better defenses than the teams he faced prior. His struggles would seem to just tell us that there will be inconsistencies because he is not the premier quarterback in the NFL.

"Smith has had some solid games, and he is generally a smart QB. He can make most of the throws, but he struggles to do that consistently. And of his five interceptions this season, at least three came on simply poor decisions by Smith. He is the proverbial enigma wrapped in a riddle. I would love to see more consistency, but I have come to accept that Alex Smith is a mixed bag. All that being said, I do think the 49ers can win a Super Bowl with him, and in my mind, that's really all that matters.

"As far as the sacks issue, he is struggling staying on his feet and he deserves a sizable measure of the blame for that. The 49ers offensive line has had some trouble at times on pass protection, but Alex Smith is a quarterback that will take the sack rather than chuck the ball away. He views sacks as infinitely better than interceptions. This leads to more sacks than might be generally preferred, but again, he is taking the sacks to avoid turnovers."