Alex Smith Saves the San Francisco 49ers

Ryan FridayCorrespondent IMarch 19, 2008

By now, you're probably laughing. I mean, if I weren't an Alex Smith fan (a.k.a. a normal football fan) I'd be laughing pretty damn hard, but unfortunately, as you can see from my previous two articles, I'm quite the fan.

Here's why...

When Alex Smith played great, he played great. I know there are but a few instances where we saw great playing from Smith, but try to hear me out. Let's look at this season...this dreadful season.

You probably know which game I'm going to refer to: Week 1, 49ers and Cardinals.

Alex Smith saved the game-winning drive with a 25-yard run on a fourth and one. Those last few minutes were one of the most exciting and frustrating minutes of my life. But you have to admit, Alex Smith did what he had to do to lead the 49ers to the game winning touchdown.

Not to say I admit we did get really lucky with that fumble at the end, (I think it was Arnaz that fumbled it) and that the defender didn't recover it. But yes, at that moment I thought Alex Smith was amazing.

Looking back a bit more, we of course look to the second meeting against the Seahawks in the 2006-07 season. This was the game where we saw Smith's famous "brushing off the sack and TD throw to Frank Gore" play.

No he didn't brush off that sack; he evaded it in a pro-style.

Beautiful. Gorgeous.

And of course we can't forget that play Norv turner called at the end where Smith faked the hand off to the right and ran in toward the left for the TD. Amazing. 

Anyway, when Alex Smith DID NOT play badly, he looked marvelous as a quarterback. Completing passes, scrambling, exciting, electrifying, a bit reminiscent of the Jeff Garcia pro-bowler days. In the '06 season never did anyone blame the offense nor question Alex Smith's ability (as much as we do now). 

We didn't look at Smith as a struggling, possible bust, but as a slowly improving, hard-working, growing young NFL franchise player. 

I remember the blame all went on the defense, which of course got greatly bolstered with the addition of Nate Clements, Micheal Lewis, Patrick Willis, improved Manny Lawson, Tully Banta-Cain in the offseason of 2007. 

OK marvelous is an overstatement I know, but compared to his play this past season, marvelous is nothing short of. 

I'd like to share a nice music-background highlight reel I found on a famous streaming video website of Alex Smith in the 2006-07 season. Watching that video made me believe he was indeed the future.

And then we had the 2007 season.

But I suppose I shouldn't share any outside media sources without any consent. If you're truly interested let me know.

How about Alex Smith now?

Yes, watching in 2007 made me cringe and hurt myself more than I've ever wanted. Even though his contract has been extended, he is not guaranteed the starting job and will compete with Shaun Hill.

That's fine. It just saddens me to see what has happened to this kid. It's a bit awkward to call him a kid since him and I are exactly the same age (born in 1984). 

But it's healthy for the body and mind that one should try your best to look at the brighter side of things. I know this is outside of being a realist in terms of football, but I want to be healthy.

I have faith in Alex Smith. With the supposed "gift" from Nolan to Smith, Martz should bring him a better, more experienced and tested offense to run. Provided everyone else is healthy and the offensive line is fine, Smith will save the 49ers.

Though it may seem contradictory to my previous article about Frank Gore, let me say this:

Gore's success will not come if Alex Smith plays terribly, but I don't he will be terrible. At least not as bad as he was this year. I'm not asking for 30 TDs and 3500 yards. I'm asking for no interceptions and wins.

OK scratch that, I'm looking for good quarterbacking (at least 200 yards and least one TD pass a game) with minimal interceptions and wins.

Gore may be the one to take us to the playoffs, but it is Alex Smith who will keep the 49ers alive.

As was said in last year's promotion for the 49ers: BELIEVE.