San Francisco 49ers Get it Wrong Again

Andy BenschSenior Writer IDecember 24, 2009

SAN DIEGO - SEPTEMBER 4:   Quarterback Nate Davis #7 of the San Francisco 49ers scrambles with the ball against the San Diego Chargers on September 4, 2009 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, California.    (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Let's start from the top, shall we?

49ers acting owner and team president Jed York has re-iterated his faith in both GM Scot McCloughan and head coach Mike Singletary.

Mike Singletary in turn has re-iterated his faith in Alex Smith by naming him the starting quarterback for next season. By doing so, Singletary has made it almost a must to start Smith the final two games of the season.

How would it look if he named Smith the starter for next year and then gave rookie Nate Davis the next two starts? People would wonder just what in the world is going on? Is Singletary saying one thing and thinking another?

Therefore, after stating that Smith will be the 2010 starter, Singletary has to go with him in the next two games.

Unfortunately, this move also makes absolute zero sense and simply because of the mediocrity of the opponents.

There is nothing, let me repeat, nothing that Alex Smith can accomplish in the final two games that would be of the positive variety.

Unlike recent seasons when the 49ers were able to play spoiler against playoff contending teams in the last couple weeks, this year they have no such opportunity.

The remaining two teams on the schedule are the 2-12 Detroit Lions and 1-13 St. Louis Rams, whose lone victory came over Detroit.

Case in point, the 49ers are facing two teams that have a combined winning percentage of .074 against the rest of the league. It is no question that Shaun Hill, much less Alex Smith could throw for 350 yards, four touchdowns and zero interceptions against these lowly franchises.

Now, Singletary is claiming that he wants to see every "ounce" of what Smith can give these final two weeks but he doesn't realize that there is nothing his veteran quarterback can prove against such lousy teams.

Last week's game in Philadelphia was Smith's final chance this season to prove he could rise to the occasion and play better than expected. But no matter how well he plays during these remaining two games, everyone will say "whatever, it was the Lions and the Rams, the retired Trent Dilfer could have done that."

Okay, maybe not that last part about Dilfer, but you get what I'm saying.

Since the 49ers aren't able to play spoiler, there is nothing the veteran starters can gain from playing these last two games. They can only be lost to injury and for veterans like Takeo Spikes and Michael Lewis, any more injury trouble could prohibit them from playing at the same level next season.

But, there is one good thing that could come from playing such inferior opponents in the final two weeks.

They could get rookie quarterback Nate Davis some experience.

Like I've said, Alex Smith has nothing to prove in these last two games, so he has absolutely no need to start. However, Davis has yet to play during his rookie season and could benefit from the playing time.

Remember, Smith got his first start against the Indianapolis Colts back in 2005. Don't you think he would have loved to get his first action against the Lions or Rams?

I think so.

Starting Davis these last two weeks makes all too much sense, but once again the 49ers have screwed it up by naming Smith the starter next season.

While Smith played well this year after taking over mid-way through the season for Shaun Hill, he still didn't show fans that he had overcome the inconsistencies that plagued him in his first four years of his career.

Will he lead the 49ers to the playoffs next year? Who knows, maybe. But nothing he does in the final two weeks will raise the expectations for him next season.

But if Davis has any chance at performing well as the starter during next season or beyond, it is pivotal he get some game experience, no matter the opponent. Let him understand what it feels like to play a game from start to finish and go through any necessary growing pains or instant success that comes from playing his first career games.

The 49ers have absolutely nothing to lose in this situation and have a ton to gain with not only their rookie quarterback but the other young players who haven't seen much playing time.

And not only that, but in terms of TV ratings, wouldn't the 49er organization want as many 49er fans as possible tuning into these meaningless games?

Ask any 49er fan down the street and I can guarantee you each and every one of them will be more inclined to watch the final two games if they knew Nate Davis was starting at quarterback.

Simply said, not starting the rookie the final two weeks is just another blunder by the 49ers organization that will once again make fans question the management and coaching staff.

If only it could be the 1994 again.


PS. Look at the article photo. Skin tone aside, who does that big body, strong arm, No. 7 quarterback with gloves remind you of?

Give your responses to my question in the comment section.