Playoffs Or Bust: Alex Smith's Last Chance

J Bone-ious The EroniousCorrespondent IMarch 14, 2010

ST. LOUIS - JANUARY 3: Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers moves to pass the ball against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on January 3, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  The 49ers beat the Rams 28-6.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

I hope that one day, years from now, we can all look back at this quarterback problem we’re having with the 49ers…and have a good chuckle. “Remember when we were arguing about Hill or Smith? Ha!”, or how about, “Hey, remember when we signed Carr in the off-season.”

All of this talk about who we should draft with our two first round picks has served as a very good smoke screen- or at the very best, a good distraction- about the real problem with the San Francisco 49ers: we don’t have a franchise quarterback. We could draft Spiller and Dez Bryant in the first round and still would not change the fact that Alex Smith is not the guy who can take us to the promise land. And until we do, and 8-8 or 9-7 record is the best we can hope for in our weak division.

The situation is this: Alex Smith has to start this year because the 49ers have to be sure, once and for all and without a shred of doubt, that Alex Smith is or isn’t the guy.  Because of this, the 49ers have to go through another draft without trying to get a franchise QB.

Everyone seems sure that the Rams will get Bradford, and it seems as though the Cardinals/Seahawks could be making a move for one of the Eagles quarterbacks (Kolb or McNabb).  So, let’s say for argument’s sake, that Bradford shows Stafford-like promise, the Cardinals or Seahawks get McNabb or Kolb and Alex Smith turns out to be the bust that we all think, but never want admit…where will we be in 2011?

I hope Smith proves me wrong and something turns on in his performance. But no one wants to talk about just how ineffective he was as our starter last year. Everyone seems to think that we should be the division favorites now that the Cardinals have dismantled and Warner has retired, but what have we done lately to warrant such respect?

Who have the 49ers beaten in past few years that we can say, “Look- we CAN beat a good team”?

How unimpressive did Smith look against the lowly Rams and Lions last year? People argue about what we need more: a solid right tackle or an explosive playmaker like Spiller. I say neither; we need a quarterback.

The good thing is that this is the best situation for Smith to be in. It’s a weak division and the former division champs have lost their franchise quarterback. Albeit a mediocre one, Smith did have his best year in 2010. I hope with the continuation of an offensive coordinator and a healthy coaching environment Smith can lead this team to the playoffs and beyond.

But I seem to have this hopefulness about Smith before every game. I look at his previous performances and notice a good throw here and a solid quarter there, but I can’t remember when Smith ever put together a real solid game- an entire game.

                Maybe I’m just a nay-sayer, but I just want us to return to a respectable organization and that begins with a QB. Alex Smith, this is your last chance. No more excuse about a bad offensive line, a new coordinator, blah blah blah…Just perform and win us games.  PLEASE!