With his second straight performance with a QB rating of 115 or more, no interceptions, and a display of arm strength, accuracy and mobility, it appears the San Francisco 49ers have finally found a starting quarterback.
Smith would seem to have the intangibles as well, most importantly leadership, nerves of steel, instincts and decision making.
Smith, in only his fourth NFL start and second with the 49ers, seemed unflappable as he made several tight throws into coverage and scrambled to extend plays often finding an open receiver and avoiding the sack.
Smith wasn't perfect though. Several of his passes were tipped and at times he seemed to hang onto the ball too long.
No surprise here. Anything less would have been mutiny by the fans, and perhaps the team. The move had to be made, and even Alex Smith couldn't deny it.
Smith's performance has also re-energized a fan base that thinks now, just maybe, there is still a realistic shot at making the playoffs.
With Troy Smith, or without him, that is still a tall order after opening the season 0-5. However in the "mild mild" NFC West, anything is possible.
There also seems to be a ground swell of support to keep Mike Singletary on as head coach if the team does make a historic run and makes the playoffs.
Whether that means making the playoffs, winning a playoff game, or going deep into the playoffs is anybody's guess.
I would think that barring an unfathomable Super Bowl appearance, the ship has already sailed for "Samurai Mike".
Even ESPN has reported that the Yorks will go with Singletary until the end of the season.
The only reason the Yorks haven't fired Singletary to this point is two-fold.
First, there is nobody on the team to take over as an interim coach. Have you seen any names on the 49ers coaching staff involved in discussions as possible replacements for teams with anticipated coaching vacancies?
Second, there is nobody in their right mind that would take a team over at mid-season with this many issues.
In giving his assessment of the Dallas Cowboys a couple of weeks ago, ESPN analyst and former NFL Head Coach Jon Gruden implied that the Cowboys were not in as bad of shape as the 49ers, and had much more talent on their roster (including quarterback) that would make the head coaching gig there attractive to would-be suitors (including himself?).
What does that say about the job "Sing" has done?
The one thing that I thought "Iron Mike" would have brought to this team was discipline.
The penalties that this team incurs on a week-to-week basis is embarrassing. The 2010 49ers are making the past "bad boy" Raider teams look like choir boys by leading the NFL in penalties.
Until the last two games, turnovers have been another issue—although giving them up has dropped precipitously with Troy Smith at the helm.
Other than having more nicknames than Apollo Creed, what does Singletary bring to a team?
He brought David Carr and jettisoned Shaun Hill.
He brought Jimmy Raye and then fired him for doing what he was told.
He, and Trent Balkee, brought in a pretty decent draft class, but are bringing some along too fast (Anthony Davis, Taylor Mays?). Although they did platoon Mays last week, why aren't they doing the same with Davis?
Most importantly, he brought his unwavering faith in Alex Smith as his starting quarterback. A decision that he stuck with until he was forced into another option.
The David Carr era in San Francisco lasted for about 35 minutes, so on comes Troy and a savior in San Francisco is anointed.
But is he saving Singletary's job?
Or is he just making it more attractive for other head coaching candidates?