Hey San Francisco 49ers, Think It's Time for Alex Smith's Last Chance?

Kevin Roberts@BreakingKevinSenior Writer IOctober 15, 2009

After a brutal, humbling, and flat-out embarrassing 45-10 ego-crushing loss dealt to them by the Atlanta Falcons, the San Francisco 49ers have some soul-searching to do.

And for NFL&id=1216" title="Shaun Hill" target="_blank">Shaun Hill, it'll have to be done in an incubator, or at least from an ice bath with an endless supply of towels and pain killers.

After being beaten senseless as the entire 49ers offense staggered to a meager 10-point effort, Hill took a back-seat to back-up and former franchise quarterback, Alex Smith, for the first time since early in the preseason.

While Hill's absence from the first-team offense is practice by no means eludes to a quarterback controversy, it at least prods at fans and experts to be a future consideration.

Sure, Alex Smith has been a bust by all accounts, only has one even remotely decent season statistically, and has never been very healthy or consistent, but one thing he did do was take chances every now and then, as we as throw the ball down-field.

That's not to say Hill hasn't earned his starting spot, either.

The 'Niner's are a solid 3-2, and could be 4-1 if it weren't for some Brett Favre magic. But despite their impressive start (save for last week), they have still been lacking explosive plays in the passing game.

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While much of their inept offense of late can be attributed to a rush attack on life support, it's becoming clear that either Hill or the average receiving corps is the real problem.

Some argue that Hill is merely a game-manager, doesn't take the appropriate risks, holds onto the ball too long, and takes far too many sacks.

Others say all of this is simply a direct result of having a 36-year-old receiver (Isaac Bruce) who doesn't make plays like he used to, and a slew of under-performing, over-hyped young receivers rounding out a weak corps.

However, starting in week seven, according to head coach Mike Singletary, newly signed rookie Michael Crabtree will make his official debut. It should be somewhere beneath the other average talent at the position, but a debut, nonetheless.

But Crabtree is still a rookie, and no matter how good he might be right now, no amount of talent will magically make Hill an excellent down-field passer.

It may not be right now. It may not be in the next three weeks. But sometime this season, Mike Singletary will have to swallow his pride, bench Hill, and go for broke with the guy who this team should have been backing all along.

Alex Smith may not be a smart, headsy player. He may not even be with San Francisco next year. But with an offense that is drowning itself to death with stagnancy, there needs to be a change.

And sometimes, whether we like or not, change means going back to something we didn't want to start with in the first place.

Sometimes that means giving Alex Smith another chance.