With both teams licking their wounds to kill time on the flight to England, it was anyone’s game Sunday between the 49ers and the Denver Broncos. The Broncos, coming off their embarrassing 14-59 performance against the Oakland Raiders a week prior and the 49ers losing to the Carolina Panthers.
Last week, David Carr was given an opportunity to take the reins as the quarterback of the quarterback-less 49ers, but failed to meet expectations similar to those of the team at the start of the season. Although his time under center was forced because of an injury to Alex Smith late in the game against Carolina, it was enough to see that his decision making was too much like Alex and it was time to give plan C a try.
Plan C goes by the name of Smith, Troy Smith, the Heisman winning quarterback that was drafted out of Ohio State in 2007. The same Troy Smith that had a website made for him by Browns fans urging Cleveland Browns management to take him in the draft. Browns management failed to listen but the poll is still out to whether or not that decision will be a costly one. Smith would be drafted in Day 2 at the end of the fifth round.
Don’t get me wrong, Troy Smith didn’t have a great game, as he only passed for 197 yards and a score, but he did get the job done, completing 8 of 10 passes for 110 yards with a late touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree that put them ahead.
You couldn’t expect a guy who a week ago was third in line, but to see that he took advantage of his opportunity and kept from making a mistake that those ahead of him would most likely have made gives a little hope to the quarterback situation.
The defense was able to keep Kyle Orton and the Broncos out of the red-zone, allowing them only 16 points on the day despite a 369 yard outing by Orton. Frank Gore made Smith’s job a lot easier as well, carrying the rock for 118 yards and a touchdown.
“Our receivers just told our coaches, ‘you know, let’s play,’” Gore said. “We can’t try to hold stuff back. You know our coaches called it and Troy did a great job … he made big plays when it counted and when we needed it.”
I’m sure the bye week couldn’t have come soon enough for Coach Singletary and his staff.
“We’re going to continue to go forward with Troy Smith right now,” Singletary said. “We’re going into the bye week and as far as Alex Smith is concerned, it’s a week-to-week deal. I’ll wait and talk to our doctors, trainers, whatever. But we’ll make those decisions when we need to.”