The 49ers went to London, won a game, and came back home with a new starting Quarterback. For the first time since Jeff Garcia left the team, there was a guy playing the position who was actually fun to watch.
Luck favors the bold and there was no other explanation for that 38 yard frisbee toss that floated down from the sky between two of Denver’s best secondary players and landed precisely in the hands of Delanie Walker at the one yard line. It was a pass that Alex Smith would never have thrown, but Troy Smith did, and it ignited the team to victory.
By the time the fourth quarter began, it was 10-3 and I was settling into a probable 20-3 loss. Kyle Orton was having his way with our secondary and it was clear we were about to be blown out of the game. The offense had not been ugly, but it could not sustain long drives and would be lucky to get even three more points.
As usual, it took a desperate situation for the 49ers to finally open up the offense and that’s when Smith surprised everyone in the stadium. I started laughing when Walker unbelievably caught that pass and I didn’t stop laughing the rest of the game. After a three and out and a feeble ass punt from Denver, Smith played catch with Michael Crabtree a couple of times and suddenly the Niners were in the lead.
Maybe this will turn out to be nothing more than a fluke game and Smith will throw four interceptions in the next one, but fun games have been few and really far between in Ninerland, so it’s nice that we get two weeks to enjoy this one. The 49ers are not even the worst team in the NFC this week — that distinction now belongs to the Dallas Cowboys! Hahaha.
This victory will not please many fans because it removed the axe that was perilously close to descending on Mike Singletary’s neck. Another listless performance Sunday and we might have seen Jed York calling a press conference today to announce the new interim HC. Singletary will now finish out the season.
But the season definitely has a new glow to it. There’s something interesting to watch the games for. Just how good is this kid? Seeing Smith buy time by dancing nimbly around in the backfield was enjoyable. Very satisfying. And a great quality to have when your offensive line is not very good at providing protection.
With Smith’s mobility, he can create enough time for deeper pass plays to develop. Plays that under the old Smith ended quickly with a toss out of bounds or a short flip to Frank Gore. Interestingly, Gore caught only one pass Sunday. Dumping the ball off was not in the new Smith’s mind set.
The 49ers had spark Sunday. There’s no denying that. Or the fact that it has been MIA this entire season. Let’s see if they can light a fire.