Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Alex Smith Vs Peyton Manning

     The San Francisco 49ers have a long standing tradition of having elite quarterbacks. For a long time now there has been a general consensus that Alex smith would not be joining the ranks of previous 49er legends, so obviously the thought of Peyton Manning being anything but a colt gets our ears buzzing, especially that we do have some cap money to play around with. Despite being cleared to play last week by his doctors, a lot is still unknown about his injury and if he will ever be 100%. He is also 36 years old. Maybe 2-3 years of solid play assuming he remains healthy. The 49ers are almost right for Manning, a now proven playoff contender with only a few offensive positions to fill as well as being in a milder climate. Another choice would be the Miami dolphins, but I think they have too much work to do for a veteran quarterback.  It seems like they will be out of the loop a few more years. Peyton is looking for a turn-key system and I think he has that with the 49ers.  However, much like Miami both stadiums are open and not domes, which I think holds Peyton back. 
      Alex smith is only 27. Sure, up until this year he had to hide from lynch mobs, but there is not a Niner fan that can’t question whether the marriage of Harbaugh and Smith can really turn him into the Elite quarterback he is supposed to be. Alex was lights out in high school and college, like almost every professional quarterback. It’s doing well in the Pro's that is the real challenge. Is it fair to say that he did not live up to his expectations? Yes, to a degree. But it was not entirely his fault. Every coach has a different offensive scheme. Aside from the head coaching changes Alex had 7 different offensive coordinators; he was riddled with shoulder injuries early in his career and was consistently berated by fans and the local media. All of those things will take a toll on the strongest of human beings. Then comes Harbaugh, a high end former NFL quarterback and with him comes Greg Roman. In one year Alex smith went from being the anti-Christ of the bay area to a winning, playoff bound NFL quarterback. I will spare the dramatics when it comes to his heroics in the last few minutes of the New Orleans game and the fact I think he deserved comeback player of the year. What else does this guy have to prove?  He has proven he can reduce mistakes(5 interceptions), he has proven he can come back from behind(Philadelphia, Detroit, New Orleans) and has proven he can win big games(New Orleans). Had it not been for two huge mistakes we might all be celebrating the 49ers instead of the New York Giants.
     As you can see, I'm with camp Alex. I don’t want to see the 49ers who have built this championship caliber team and go the way of the Jets and sign a veteran future hall of famer for a short term deal. I want a future, not just a 1-2 year novelty. I think Smith actually having an off season and the same offensive coordinator and leadership on the part of Harbaugh will give this kid something Dan Marino never had, a Super Bowl Ring. This season is do or die for Alex.

Here are his stats, compare every other year to 2011. I don't think any player has ever improved at such a dramatic pace. Lets all be reminded he scored 40 out of 50 on the Wonderlic text. This kid knows football.

2005San Francisco 49ers940.81658450.9875111301030
2006San Francisco 49ers1674.844225758.128901616441472
2007San Francisco 49ers757.21939448.79142413890
2008San Francisco 49ers00.0000000000
2009San Francisco 49ers1181.537222560.52350181224510
2010San Francisco 49ers1182.134220459.62370141018600
2011San Francisco 49ers1690.744527361.33144175521792

Monday, February 6, 2012

May the odds be ever in your favor

Sorry for the Hunger Games quote but it just seemed appropriate. The 49ers had one hell of a season. Rookie head coach Jim Harbaugh earned his "coach of the year" award 10 times over, taking a 6-10 team from the previous year and catapulting them to an NFC championship game. No one could have imagined or predicted such a success. A big part of his ability is getting players to believe in themselves while also finding motivation in the under dog status. Think about it, he completely rebuilt Alex Smith.. One would imagine that there would be more faith in the 49ers being able to stand toe to toe with the best teams in the game, including barely losing to the current super bowl champion New York Giants. I mean, Its all uphill from here right? Vegas doesn't think so. The 49ers odds of winning the Superbowl next year are an astounding 16-1. Talk about lack of respect. There were other teams with 16-1 odds as well. The New York Jets and the Philadelphia Eagles, both teams which did not even make the playoffs. As a fan it enrages me, but I have little doubt that it will not fuel Harbaugh's competitive personality as well as his ability to motivate his players.  If the off season goes well and we fill a few key spots, the San Francisco 49ers will not just be considered among the NFL's elite, they will define it.

Superbowl winner odds:

Packers: 6-1
Patriots: 7-1
Saints: 8-1
Texans: 12-1
Eagles: 12-1
Steelers: 12-1
Ravens: 14-1
Giants: 15-1
Jets: 16-1
Chargers: 16-1
49ers: 16-1