I tend to agree. The defense has been outstanding overall, but we haven't faced a QB the likes of Brady, Brees, or Rodgers this season. Come playoff time (no jinx), we might have to deal with a QB like that. Thoughts? Think our D can contain elite QBs like those guys?
While I agree with Billick that the 9ers have shielded Alex Smith from being the guy that has to win on his own... I do have to disagree with a few things. They are expecting Alex to manage the game in a basic WCO system. That is go to the line in a formation and audible changes based on what the defense is showing/giving. If the D lines up 8 in the box, Alex is going to call for protection and he's going to pass. If the 9ers spread things and the D spreads with... they'll do what they can to exploit that too. It's worked... it worked in the early 80s, and it is working now. As the offense gets more confident they can look to expand on that and be more attacking... but overall I think the team has done well. Let's not forget that the 9ers could've/should've beaten Brees last year on Monday night. This defense is better and I think the offense is as well. In terms of Brady and Rodgers... well... those guys are great. The Pats would have to figure out how to stop Gore. Their Run D kinda sucks. The 9ers could potentially keep Brady on the sidelines and force him to open things up when on the field. He's thrown a lot of picks this year. Rodgers is on a much more complete team. I see the 9ers as having no answer for them right now.
This year when the 9ers needed to open things up Smith has been up to the task. Heck... he was pretty good last year and in other years when the team had to open things up (down a lot and in a spread offense). The key is the 9ers offense is built to maintain long drives and keep opponents O's off the field... and their defense is built to help keep games low scoring. For the first time in a long, long while both the offense and defensive strategies seem to work well together for the 49ers. I think Billick is right to suggest that the 9ers haven't blown teams out by hurling the ball with reckless abandon, but at the same time... that's by design and the design is/has been working. I haven't heard on one pundit, football insider or expert suggesting that Jets were a beatable team because Sanchez can't beat you on his own... the Jets have gone pretty far doing exactly what the 9ers are doing... it's just the 9ers seem to be doing it better now.
the niners are only going to get better. the only reason, i think, why we lost to the cowgirls is cuz they got us in week 2. We can hang with any team IMO. and if the defense shuts down the opposing offense, there is no need for AS to put up big numbers. As long as he dont throw games away like he used to we'll be straight,
I am stilll not really a fan of Smith, but even he is not as bad as Dilfer or Brad Johnson. He showed the ability (against PHI) to play mistake free football when we needed him the most. Did he do anything special? no. Did we win in spite of him, because of him, or with his help? Probably with his help. I don't think Romo would have won that game.
Alex has been playing solid football, and making plays when we need him. If Billick had any sort of intelligence, he would look at Smith's passing %, TD:int ratio, and running abilities as positives. Instead, he is likely looking at yards only.
Originally posted by Legbreaker:
In which he threw 3 interceptions.
Which also tells you that we trusted him with the offense.
You look at both playoff games before the Super Bowl and Montana was no game manager.
It is sometimes forgotten that much of that drive was accomplished through running the ball. Lenvil Elliot was a workhouse during the drive and Freddie Solomon picked up a decent chunk of yardage on a reverse. It was the genius of Walsh to see the Cowboys were dropping six in coverage and exploiting it. I have no doubt that Walsh trusted Montana but I think his greatest faith was in himself and the offense he designed.
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