Alex Smith

11 things learned while watching the Niners go 4-6

1. Never trust the 49ers at 10 am on Sunday.

2. Alex Smith (No. 11…see a theme?) isn’t a bust, it’s just that he only has the ability to complete passes that travel longer than 15 yards in the air in the second half on the road in games where the 49ers are down by 20 points at halftime.

3. Fox definitely leads the league in technical-difficulties-to-replays ratio. They’re good for at least 3 times per game where the view either switches from hi-def to standard definition or simply pauses all together, and at least 6 times where instead of showing a replay everyone would like to see they focus on some gum-chomping coach on the sidelines.

4. I was definitely not wrong about the value of at least attempting one long pass to Michael Crabtree every game.

5. Crabtree already has the respect of everyone in the NFL. Not only was he consistently covered by Al Harris (the Packers’ best cover corner), he got the benefit of the doubt from the official when he pushed off on his first career touchdown grab. The 49ers need to throw deep to Crabtree in the first quarter of every game, just to see if they can get a cheap pass interference call.

6. Josh Morgan needs to return every punt and kickoff for the rest of the season.

7. Aaron Rodgers is a much better runner than Alex Smith, and he’s superior at throwing every type of pass, too (except for 20-yard lobs down the middle to your tight end when your team is down 20).

8. The most annoying thing Niners’ defense does: allow more 3rd-and-long conversions per game than Stanford did yesterday against Cal.

9. Some offenses just aren’t built for the Wildcat. Including the 49ers.

10. The latest NFL “Ascent” sideline fleeces and hats (with the colors graduating from light to dark as you go down the garment, as pictured above) is the worst merchandising idea the NFL has forced upon the players and coaches since Zubaz pants.

11. Risking your last timeout with a replay-challenge, when the best you can do is change the Packers’ situation from 3rd-and-inches to 3rd-and-12-more-inches, is never a good idea. And since it’s almost impossible to choose one player to blame for the 49ers’ not-quite-good-enough performance today, it’s time to start looking a little more closely at the coaching staff than Mike Singletary would probably like us too since the 49ers have about a 0.5% chance of making the playoffs now.

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