Game Day X – Battle of the Bands, uh Backups

Well, in a late breaking development, Alex Smith didn’t pass the final contact drills for his concussion, so he is out for tonight’s game against the Bears. So, we have Cappy vs Campbell. Jason and the Sluggonauts vs the raw Reno talent. Jay Cutler may or may not be the gift that keeps on giving, but he’s not a mobile as Campbell. Which may actually help the Bears and their sieve-like front line. Campbell IS a backup, though. He failed pretty miserably as a starter in both Washington and Oaktown (not that he had a shit-load of help) so the hope is the Niners can force mistakes and get some turnovers from him.

Offensively, the hope is the Niners can maybe use their new big-armed QB weapon for some longer passes, but I expect to see a steady dose of Mr. Gore to start the game. If the Niners can establish the run early, then the game should go their way. If the Niners are forced to lean on their passing game, this is where things can get dicey. Chicago is very good at creating turnovers, and they have forced 30 turnovers already. Charles Tillman himself has forced 7 fumbles. The Niners are pretty good at keeping the ball, they have only 9 turnovers, but time will tell. As far as I can tell from here, the weather looks good. Although it may be colder/wetter down by the ocean tonight.

All in all, an interesting game with Cappy getting his first start in real-time. He has shown some impressive arm strength and some nice runs out of the pocket in his limited action. We’ll see how he does against an aggressive defense. I think screens may be in order, and also some misdirection/trap/draw plays to get those active linebackers out of position.

About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers, SF Giants, and Golden State Warriors fan
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196 Responses to Game Day X – Battle of the Bands, uh Backups

  1. unca_chuck says:

    Smith bros are unstoppable.

  2. robbiedeluca says:


  3. unca_chuck says:

    These Bear O linemen are letting Smith to get under their pads and he’s just driving them backwards. He’s one stron mofo. He gets a little more size and he’ll be even better.

  4. unca_chuck says:

    These are the worst calls in recent memory. That should be a safety

  5. snarkk says:

    Alex will probably still be starting QB. But, what this game proves is that Kaeppy is a viable choice as the starting QB into the future. That certainty is worth a lot. Kaeppy may be starting QB next season…

    • twinfan1 says:

      It’s possible depending on how this season plays out. But sorry, one big game isn’t quite enough. Ask Clint Longley. Or more recently, Matt Flynn. But no doubt the jackals will be out tonight. That’s why Harbaugh needs to shut them up,one way or the other.

  6. Del Mar Dennis says:

    WTF was Chilo doing on that play? Mook.

  7. snarkk says:

    So, how the hell do we explain the Niners performance against the Rams last week? Rust?…

  8. snarkk says:

    This game was very encouraging after last week’s Rams game. Kaeppy is not only a viable QB alternative, the kid is clearly the way to the future. Wow. I’m diggin’ the Niner’s upside into the next half decade after this game…

    • twinfan1 says:

      He looked great, but try not to get too excited over one game. The Bears never expected this game plan and receivers were wide open downfield. Plenty of reason to be encouraged, not enough reason to be anything more than that.

      • Grumpy Guy says:

        The real test would be NE, if they have the week to game plan against him. Belichick will make his head spin… if Kappy can survive that, he might become The Chosen One. He has the skills in a physical sense, now it’s just getting his head around the game.

        Most likely, Alex finishes this year, and we revisit this in TC.

  9. philippinefan says:

    Alleykat the winnah? Alleykat: 17-6 Niners! Kat’s stone cold lock…17-6 Niners!!!

    Or Chuck’s suggestion to Chico? 40-17 Niners

    Great game

  10. unca_chuck says:

    Well, if it was the Rams, sure. But this was by all measures the best defense in the game right now. It wasn’t too hard to figure what the Bears came out to do and that was stop the run. When we didn’t they still couldn’t stop the pass.

    Plus, we are encouraged Mike. What else are we?

    • twinfan1 says:

      Actually, no, about the game plan.. Harbaugh had Kappy throwing out of the chute.

      • unca_chuck says:

        No shit sherlock. The Bears were defending the run to start the game by packing the line with 8-9 guys. They were defending the old singletaruy offense. The Niners came out passing BECAUSE they played a lot of guys up on the line

  11. snarkk says:

    I’m already bookin’ it.
    Kaeppy is next years starting QB Way better instincts and deep ball throws than Alex…

  12. snarkk says:

    Aldon Smith with a reported five (5) sacks tonite. Five? This guy is a beast. Great upside for a decade, as long as he can stay away from off-field mayhem…

  13. snarkk says:

    Kaeppy. 133.1 QB rating.
    16 for 23, 2 td, 5 completions to VD. NO turnovers. Outstanding first start in the NFL. The kid has arrived. QB competition is ON…

    • snarkk says:

      Correction. 6 completions to VD…

    • twinfan1 says:

      4th best QB rating of the year for the 49ers.. Nice job.

      • snarkk says:

        Why such grudging praise? Give the kid his due. He did very well, in fact, outstandingly well against a tough opponent. Your attachment to Alex doesn’t allow you to let go and enjoy the moment. Just let it go for a day or two, and give the kid his due. It’s neither right nor wrong, it’s just the way it is…

      • twinfan1 says:

        Pay attention to more than one post- the kid did a great job and I loved the game. I’m just not ready to anoint him the next Joe over one game. I’ve already said that Harbaugh should make a decision- EITHER WAY- and do it now. If it’s Kappy, fine.
        But you’re the guy suddenly making a BFD out of the the numbers that were unimportant whan Alex put them up.

  14. twinfan1 says:

    I will add this- if Smith loses his job over this game, he will not be a happy camper- and don’t for a second think that’s unimportant. He’s been a stand up guy through a ton of shit- and led them to a 20-6 record. Kap is 1-0-1.

    • barleyfreak says:

      He won’t. IMO, he shouldn’t. I’ve been a Smith Douber for a long time, and I recognize that he has played by and large well this year — leading us to 6-2-1. CK played a really, really, great game, and did so making some passes that I don’t think AS can. But it is just one game. Alex should start next week.

      But I will say that pressure is a good thing. Alex looked like the least happy camper on the 49er sideline. He will need to elevate his game to shut the controversy up. My quick read on the NO game next week is that it is not going to be about our defense. Brees and company are going to come out and put up some points. At home. Playing well offensively. No, to win next week is going to be about our offense. There’s pressure on Alex, for sure. But he’ll get the start. If he flails over the next game or three, then he may lose his job, but it really should be a trend, not a one game and out decision. IMO.

      Either way, I’m glad that we can even consider a viable option.

  15. barleyfreak says:

    That was great fun. All three margaritas and my compulsory shot of tequila solidly endorse our display of ass-kicking dominance. CK made some really great passes. And I have to hat tip the OL — great pass blocking. I also agree that Alex will not be benched based on this one game, but it does offer a glimpse — based on just one game — of CK’s potential, and so yes, the leash may be short for Alex. Da Bears really are all about defense, let’s face it. Even with Cutler, they’re not formidable. It’s their D that is who they are. They. Were. Owned.

    WTF with Aldon? Can we play all out games on MNF?

  16. unca_chuck says:

    I doubt that Cappy starts next week, unless medically warranted. But it certainly makes things interesting down the stretch.

    If anything, Cappy should have gotten the win last week. They were in the hole when Cappy got in there. I’m giving the tie to Alex. He started the damn game.

    • twinfan1 says:

      The deficit was hardly on Smith. He was 7 for 8 and put them back in it after the concussion. The luckiest motherfucker on the planet was Kappy after Williams didn’t turn around for the pass that would have* lost* the game.

  17. twinfan1 says:

    Listening to Harbaugh, it seems that Smith has lost his job. I hope folks remember that there is zero honeymoon when taking over for a QB who was 20-6-1 and rated 3rd in the league this year.
    And if Smith lost his job- on this Ratto is right- Harbaugh has lost Smith forever.

    • unca_chuck says:

      Coming from a guy with the length of honeymoon Smith has had, huzzah.

      Again, I don’t see it happening, but if it does, well, that’s a gigantic leap for a small sample size. Crazy? Oh yeah. I find it hard to believe that they’d make this call, though. Not with a few more games played.

      The blogs and airwaves must be on fire right about now.

  18. unca_chuck says:

    Smith being a ‘happy camper’ is the least of my worries.

    He can happily camp his ass on the bench if need be.

    • twinfan1 says:

      “Smith being a ‘happy camper’ is the least of my worries ”
      Well, I hope you’re worried about more than that, Chuckles. But Harbaugh should be.

    • barleyfreak says:

      Agreed. But coming from my own personal experience of player bandwagon jumping, I’ve learned I have to see something more than once to believe it exists. I’ve been optimistic about CK from the get-to, and some of that definitely is related to my doubt about Alex. Now that I’ve seen him smoke it, it’s easy for me to want it to be the truth-for-all-eternity. Based on my pathetic ability to predict the football future though, I gotta see some more.

      Next week, unless my predictive abilities have completely vanished, Alex will start. And we are going to need some points. I don’t see our D holding NO less than 24 points. We’ll need to score. There is pressure on Alex, any way you slice it.

  19. barleyfreak says:

    I was kind of surprised to hear JH’s post game comments. I wouldn’t put too much stock in them though. He often seems a little dazed after games, addressing the media. Unless AS is not cleared medically, he’ll start. But as you said, the leash got shorter…

  20. unca_chuck says:

    Harbaugh certainly didn’t say Smith is automatically starting if healthy, but he hasn’t been cleared yet, so you’re jumping at shadows.

  21. unca_chuck says:

    So, you’re in the conspiracy camp now? Harbaugh got the dr to unclear Smith?

  22. twinfan1 says:

    I have no idea what changed-or why. Harbaugh did say the decision to start Colin was made yesterday- as of then Smith had been cleared. As I’ve said several times, if there was any doubt about Smith’s health, he should sit. But you’d have to be a fucking idiot not to see the difference between what was reported just a day ago and what went down this morning. If he worsened- they should say so. It’s Harbaugh who is creating doubt about what went on.

  23. unca_chuck says:

    The Chicago game plan was to stop the run. They were playing 8 and a few times 9 guys in the box. The Niners came out throwing. VD was left in single coverage because Chicago brought their safeties up to stop the run. It did’t work at all.

    Smith was never cleared by a nuerologist as far as I heard. Frankly I don’t care. All this err on the side of caution is different now?

    • twinfan1 says:

      He had to be cleared by a neurologist to even particate in practice.
      “The player should not be considered for return-to-football activities until he is fully asymptomatic, both at rest and after exertion, has a normal neurological examination, normal neuropsychological testing, and has been cleared to return by both his team physician(s) and the independent neurological consultant,” the policy states.
      I never said that they should’t err on the side of caution. I’m interested in what happened to make the team doctor “unclear” him after he was cleared by a neurologist. If that was because of additional symptoms appearing, of course he should have been sidelined. It’s a reasonable question.

  24. snarkk says:

    I don’t see this one game and last week’s three quarters putting Kaeppy in the starter’s role. Yet. Alex should not get pushed out from a concussion. When he’s ready, he should come back and start and continue to prove why he should stay the starter. That’s no different than any other QB in the league. The only thing really changed is now the coaches know Kaeppy is not an “if”, they know he CAN play on the big stage. That’s called real competition, and I don’t see how that’s a bad thing…

    • twinfan1 says:

      They know that Kappy might be a legit starting QB. Alex is not on the hot seat anymore than, as you say,any other QB. More than most, however, he’s now proven he’s a winner.1 and 3/4 of a game does NOT prove that Kappy is anything more than a talented but still unproven commodity. He had a great game. Repeat: game. Singular. There are dozens of barbacks and truck drivers who had a a few good games. But I posted long ago-while I’ve been a Smith fan since he destroyed an NFL style Pitt team in the Fiesta Bowl- unlike some here, I root for any QB who plays for the team. If Kappy proves to be better than Smith, he should become the starter. That hasn’t happened yet.

  25. 12th man says:

    My take on it is they know what they have with Alex. They don’t yet know what Kap can do week by week, but after the Ram game and now the record setting first start against the leagues best defense, if I was Harbs I would stick with Kap.

    It’s the higher risk gambit but he has the insurance of Alex off the bench so I think the kind of play Kap has shown he brings to this offense is worth the risk. Kap will stumble without a doubt, he lacks experience and there is only one way to fix that with 7 games to play before playoffs.

    The personal feelings of either QB have no bearing on the decision of which QB is more capable of winning the next Lombardi. VD likens Kap to Tom Brady in one particular throw, ironically he took over the starting QB position from Bledsoe in similar circumstances and after being benched Bledsoe came off the bench to win a game that year. Brady was back at starter the following week and has been there ever since.

    • 12th man says:

      6 games to play

    • twinfan1 says:

      For once, Ratto was right- if Smith loses his job due to injury, considering his record under Harbaugh- Harbaugh has lost him. Might as well make Tolzein the 2 QB.

      • 12th man says:

        I don’t really agree with that Twin. It would be a blow to Alex without a doubt, but he has shown repeatedly he is able to take such blows and come back from them. I don’t think he is a “fold the tent’s” kind of guy.

      • chipower9 says:

        I have to agree…I don’t see that as Alex’s MO. He has always been “the good soldier,” and with his next two years (remaining on the 24 mil contract) not guaranteed, all the more reason he would tow the company line.

  26. unca_chuck says:

    Throw in Harbaugh’s ringing ‘hot hand’ endorsement, and you have uncertainty at this point. Could be a ploy to keep NO off guard as to who’s playing, but once, or if, Smith is cleared to play, he’ll get the start. I’d think. But now that Cappy has some real playing time, the urge to make the switch has to be a little more in the front of Harbaugh’s mind..

    • 12th man says:

      That would be the safe play Chuck yes. I think they traded up in the second round for a reason and after 6+ quarters of play, and that no player on the team has rejected the idea of Kap as a starter, in fact he got high praise from Alex’s closest supporters, I would think the locker room would be supportive of a switch.
      Clearly the offense has more dimension to it with Kap playing like he did. If he could sustain even close to that level of play I think we are superbowl favs.
      All the counter arguments are curable with more playing time and if he falters we have a proven player on the bench.
      Kap won with his arm and mostly in the pocket. Yes they schemed to stop the run but their game plan evolved as Kap was beating them and he continued to do it. He read the defense, he called audibles at the LOS, he threw intermediate and deep throws some of which Alex simply can’t make.
      My question would be what more does he have to do to win the starting position or rather what else would he have to do? If we conclude he did more than enough in his 6+ quarters then why wait further since the missing piece is experience and only way to get it is to play.
      I have felt Alex deserved to start based on his strong play. Kap played as good in most respects and better in some and the whole offense was utilized. I think it’s worth the risk to start Kap as I feel he is more capable in the long run.
      I would be mildly surprised if Kap isn’t starting next week.

  27. unca_chuck says:

    Well, Harbaugh sure hedged his bet yesterday as well. It’ll be an interesting week.

  28. chipower9 says:

    Both guys have tangibles that the other does not. Both have strenghts and weaknesses. I am not sure how I feel about who should start in New Orleans.
    On one hand, Alex went there last year, in the playoffs, and lead the team to a crucial victory. On the other hand, you cannot discount the positives that Kap brings to the table.
    Brian Murphy on KNBR this morning was talking how he would be good with either scenario. And to be honest, I feel the same way, too. Both scenarios are intriguing in their own way. Regardless of whether or not Alex is cleared to play this week, I hope Harbaugh keeps it close to his vest in announcing his starter…make the Aints guess a little.

    • chipower9 says:

      Oops…scratch that “Alex went there last year” piece…Alex put it to the Aints in our house. Regardless of that mistake, I still feel the same.

  29. unca_chuck says:

    New thread is up . . .

  30. unca_chuck says:

    And, thanks for coming over, Chi . . .

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