On Thursday, the San Francisco 49ers struggled mightily, but ultimately prevailed over the Seattle Seahawks in an ugly 13-6 affair. Frank Gore rushed for 131 yards, while Marshawn Lynch put up respectable numbers with 103 of his own. While some expected the 49ers to do a little bit of a better job against the run, they effectively contained quarterback Russell Wilson, holding him to just nine completions for 122 yards and an interception.
In short: the game went exactly as folks expected it. I'm not sold on any of the NFC West success thus far ... the Arizona Cardinals have far too many issues, and the Seahawks just aren't ready to compete, but this exact final score flipped the opposite way wouldn't have surprised me one bit. That's just how the Seahawks play, especially against the 49ers. If you take every single stat-line for this game and applied it to the opposite players on the opposite team, it wouldn't the least bit surprising.
A win is a win, and while it's always worth noting when it was ugly, this game was supposed to be ugly. There is, however, one worrying aspect that is now officially a trend: poor play from quarterback Alex Smith. He's now thrown four interceptions in two games and is missing his targets badly.
Look, Smith has never been terribly accurate deep, and he's always had a tendency to put the ball a fraction too high for his receivers, but what he's been doing the past two weeks isn't normal for him. He's always "just missed," his guys, and I firmly believe a lot of that had to do with him over-throwing it to be safe. Smith had that "my receiver, or nobody," mentality and it worked.
Now he's throwing picks, refusing to throw the football, and missing his receivers by a mile. It's really bad, and a very clear and solid regression to where he used to be pre-Jim Harbaugh. Smith has been able to pull the trigger, and pull it effectively, this season. Why he can't do that now is beyond me, but it is clearly the biggest concern going forward. Perhaps he let the 79-3 run get to his head, but the 49ers will not win significant football games with Smith playing like he has of late.
Fortunately, it's Week 7 and there's plenty of time to work out kinks and regain some confidence ... for Smith, and for the fans. Just hold the boos, ladies and gentlemen, yeah?