Credit: Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

49ers Vs. Saints: Alex Abandoned By 3rd Head Coach, Harbaugh Goes With Kaps Hotter Hand

Happy Thanksgiving!  Niner Noise is thankful for all the fans that read our website and who support the San Francisco 49ers.  We are thankful for the 49ers competing like Super Bowl contenders for the second season in a row and for the San Francisco Giants’ second World Series Championship in three years.  And most of all, we are thankful for Jim Harbaugh naming Colin Kaepernick the starter on Sunday vs. the Saints. Going with a second-year quarterback with one impressive career start over the more experienced Alex Smith is the way to go, right?

Jim Trotter of reported Harbaugh told Smith he was going with Kaepernick by saying,

I’m going with Kaepernick.  Alex, I’m sorry.

Smith was at practice on Wednesday wearing a black, non-contact jersey for the second week in a row. There has been no word if Smith has been medically cleared to play.  However, the decision by Harbaugh was reportedly not “health-related”.

Whether or not you agree with his decision it is best for the team going forward to know who is starting at quarterback.  It is unfortunate Smith is being burned by his third head coach and for the second time by Harbaugh.  Believe what you will about Harbaugh’s pursuit of Peyton Manning being just an “evaluation”.  Had Manning been willing to sign with the 49ers, Harbaugh would have been fully on board and we would not be talking at all about Kaepernick.

When I heard the news Kaepernick was going to be the starter I didn’t know how to feel.  I am kind of torn on who should be starting.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved the excitement of the 49ers offense on Monday Night Football and the spark Kaepernick provided.  This was the first time all season the 49ers offense looked so in sync and prolific against a very tough defense.  And on national TV!  But what scares me is that Kaepernick is a one-hit wonder.  Not saying for his career, but for just the Bears game.  Is it smart to risk going with inexperience at quarterback, especially against the Saints on the road?

Smith has shown this season and last season he can be a reliable quarterback and come up clutch in the playoffs.  Everyone remembers the last time the 49ers played the Saints and how that game ended.  Also, it was not Smith’s fault the Niners lost the NFC Championship game.  This season he has been on point, minus against the Giants, and he has been almost perfect the last two games he has played completing 25-of-27 passes.  On the season Smith has 1,731 yards, 13 touchdowns and five interceptions.

The 49ers have the luxury of going back to Smith if Kaepernick plays bad.  Smith has been there, done that with coaches pulling him in and out of the lineup.  He will be ready if he is called into a game.  However, what that would mean is that Kap is playing poorly and the 49ers have lost a game or two with him starting at QB.  With a tie on their record the 49ers cannot afford any more losses.

But you know what?  I can’t get the images out of my head of how well Kaepernick commanded the 49ers offense against the Bears and how he involved Vernon Davis in the offense.  Something which Smith has failed to do the last four games he has played.  You could never dispute Kaepernick’s confidence, even before last Monday night.  He’s always had a fire inside and if anything, in addition to his performance last week, that is why Niner fans should trust him as the starting quarterback. If you thought Kaepernick making his first NFL start on Monday Night Football on national TV was a big game for him, just wait until Sunday against the Saints in the Superdome.

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Tags: Alex Smith Colin Kaepernick Jim Harbaugh San Francisco 49ers

  • Michael Lewis

    i honestly think that alex has always got the short end if the stick…iam a diehard niners fan and all i want is for them to win..but i think it sucks that alex has done everything and more he has been asked to do and has become one of the most efficient qbs in the league and after a concussion he gets benched..i hope ck can keep up his high level of play or this decision just cost us the sb..

    • disqus_1A7U2YuV55

      I totally agree with you Mike, but it’s the coaches decision that has been made. I remember Kaep’s performance being exactly what we needed stretching the field with deep throws & that opens up the play action for this league leading rushing attack. Sorry Alex but as a Huge Niners fan I’m very excited to see how this changes the offense for the better.

  • Inder Singh

    The Niners suck. Smith is garbage and Kapernick throws a crappy ball. Smith only has those high throwing percentages “25-27″ because all he throws are short yard passes. That system protects his horrible talent. Give up on Smith, Kapernick, and the 9ers. #seahawksnation

    • sfninerfan

      I understand why you’re so upset and frustrated my condolences to you I know its hard to cope knowing that our back up qb Alex Smith is still better then your starting Qb Russel Wilson… but hey at least u have Mr. Skittles Marshan Lynch…. oh wait we have Frank Gore, K. Hunter and an inactive Brandon Jacobs.. that’s why the Seahawks lost and will keep losing to the Niners…

    • Lorrainenarchie Abando

      Your such a fucking shithead and a dumbness. You guys are 6-4.0-3 against the division and 1-4 on the road. Wilson’s a short shit who only shows up for home games. Yeah you go and live on your Seahawks dream of going to the Superbowl cuz its never going to happen in your lifetime. Thats why you have to go on Niner nation and blog and look at the photos of the 5 Superbowl trophies they won. Fucking loser bitch

    • Willacus of Sparta

      Wow I would expect more from a Seahawk fan LOL. You guys wanna be us soo bad LOL. Enjoy the midget at qb and get ready for the couch while we play in January.

    • Willacus of Sparta

      horrible talent is like saying tall short guy. I’ve lived in WA so I know ur pain. Nothing to do but hate on the 9ers and do meth. You need help bro

  • sfninerfan

    I agree w Harbaughs decision he is risking this years SB chances but improving his odds on winning future Super Bowls. Every defensive coordinator in the league knows how to stop Alex Smith… cmon even the Rams did! Look at the whipping the Giants gave them… Why? Because everbody knows Alex doesn’t throw passes over 10 yards. His throws over 20 are like 1 a game at most. In some games he won’t even throw ovr 20 yard passes he relies on the receivers to try to get yards after the catch and that’s what makes the Niners predictable

  • Lorrainenarchie Abando

    This is a good thing for the Niners. Alex is okay but is way too conservative and takes way too much sacks instead of throwing the ball away. He doesn’t really take shots down the field. Kaepernick is more elusive and actually looks for his tight ends and receivers and extends the plays really well. Saints blitz a lot so Kaepernick will have the better chance of seeing it instead of ducking and taking it.

  • FedUpWithEuroWhingers

    I would stay with Alex, doctors permitting, until the end of the season. If he falters, we can send him to San Diego as a backup. If not, Kaepernick will have one more year to season and learn the way Aaron Rodgers did. Overall, if we don’t make the Super Bowl, I would go with Kaepernick next year. But doing so now, only when Smith was hurt, disses him unnecessarily again. We’re not Arizony or Seattle, we don’t DO QB controversies.

    • Mohammad Patrick Ročka

      The 49′ers don’t do QB controversies ?!
      Were you born in the 2000′s ?
      2 words “Montana-Young”
      oh yes indeed the 49′ers do QB controversies ! The 9ers didn’t invent QB controversies but they sure perfected them and brought them to a whole new level that got the maximum performance out of two great QB’s

  • faithfulmeister

    Rocka, I saw Brodie at Kezar, you carpetbagger. Instability is never good for any team – it’s disruptive and distracting. When Manningham or Kyle Williams don’t start, we don’t have a “controversy” for the third wideout. I don’t think we should succumb to the level of the Jets, Cardinals, Seahawks, and neither should you. I agree with FedUp and Michael Lewis below. Go Niners !

    • Mohammad Patrick Ročka

      over half of the other NFL teams would give their right arm to have the 2 QB’s the niners have. To have your backup come off the bench and fill in as well as he did is amazingly great. noone imagined Kaepernick would play that well against the Bears defense. Let AS have another week or two of rest after his concussion. You have a great QB in Kaepernick and it won’t hurt for him to start for another week or two. if he continues to play fantastic, then all the better for the niners. S Youngs career was shortened because he came back too quick from his concussions. This is time to enjoy, trust your coach and trust the team.
      BTW I was replying to Fed-up with the age reference, not you.
      The QB battles between Young and Montana were something most other teams dreamed they could have too

    • Guest

      and I was replying to Fed-up with the age reference, not you

  • faithfulmeister

    This 31-21 win over the Saints, while certainly welcome, doesn’t resolve any issues. Our defense really won it with two pick 6′s. Glaring weaknesses were special teams (muffed punt, missed FG, blocked FG), O-line in pass protection (Kaepernick was running for his life, Anthony Davis holding penalty called back Gore touchdown, you hold when you get torched), key penalties, key drops, no pressure on Brees until the 2nd half. In the 2nd half we finally got back to our game of ball control, running game, good pressure on the QB. Don’t get me wrong, I like both CK and Alex. But that was not the deciding factor in this win, Smith would have won as well. You can’t get one or two games to decide everything. Rams will be tough at home, we’d better get ready. Go Niners !