Harbaugh had the confidence to bench Smith for Kaepernick- let's hope that decision works out
Jim Harbaugh: You have to hand it to Jim Harbaugh-- the man has the guts to make a tough decision and stick with it in the face of criticism. Not many coaches would have made that quarterback change during the middle of an 8-2 season—but Harbaugh did. Just taking a look around the league- Rex Ryan refuses to bench Sanchez during a 4-7 season and Andy Reid refused to bench Vick until he got hurt. The 49ers are one of the best teams in the league and Harbaugh made the change anyway.
During the game Kaepernick was not fantasic, and surely didn’t justify Harbaugh’s decision, but he played well enough to lead the team to a victory. The quarterback change could still backfire on the 49ers, but for now Harbaugh has the team focused on a Super Bowl.
Atlanta’s late game comeback: The Falcons just keep refusing to lose. This is the second week in a row where their opponent has thrown everything, including the kitchen sink at them, and they still manage to come out alive. Atlanta could have easily lost this game and not have it affect them at all, but they gutted-it-out against a desperate Buccaneers team that is fighting for its post-season life. No one is really talking about the Falcons but the road to the Super Bowl may, very well, travel through them.
The Arizona Cardinals are on a seven game losing streak after starting 4-0.
Arizona’s losing streak: The Cardinals are on a vicious seven game losing streak after starting the season 4-0. If I brought up the fact that they actually beat the Patriots in Week 2, I’m not sure anyone would believe me. The Cards hit rock bottom with their loss to the Rams—a team that hadn’t won a game since Week 5. Luckily for Arizona, they play Jets next week.
Alex Smith’s confidence: Smith looked completely crushed as he sat on the sidelines during San Francisco’s huge win over the Saints. He tried to say all the right things but you could visibly see his confidence was crushed after being benched. This Kaepernick experiment better work for the 49ers, because if it doesn’t they probably won’t get the same Alex Smith they had before. As case in point, just look at the Jets and the affect that bringing in Tim Tebow had on Mark Sanchez. Last year Sanchez was a serviceable quarterback, and now, well, he’s one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL.
Sanchez buries his head after the Jets' embarrassing Thanksgiving performance.
San Diego allowing a first down conversation on fourth-and-29: Only the Chargers could be ahead by three points with less than two minutes left in the game and allow their opponent to score after converting a first down on a fouth-and-29 play. And to make matters worse, the play was not a 30 yard bomb either—it was a dump-off pass that was caught at the line of scrimmage. Not to take anything away from Ray Rice, because he was fantastic on the play, but this could only happen in San Diego.
Mark Sanchez’s fumble after running into his own offensive lineman or The Jets allowing three scores in 52 seconds: Actually this whole game qualifies under ‘the ugly’ for the Jets. There were points were it felt less like a football game and more like an episode of ‘The Three Stooges’. Before the game, if you had to pick one quarterback that would run into his own offensive lineman, fumble the ball and have the opposing team return it for a touchdown, wouldn’t Mark Sanchez be at the top of your list? Tim Tebow is probably not the answer, but at this point, doesn’t Rex Ryan at least have to give him a try?