SAN FRANCISCO – The 49ers tied the Rams 24-24. Here are the grades for Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick.
Quarterbacks: B. Alex Smith played like Alex Smith before he got knocked out of the game. He was efficient. He completed seven of eight passes for 72 yards and a touchdown. He threw short of the first-down marker on all three of the third downs he faced. And he took two sacks because he held onto the ball too long in the pocket. He could not lead the offense on a scoring drive until the second quarter. He kept that drive alive by sneaking for a yard on fourth and 1, but he was concussed on that play. He stayed in the game and completed a TD pass to Crabtree a few plays later before leaving the game for good.
Kaepernick did not play well in the second quarter. He was wild and he was staring at the defensive linemen as he stood in the pocket. In the second half, he settled down and he was good. He scored a touchdown on a beautiful read-option run in the red zone. He also completed a 20-yard pass to Manningham and a 17-yard pass to Davis. On the other hand, Kaepernick fumbled twice in one drive – lucky for him, the 49ers recovered both times. He’s a more physically talented player than Smith, but Kaepernick seems to make more mistakes right now. It’s unclear whether either quarterback can lead the 49ers to a Super Bowl this season. Each guy has strengths and weaknesses.