After the game, Colin Kaepernick stood in the middle of the field surrounded by a hoard of people, getting interviewed on national television.
Alex Smith stood over on the side of the field and chatted with Bears third-string quarterback, Josh McCown.
Already, Smith is an afterthought.
Kaepernick took Smith’s job Monday night. It’s not official. But it should be.
If the 49ers go back to Smith and they don’t win the Super Bowl, the question which always will remain unanswered and open to speculation will be how far they might have gone if they had stayed with Kaepernick instead of going back to Smith?
That will haunt Jim Harbaugh and his staff forever. Second guessers and Monday morning quarterbacks will have a field day, and Harbaugh won’t have any answers that placate the queries.
If Kaepernick does become the starter, they always can go back to Smith if Kaepernick falters. Having the veteran in the bullpen, akin to Tim Lincecum coming out of the pen in the World Series, is not half bad, and the veteran can handle it because of experience and maturity, even though he might not like it.