No. 1 goal for 49ers in final six games

With six games remaining in the 49ers’ season, there are a lot of significant issues that face the team.

 

Playoffs? OK, the 49ers have a 4-6 record. It’s silly to even talk about the playoffs of this point.

 

The first big question that must be answered before the 49ers head into the offseason: Is Alex Smith the quarterback to lead this organization?

 

And in listening to coach Mike Singletary, it seems as if it can go either way. “I still don’t think his play is where we want it to be, but I think he’s getting there,” Singletary said after the 49ers’ loss to the Green Bay Packers.

 

After 4 ½ games, Smith has attempted the same number of passes as Shaun Hill did in 5 ½ games. The main reason, of course, is that the 49ers have generally been behind in the Smith games – and forced to play catch-up.

 

Here is a comparison of the statistical lines of the 49ers’ two quarterbacks this season:

 

Alex Smith (1-3 record as starter): 95 of 155 (61.3%) for 1,035 yards; 6.7 yds/att; 9 TDs, 7 Ints; 13 sacks for minus-76 yards; 81.5 passer rating

 

Shaun Hill (3-3 record as starter): 87 of 155 (56.1%) for 943 yards; 6.1 yds/att; 5 TDs, 2 Ints; 18 sacks for minus-107 yards; 79.6 passer rating

 

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It’s clear the 49ers have ruled out Hill as a future starter. Smith is the player they’re targeting. Rookie Nate Davis remains on the backburner. There are no plans to get him onto the playing field – at this point – because all of the practice repetitions go to the first two quarterbacks.

 

And that’s OK. Davis would have no chance to succeed if he got into a game this season. His goal for 2009 was to learn the offense. We’ll see what he’s able to do once the calendar changes and the 49ers begin their offseason program. Remember, Davis was running a watered-down version of the 49ers’ offense during the exhibition season with and against a lot of players who are no longer employed by NFL teams.

 

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From the pages of today’s Press Democrat . . . here’s the game story from the 49ers’ 30-24 loss at Lambeau Field.

 

Also, last week Singletary spent extra time with the 49ers’ defensive backs. The 49ers had five interceptions against the Bears’ Jay Cutler on Nov. 12. Four of those picks came from the secondary. Singletary wanted that kind of performance to become the norm. So he challenged the players in the defensive backfield. Obviously, the secondary did not respond.

 

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I’m on a flight out of Wisconsin that leaves in a couple of hours, so I will not be at Singletary’s Monday press conference.

 

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