Flag football featuring Terrell Owens, Michael Vick and Jeff Garcia starts Tuesday in San Jose

The brand new American Flag Football League will have its first game Tuesday night at 6:30 at Avaya Stadium in San Jose, and will feature a team with Terrell Owens against a team with Michael Vick while Jeff Garcia does color commentary.

When I heard this news, I thought three things:

  1. This game would be more interesting if it were Team Owens facing Team Garcia instead of Team Vick. Garcia always was a better quarterback than Vick and probably still is.
  2. Garcia and Owens played together, and after games Owens would say Garcia wasn’t a good quarterback. This flag football league could have given Garcia an opportunity to get payback. I would have enjoyed watching that.
  3. Garcia has to be the most underrated football player of the past 20 years. People forget how good he was because he came after Steve Young and Joe Montana. But Garcia accomplished something those two never did, which is throw 30 touchdown passes in back-to-back seasons.

Whom do you consider the most underrated football player of the past 20 years?

This article has 180 Comments

  1. Disappointed those two would associated themselves with human garbage like Vick.

    1. C4C

      I am certainly NOT a fan of Michael Vick….but I am also NOT a fan of ‘double-jeopardy’…he made a mistake…and he got caught and paid for it…he lost millions in the process, and came back. I think that we all deserve a second chance maybe several of them…go pet your dog….

      1. There are some grievances that simply don’t deserve a second chance. People who torture and kill animals for fun are disgusting vile creatures that don’t belong in society. He deserved to lose everything and he doesn’t deserve to have any association with the NFL or being considered a celebrity of the sport.

        1. Totally agree with CFC. Systematically torturing innocent dogs is not a “mistake,” it’s a pathology.

          1. @cfc so are you saying you never did anything where you would need a second chance. I feel we all have or will sometime in our lives. He did what he did and paid for it. Don’t hate because he came back and made more$.

          2. I agree it’s a disgusting practice but people don’t realize that here in the south there is a culture that doesn’t view animals as being human and are only for sport.

            Like you will never understand it but I have cousins that would leave there dog in a kennel all day unless they were hunting. They didn’t show them affection and fed them scraps from the table. They didn’t buy their dog food from whole foods and enlist them in puppy training.

            It doesn’t excuse what he did as it awas grotesque but he paid a price and has learned from it. People have to realize we weren’t all raise the same way with loving parents and a cuddly family pet to come home to.

            This internet judgement system is BS because we anonymously judge people without having to air out our transgressions. People need to worry about their own lives.

        2. If you guys are truly concerned about animal welfare, then Google ‘factory farming’ and you’ll discover the horrors of the food industry and how poorly animals are treated.

          1. No Asus, people want to complain about their pets, not what they put in their mouth!

            1. The human race commits a multitude of atrocities against the animal kingdom. I am aware of – and pained by – all of them.

              Also, it’s intellectually lazy to support existence of one atrocity by pointing out the existence of another. Factory farms are an abomination but they have nothing to do with Michael Vick nor do they condone the psychopathic acts he committed against those innocent dogs.

              1. Gabriel

                If memory serves me, it was not Michael Vick who ran the dog fighting enterprise, but his cousin or some relative, who was living(?) on the property that was owned by Vick. Because of his ownership of the property, Vick took the fall. Correct me if I’m wrong…. but I think that he took the hit rather than lose the property…my point was that he served his court given penalty, and should not be penalized twice….

              2. Vick pleaded guilty in August, admitting he bankrolled the dogfighting operation and helped kill six to eight dogs. He has been held at a jail in Warsaw, Va., since he voluntarily began serving his sentence.

                In a plea agreement, he admitted bankrolling the dogfighting ring on his 15-acre property in rural Virginia and helping kill pit bulls that did not perform well in test fights. He also admitted providing money for bets on the fights but said he never shared in any winnings.

  2. I’m going with underrated 49ers vs underrated NFL players.

    Bryant Young. Few people realize he’s the 49ers all time sack leader. Has 23 more sacks then Charles Haley.

    My #2 would be Justin Smith. Without Justin there would have never been a 2012 SuperBowl appearance.

    1. Bryant Young would be my first pick too. Recently, Ahmad Brooks. If I have to pick a different player, I’ll go with another golden domer, Ricky Waters;>)

      1. Bryant Young is a great choice. I would also go with Brent Jones who may have been overlooked because of so much talent around him.

    2. Couldn’t agree more – both underrated players. Favorite cowboy (j.smith) play was against New Orleans going to NFC championship against the giants. That beast literally man-handled the LG, picking him up while bulldozing towards Bree’s and tackling Bree’s with the o-linemen still between them ! I miss that man

    3. I second Bryant Young. The guy is the all-time sack-leader and from the DT position. He was fierce against the run. And he was a big-time team player who would play any scheme or technique or spot the coaches wanted him to play and play it well.

      If he had a Big Mouth like Warren Sapp, he’d probably be in the HOF. Sapp only had 7 more career sacks, but Young could play run defense and Sapp couldn’t.

      So Garcia was pretty good and definitely under-rated. But Young quietly had a HOF career and very few of noticed

      1. Ooops. My brain said type “,,,all-time 49er sack-leader,,,.” My fingers disobeyed.

  3. To me, the most unsung hero of the past 37 years is Keena Turner. He played LB at 6’2″, 219 lbs, so he was a prototypical Hybrid LB who rarely missed a tackle and could also cover the TEs.
    He did not get much recognition since there were flashier, more outspoken LBs who claimed the limelight, but Keena Turner just did his job, did it well, and helped his team win 4 Super Bowls.
    It seemed like other teams targeted him as the weak link, but he held his ground, and made other players around him better. He made plays, and his intelligence on the field was crucial for success.
    Keena Turner was also a leader in the locker room. After the NFL strike, there was lots of acrimony and hard feelings. KT calmed the waters, and helped bring the team together. He is also a leader off the field, and his work nowadays is also unheralded.
    I sure would like to see KT make it into the HOF, but he was overshadowed by other elite Niner players, so his chances are not good. Keena Turner also has so much class, he probably would be the first to point out that Roger Craig should be in the HOF ahead of him.

    1. I too am a fan of Keena Turner, he was a great 49er and is a great person.

      HOWEVER, he retired 27 years ago. He does not even come close to fitting the parameters of the question: the most underrated football player of the past 20 years?

      Underated? I’d go with Garrison Hearst.

      1. That is why i mentioned he was the best unsung hero of the past 37 years.
        Over the last 23 years, the Niners have not achieved greatness, although they came close in the JH era. Maybe some were under rated, but they all may be over rated because they all failed to get a ring.
        Garrison Hearst was a good choice. I also liked Charlie Garner.

  4. I’d have to go with Frank Gore. I don’t think people give him the proper credit for being one of the all time great 49ers and all time great RB’s. Grant surely didn’t give him any credit.

      1. I’d agree that Gore was a hard nosed, highly productive RB…and he was well acknowledged for that–Grant or no Grant. Not sure I’d peg him as ‘underrated’…

              1. He wasn’t worthy of an All pro team and the HOF wouldn’t even be a consideration. He had a couple of really good seasons in SF, other than that he had a pretty mediocre career. You are overrating him.

          1. Agree. Some may be miffed that a 20′ bronze statue of Frank hasn’t been erected outside 9er offices, but he certainly isn’t underrated.

  5. “Whom do you consider the most underrated football player of the past 20 years?”

    Most underrated 9er, or underrated player regardless of team?

    1. Sounds like we’re talking undervalued…or perhaps not lionized/idolized sufficiently.

  6. Let’s turn the question around to better frame context. Who’s the most overrated 9er of the last 20 years? Or ever?

      1. Good one! Tim Rattay was close, but Carmazzi is near the front of the overrated pack. Then there was Jim Druckenmiller…

        1. How about AJ Jenkins, a first round pick who had more drops than catches for the Niners?

          1. Excuse me, but Coach Harbaugh would like you to know that AJ Jenkins has a bright future in the NFL and all you critics AJ Jenkins just don’t know what you’re talking about. Jenkins is true HOFer just waiting for team to polish his star.

            Of course, there was a reason even though Grant denies it:

            “I’m responsible for helping pick the draft picks, fully responsible for coaching the players up, and I willingly accept those responsibilities,” Harbaugh said.

            In July 2012, Harbaugh called out as “clueless” those who predicted Jenkins would be a bust before he even played in a preseason game.

            I suspect he was talking about Grant BTW. So score one for Grant even had to defend himself:

            Some readers have expressed concern regarding my minicamp analysis of Niners rookie wide receiver, A.J. Jenkins. I called him the biggest letdown of minicamp and one of the worst wide receivers on the field for those three days. Some readers said those statements were hyperbolic and lacked evidence.


            And, yes, Harbaugh is part of the personnel problem during the Baalke years. Why people give him and lousy advice a pass is beyond me.

            1. I disagree. Yes, the coaches did give input, but the scouts acted like the FO used their reports for toilet paper.
              Baalke was a megalomaniac, and was so cute, he pulled AJ Jenkins name out of an envelope. That was to show how he made the choice ahead of time. Baalke seemingly wanted to take all credit for drafting him, even though Alshon Jeffrey was still available.

      1. Grant,
        T. O. Had a big mouth and was a huge narcissist but he produced on the field.

    1. I’ll do the offense.

      QB – Druckenmiller. Worst QB we have probably ever drafted relative to slot.
      RB1 – Coffee. Just quit.
      RB2 – Barlow. Got paid then quit.

      OT – Anthony Clement. Bad for the Cardinals. Worse for us. Nicked named ‘The Traffic Cone’ for inability to move.
      OG – Chilo Rachel. PFF’s “Secret Superstar” and almost made their Pro-Bowl Team.
      OC – Brock Gutierrez. Back up OC forced to play.
      OG – Justin Smiley. No balance. No pop. No strength.
      OT – Jonas Jennings. Fantastic OT. In the three-games-a-season he was healthy.

      WR1 – Brandon Lloyd. Gutless wonder WR who specialized in avoiding contact and making simple catches look difficult so he had an excuse to fall down and not get hit.
      WR2 – Kevin Williams. 2011 NFL Championship game. Dropped two punts and every pass thrown his way. If one player can be single-handedly blamed for losing a playoff game, he’s it.
      WR3 – AJ Jenkins. Completely unproductive.

      TE – Greg Clark. Made of glass. He was completely unreliable leaving us with back-up after back-up to replace him. McDonald is following in his footsteps.

        1. Cassie

          Wow…what a great list of not-great players….It might be selective onset of altzeimers, but I had forgotten most of those players…thanks

  7. Garcia was voted to the Pro Bowl and was highly regarded during his time here so he wasn’t underrated. He had a couple of really strong seasons but overall he had a pretty mediocre career. He definitely benefitted from having Owens in his prime.

  8. Jeff Garcia: A man too small to be in the NFL, won division titles with 3 different teams
    Maybe the former 49ers quarterback just got a raw deal in all this. But he’s not bitter.

    The most fascinating one was one that was never intended. While he talked about the good ol’ days under Mariucci, going to the playoffs, and the rebuilt 49ers team consisting of him, Terrell Owens and others eventually being broken again, the topic of how he got a career in the NFL in the first place almost never got asked.

    He wasn’t supposed to be in the league at all—well, if you listened to the scouts. Criticized for his size, Garcia went undrafted into the NFL and instead had to settle for the second best: the Canadian Football League, beginning as third string backup.

    “I got to the point in Canada in the Canadian Football League with Calgary, even after that 5th season where we won the Grey Cup, I was MVP of the game and had been a four-time CFL All Star. I pretty much believed the NFL just was not going to happen.

    Five years after beginning his career in the CFL, he went to the San Francisco 49ers.. The plan was for him to be the backup to Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young.

    “I really thought he [Young] was going to be my mentor. I really believed he’d be the guy I’d get to learn from that year and maybe another year before I would step onto the field, which was what I did in Canada with Doug Flutie being our starting quarterback.”

    The hopeful mentorship would never happen. On September 27, 1999, in Week 3 against the Arizona Cardinals, Steve Young suffered a concussion that would end his career.

    Garcia had to mentor himself.


  9. sebnynah says: June 25, 2017 at 9:05 am

    Of course, maybe they will be content to lose,…

    TomD’s Take: The only loser on this site is you. Your answer to the QB position will be solved on Sept., 10th at 2:25 pm in North Carolina, where a Kap-less niner team upsets the Panthers, you wimp…..Now get over it !

    Seb’s a Loser: Written and performed by the Beatles:


    1. TrollD, The Niners may be content to lose if they go with the present QBs. They will show me that they want to win if they sign and play the last QB to get them to the SB.
      Wimp? Is that the best you can do? I called you a wacko gun nut who fantasizes about breaking into gun safes and creating nightmares. TrollD, you are a dangerous sicko, and a pathetic loser, because you try so hard, but fail so miserably.

  10. Underappreciated ?

    I don’t know just who it might be…but one thing’s for sure…the 49ers either cut or traded him to another team and he came back to haunt us….just count how many ex 49ers there are in the league playing for other teams, and it took us 4 1/2 years to get rid of Kaepernick….Our personnel decisions SUCK …and that includes draft … If it weren’t for other teams handing us their çastoffs’…we’d be the 39ers…..

  11. Grant, your man crush of Garcia is unwarranted. He had some amazing receivera catching his balls and a powerful running game. He isnt a good QB. He isnt even a good mentor.

    His equivalent today would be Sanchez. Had you plug and played Sanchez into that 49er team, you would see similar numbers.

    1. 1. San Francisco 49ers: Sam Darnold, QB, USC

      Darnold was very impressive as a redshirt freshman in 2016 and impressed evaluators even though he wasn’t being graded yet. Along with a quality skill set, teams like his intangibles and moxie. Darnold completed 67 percent of his passes in 2016 for 3,086 yards with 31 touchdowns and nine interceptions. The 6-4, 225-pounder led USC on a nine-game winning streak to end the season.

      1. Totally agree here Grant. Garcia was under appreciated. He was a consummate battler and knew how to move the chains. His biggest sin was not being Montana or Young.

  12. NBA Draft Grades:

    Walter Football:

    On the right team,team, Bell could be an extremely valuable role player due to his athleticism, shot blocking and rebounding. He isn’t much of a scorer, but he won’t need to put points on the board in Golden State (who bought this pick from Chicago.)


  13. Chilo Rachal, 2nd Rd; Reggie McGrew, 1st Rd or Kwami Harris, 1st Rd—–Take your pick from the York loser front offices.

  14. The overrated 49er beat goes on:

    Take your pick of these overdrafted losers from the York past:

    WR, Rashaun Woods, 1st Rd; Kentwaun Balmer, 1st Rd; Ronald Johnson; LaMichael James, 2nd Rd; Joe Looney; Vance McDonald, 2nd Rd; Corey Lemonier, 3rd Rd; Marcus Martin, Brandon Thomas, 3rd Rd; Mike Davis; DeAndre Smelter; Blake Bell, etc. etc.,

    After upchucking that list of losers, 49er nation can now thank the football gods for Shanahan and Lynch.

  15. John Taylor has been pretty underrated given his contribution to the team.

    1. That would be my choice! He was among the best WRs we ever had. Course I love Young. I do think Reid is underrated. He’s a solid player, not in the same league as the others but we can have unrealistic expectations.

  16. Don’t forget 2002 draft star Mike Rumph. Actually that whole, draft class sucked save Eric Heitman.

  17. Most underrated in the last 20 years.

    NFL – Larry Centers
    SF – Bryant Young


    NFL – Jay Cutler
    SF -Torrey Smith

        1. Eli has won 2 SuperBowls. I agree it might be hard to give the guy credit but, ya know, 2 time Superbowl winner is hard to argue with. Romo i think gets pegged about right. He was an outstanding regular season QB. You just needed to swap him out with Tom Brady once the tournament started. He’s always received flak for being a choker in the big game and I think that will stick with him.

          1. He was very good, but just as much a product of Justin Smith as Aldon Smith was.

            1. Justin was the man. Willis got more credit than Bow back then, so Bow was a little underrated at that time.

              1. Not this fan. Willis is a HOFer. Bow was and hopefully still is really good. Having Foster beside him will help mask his deficiencies.

              2. Bowman was really good, but he ran free because he played behind Justin Smith. Willis had a much harder job.

              3. Yeah, he was really good, but fans maybe overrated him because of a few iconic plays. The pick to close out the Stick and holding on to the ball when his knee got tore up.

                He has been overrated, but not so much that he should be on a most overrated list.

              4. I put him in the same category as Aldon Smith, who also was really good before drugs ruined his career.

              5. Bow has had a better career than Aldon and you can alway count on him if healthy. Aldon hasn’t been good without Justin, Bow has been decent without him.

              6. Bowman’s 2015 numbers are just as good as any season he had with Justin in front of him. Anything he’s lost has been due to injury.

              7. The guy leads the league in tackles in a season, combined and solo and you call him a bad player. Guess I’m done here.

              8. Struggled is an understatement, and no he wasn’t good otherwise. He had no range.

              9. “and no he wasn’t good otherwise.”

                He was really good otherwise pre knee, above average after knee, we’ll see this year. Are you really saying Bowman was only good because of Justin and Willis? It helped, but Bow was good.

              10. Bowman was good, but their greatness made him seem better than he was.

                He also wasn’t good in 2016.

              11. The way how I saw it, was that Bow would make the tackle, but that was because they targeted him, and did not mind if he made the tackle because the receiver caught the ball downfield.
                Coming off knee surgeries, he did not have the burst to his step, and defenses took advantage of him.

              12. The defense got worse because they put in Bellore, who would not only jump out of the gap the RB ran through, he would succeed in blocking his own players.
                You are right, O’Neil did not have a clue.

              13. Bowman’s struggles in coverage had nothing to do with Justin Smith’s absence which was the original point, that he was overrated because of Smith. Bowman had just as productive of a season without Justin Smith as he did with. He struggled in coverage because he was returning from a nasty knee injury.

                Point is, Bowman hasn’t been overrated.

              14. CFC,

                I agree. Before the knee injury Bowman was fantastic and certainly not overrated.

                He struggled in coverage when he returned in 2015 but was still good against the run.

                From PFF after the 2015 season:

                The 49er was actually still very good against the run in 2015; he led all linebackers in both tackles and stops by a significant margin, but his play fell away in coverage, where he allowed 90.3 percent of passes thrown his way to be caught and a passer rating of 110.9 when targeted. Bowman at his best was a complete linebacker, but the player of 2015 was far more one-dimensional. If he rediscovers the rest of his play this year, he will jump back onto the list.

  18. Flag football is all about speed and shifty hips. Those were the days weren’t they- “Hey, no flagging!” I suspect Vick would win 9 out of ten foot races with Garcia. Every pass in flag football with pro caliber players would be a 60 yard heave and folks flying all over the field to cover the play. Very exciting.

  19. This is a tough one to answer. The obvious choice is Frank Gore, but someone has already mentioned him. Hmmm…I think I will go with Darren Sproles.

    1. Good call, Undercenter. Still haven’t found an adequate replacement with the same grit and nasty demeanor at the position.

  20. Most underrated and overrated by Jim Harbaugh.

    Underrated – Alex Smith
    Overrated – Colin Kaepernick

    1. I am leery of considering Smith as being underrated. Undervalued yes, but I do not think he has not done enough to warrant being considered as underrated.

      1. Both. They thought he was expendable because of Kap, undervalued. They didn’t think he was a good enough player to start over a gimmick QB, underrated.

        They thought Smith couldn’t lead them to the SB. He would have if not for Kyle Williams. Would he have got to the SB against the Ravens? I think so. He may have gotten us past the Seahawks in the following years since he usually played well against them.

        1. The problem I have when some one says Harbaugh made a mistake in choosing Kap over Smith is that Kap played as well or better than Smith during his time with Harbaugh. You can’t blame Harbaugh for how Kap played when he was no longer Coaching the team. I disagree that Smith would have taken the team to the SB or gotten them past Seattle the following year. He didn’t provide the added offensive boost that Kap did to overcome the poor defense the 9ers played during those runs. Harbaugh’s decision was the right one based on how things transpired while he was Coaching this team.

          1. The decision was a gamble. I’m talking about when Alex was cleared to return after the concussion in Nov. 2012. They rolled the dice with Kap instead of going with Smith. After that season was over, the move made more sense.

            1. I understand what you’re saying and I’m saying Harbaugh made the right move in going with Kap over Smith after the concussion. Smith hadn’t played well against the Giants in the playoffs or in their meeting that season which was a big part of it imo. Smith couldn’t generate offense the way Kap could during that span and they needed it with how poorly the defense played near the end of that season and into the playoffs. Kap was the biggest reason they made it to the SB.

              1. What! Are you high? The reason the 49ers made it to the SB was because of Kaepernick?
                F me!

              2. Yes Prime he was the biggest reason. They don’t beat GB or ATL without him. The defense sucked during that playoff run and Kap’s throwing and running were responsible for the Niners getting to the SB.

              3. The thought was that Kap would bring big play capabilities, but probably have more 3 and outs. I wouldn’t have took that chance. Kap beat GB in his first playoff game. But Smith beat them in Week 1.

                I think Smith could have beaten Atlanta. Kap was good in that game, The D shut out the Falcons in the 2nd half and Gore played well. That was more of a team win.

              4. Prime, it sure was nice not having you around. Guess we will have arguments about blog idiots. I think you are one for predicting that the Niners were going to draft Trubisky.
                You are dissing a QB who made an NFL record, when he ran for 181 yards in the GB game.
                No way in heck that Alex Smith would have led a comeback on the road after being down 17 points. My favorite QB did.
                You think Alex is way superior to Kaep. I think that some day, Alex will learn to run the hurry up offense without huddling.

              5. 80,

                Smith had the defense behind him when he played GB. There’s no way he could’ve done what Kap did imo.


                You can’t separate your opinion from what actually happened which is why we have had this debate a few times before. You can’t change history and Kap was the catalyst of that SB run. Anyone with an ounce of objectivity understands that.

              6. rocket,

                “There’s no way he could’ve done what Kap did imo.”

                I agree, but Smith might not have had to. There’s no way to know for sure without observing an alternate universe. Maybe Smith leads them to a score on the opening drive instead of Kap throwing a pick six. The ball control offense keeping Rodgers and our D off the field throughout the game.

              7. Smith was fantastic. The WRs couldn’t get open and when the could catch the ball they dropped half the passes he threw to them plus Williams muffed two punts, one of which shouldn’t have been fielded. They were so bad that Jerry Rice called them out after the loss pointing out just pitiful they were.

                Meanwhile Smith and Davis were money in the bank. Smith and Gore were money in the bank. Had the idiot Harbaugh recognized that, he’d have attacked the Giants with a lot more Davis, Gore & Walker and not Kyle Williams and the Michael Crabtree who has always struggled with drops and separation.

                And worse, there were two horrible plays by Walker & Crabtree while receiving:.

                First, the ONE pass Crabtree caught, he didn’t even try to turn it up-field for a TD. He just ran OOB at the two yard line (on third down!) instead of trying to turn upfield and fight for those TWO ****ING YARD FOR A TD.. We got a FG.

                Second, at the end of second half, with game tied, Walker caught a 29 yarder from Smith and fumbled it on the Giants 33. FG opportunity lost.

                But they failed. And Smith became the scapegoat despite having a 97.2 QB rating for the game. And people keep blaming him. He didn’t fumble the game away like Williams and Walker. He didn’t drop half the passes thrown to him. He didn’t run OOB like a punk-***-**** when he should have tried to turn it up and stretch for the TD.

                In further context, this was the defense that shut down Tom Brady & Randy Moss who’d set an NFL record for points scored. And Smith, of all QBs who played the Giants that year, did the best.

                Alex Smith – 97.2
                Tom Brady — 91.1
                Aaron Rodgers –78.5
                Matt Ryan — 71.1

                So, sorry, I’m tired of the “Alex Smith Failed” narrative. It’s lazy, sloppy and false. He did the best job against the Giants of any QB that year. And we lost the game because Williams and Walker turned it over 3 times, leading to 10 Giant points and a lost game-winning FG try while Crabtree showed the world what wussy WR he really was back then.

              8. I will happily say that Alex Smith failed. He never should have been a Niner in the first place. Nolan should have drafted Aaron Rodgers, and the Niners maybe would have won a couple rings with him.
                Alex Smith has struggled with poor teams, but he also has not succeeded with elite teams. He has failed to win an NFC or AFC championship game, and he has amply demonstrated his limitations. He did not complete a pass to a WR for a TD all season. He went 1-13 in third downs in that 2011 NFC Championship game, and refused to pass the ball down field. He needed to be bold and decisive, but went safe and timid. And lost.
                Alex did put up good numbers, but he would rather take a sack than throw the ball out of bounds because that would have hurt his completion percentage. Too bad he took that sack, and incurred a concussion that cost him his starting job.
                Now he is in KC, and it looks like they are running out of patience with him, because they gave up a first round pick to draft his replacement.

              9. Oh, and to say that the Giants were a juggernaut and could not be stopped, I would like to point out that they went 9-7. in the regular season.

              10. And we lost the game because Williams and Walker turned it over 3 times, leading to 10 Giant points and a lost game-winning FG try while Crabtree showed the world what wussy WR he really was back then.

                Not to mention Boobie Dixon being tackled by a blade of grass for no gain on 3rd and 1, killing another 4th quarter drive in Giants territory. Yup. More Smiths’ fault.

                Gore – 74 yards on 16 carries. Dixon 3 yards on 2 carries. Helluva call there, Roman/Harbaugh.

              11. Moses you make excuses for the guys you like and criticize everything you can think of for those you don’t. Smith was not and never has been fantastic. He was a solid QB under Harbaugh but was conservative and checked down to a fault. He was replaced for a reason and now the same situation is playing out in KC. I like Alex a lot. Great guy, overcame a lot to carve out a solid career, but the blind devotion you and some others show him is ridiculous. You also continue to criticize Harbaugh after making excuses for Baalke until you couldn’t anymore. Learn some objectivity if you want to be taken seriously.

              12. refused to pass the ball down field.

                Direct your attention to the following video:


                00:32 and 4:08

                He threw downfield alright. To the only receiver then on the team who could consistently make a downfield catch.

                He went 1-13 in third downs in that 2011 NFC Championship game

                11:35 – 11 yard routes on 3rd and 12 had more than a little to do with that.

      2. Alex is considered by many to be a game manager. I think Smith is better than that. Dilfer seems to be the poster child for game managers. If people think Smith and Dilfer are equals, then yes, Alex is underrated.

      3. Lead the NFL in passing in 2012. Two Pro Bowls in KC. 7th in All Time Playoff QB rating (Montana is 6th). HIs lifetime QB rating with Chiefs is 92.2 AND for his career there he’s had bad WRs who have been Top-5 in pass-dropping (4th last year, 2nd in 2014, 5th in 2013) except 2015.

        How is he not under-rated? Because he doesn’t throw a lot of low-success passes in the 30% under completion distances? Well, he is the best skinny post QB in the NFL. And the skinny post is actually one fo the most dangerous passes out there as you have to fit it between two safeties and over the linebacker in zone.

        I understand why 49er fans have their thoughts. But it’s like the complete FUBAR around Smith doesn’t matter as he was supposed to have some ‘magic’ that made his FUBAR situation not relevant.

        Seriously, his QB coach had never coached a QB in his life. He had ONE YEAR of college WRs. That’s it. His ‘veteran mentors’ were Tim Rattay and Trent Dilfer. His head coach publicly attacked for not being tough-enough and shamed him into playing four-or-five games with a broken shoulder. And his WR corps was, for his entire career (49ers & Chiefs) constantly one of the worst with lousy and over-the-hill scrubs.

        The guy is a poster child for ‘How To Do It Wrong’ in developing and supporting an NFL QB. And yet he’s had some success, including a long-career in which everyone dumps on him.

        1. You are being disingenuous with the stats. He played half a season in 2012 and laid an egg against the Giants which is why there was a question about whether he would get his job back after the concussion in the first place. His conservative nature will always lead to a good rating, problem is it doesn’t lead to wins against good teams in the playoffs. He made two pro bowls because so many QB’s turned it down they were running out of players to play in the game.

          There is no doubt Smith should be commended and admired for the obstacles he overcame to put together a solid career but you are overrating him to the extreme. He’s a conservative dink and dunk QB who doesn’t make mistakes and that’s his biggest strength but he’s an accessory to a great team, not the focal point.

          1. Rocket

            You seem to be the pot calling the kettle black; You criticize Moses ZD of ‘pumping up those players he likes, and criticizes those that he doesn’t….that is exactly what you do ESPECIALLY in relation to
            Alex Smith. O.K. we get it, you don’t like him…but don’t denigrate him for following the game plan, and it’s a cheap shot to throw out ” learn some objectivity if you want to be taken seriously”… as though you had the only opinion that counts…

            1. That’s not true Oregon. One of the things I pride myself on doing is using all stats – not just the ones that suit my purpose- to form an opinion or support an argument. Moses clearly didn’t do that choosing instead to be disingenuous and leaving out key details that did not support his view.

              You are also wrong in regards to how I feel about Alex Smith. I supported him while he was the QB of this team and have said repeatedly that I like him and he should be commended for how he handled a terrible situation for much of his career. What I don’t do is base my opinion of him as a QB on how I feel about him personally which is exactly what you do and is a big reason why you are always wrong with your predictions and expectations for this team along with Smith himself. He has clearly shown during his time here and now under Andy Reid, that he is limited to a style of play that doesn’t create big gains or many explosive plays. It’s reliant on good defense and a running game to the point that if either one of those areas is sub par, the Chiefs don’t win. The Chiefs have told you they can’t win a Championship with Smith by drafting his replacement. Time to get your head out of the sand and face the facts.

              Objectivity means taking all factors into consideration and using points that both support and refute your argument. I have always adhered to that and expect others to as well.

    2. I’d quibble and say Alex Smith was the most under-appreciated QB but I really don’t think he was underrated. He’s gone on to show that he had already peaked by the time he was booted from the Bay.

    1. Raz

      I’m not going to argue the point, but we were playing the Cards in VD’s 1st or 2nd year, and
      Alex found Davis open on a seam route about 25 yards downfield…just as he was catching the pass, the cards Adrian Wilson just absolutely ‘belted’ him with a helmet shot….VD held on, and I believe that he scored on the play….THAT was a hit…

  21. I always felt like Shaun Alexander was overrated. I know he has a stretch of some really fantastic numbers but one can also argue that a good portion of that came from running behind Steve Hutchinson. Once Hutchinson left Alexander’s career was essentially over.

    In 2006, Alexander’s first season without Hutchinson he played 3 games before missing 6 and returning. His average before being hurt was 2.8 ypc. After returning he averaged 3.6. His average for the 5 years Hutchinson was on the team was 4.5. Alexander’s 5 seasons over 1000 yards were the 5 seasons Hutchinson played for Seattle.

    Not calling the guy a scrub but one has to wonder what he would be remembered as if it wasn’t for Steve Hutchinson.

  22. Remember Israel Ifeanyi?

    (Wikipedia) Israel Ifeanyi is a former American Football defensive end who played for the San Francisco 49ers. He made only special teams appearances and was often injured throughout his career. He was released after his first season and agreed upon an injury settlement. He is considered a bust due to his high draft selection [2nd round].

  23. I remember Todd Shell, who was nicknamed ‘Crystal’ because he was so fragile.
    He was a first round pick at 24, so it just goes to show that even genius’s may make a wrong pick at times.

    1. Thing with Shell was that he was actually good, though not great by any measure. His body just couldn’t handle the rigors of the NFL. But when he was healthy, he was a solid strong-side linebacker who could set the edge, run with tight ends and even provide some pass rush.

      He started in his second year and got hurt. He got hurt the next year in the first game. He got hurt, again, in the next year.

      In 1988, after two consecutive years on IR, he was in training camp when he had a collision with another 49er and his spine was pinched, leaving him temporarily paralyzed and unable to feel his body. It was found that he had cervical stenosis and that he had an elevated risk of becoming permanently paralyzed.

      And that was the end of his career as he was put on IR again while being unable to feel the right side of his body. I don’t know if it ever cleared all the way up, but nobody would sign him after his contract expired.

  24. Jeff Garcia is to Terrell Owens as
    Steve Young is to Charles Haley.

    The most underrated player in NFL History is Terrell Owens.

    1. Giannis has a point. Terrell Owens would have been in the Hall of Fame if he were not underrated.

  25. Whine Country
    For you, I was reminded tonight. A fellow who gave his notice at my wife’s work, who I referred to as a short-timer. I then recalled the moniker of: Double Digit Midgit. I bet you remember!

  26. Michael Carter is my most underrated 9er & should be in the HOF. If he and Roger Craig had the East Coast bias they would be in the HOF like many Steelers that were not as impactful or as good as Carter & Craig. As for TO I loved him as a Niner, but his habitual team wrecking in the ultimate team sport makes me hope a real team guy & Champion like Roger Craig makes it first.

  27. Michael Carter got recognition. Pete Kugler, less.
    Pierce Holt might be a candidate.
    If Haley had spent his entire career in SF, he would lead in sacks; Unless Fred Dean would.

      1. What about Jesse Sopolu, Steve Wallace, Guy McEntyre, Bubba Paris, Tom Rathman, Harris Barton, Don Griffin, Dwight Clark, Ray Wersching, Erik Wright, Dwight Hicks, Randy Cross? Aren’t these guys underrated too?

        1. Take Bubba Paris off that list. He split time with Steve Wallace and was never that good.

          Wersching had a poor leg and wasn’t terribly accurate (73%) and really couldn’t kick over 45 yards with any sort of reasonable chance so off the list.

          Of that list, I’d say only Eric Wright is under-rated. He was one of the best cover guys in the NFL and routinely defensed 17-to-24 passes a year but tended to only come up with 2-to-4 picks a year. Lott didn’t cover as well, but Lott could make picks and big hits and that’s what gets you on the highlight reels.

      2. None of the players mentioned fits the criteria of “underrated football player of the past 20 years”.

  28. Jeff Garcia and Alex Smith have many things in common. Both great team guys. Both of them would not get hauled in on domestic violence arrests, or walk out of a jail house drunk at 8AM. Both of them disciplined , not big mistake guys. Both of them just good enough to get close, but the further they get into the playoffs, the games grew but they did not (outside of great ny giants comeback win). Great guys, but a real bridesmaid, never bride deal.

    1. In 5 years as a 49er QB, Jeff Garcia had 32 fumbles. 17 of them were lost. He was throwing the ball to Tai Streets, Terrell Owens, and Garrison Hearst. The first year Garcia made the pro Bowl the team was projected to win 11.4 games. They won 12. The second year, the team was projected to with 8.6 games. They won 10. Steve Mariucci was an amazing coach.

      Jeff Garcia was nothing extravagant. He was reminiscent of Mark Sanchez. Great supporting cast could get the job done, but nothing special. Don’t let time fade that memory. Remember Mark Sanchez made it to two straight division championships. He threw for 3291 and 3474 yards.

  29. Justin Smith. His 2011 season was as good as anything JJ Watt has produced.

  30. For thrills, let’s predict our preseason record…and scores…

    Week 1 at Kansas City Chiefs — Loss SF 16, KC 23
    Week 2 Denver Broncos — Win SF 37, DEN13
    Week 3 at Minnesota Vikings — Win SF 31, MIN 22
    Week 4 – Los Angeles Chargers — Win SF26, LAC 24

  31. I agree with these two astute individuals:

    #80 says:

    June 26, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    Most underrated and overrated by Jim Harbaugh.
    Underrated – Alex Smith
    Overrated – Colin Kaepernick


    Grant Cohn says:
    June 26, 2017 at 3:39 pm
    Good call.

    Had Kap been on this team still he would be on the following list of Shanahan cuts:

    Smelter, Mcdonald, Burbridge, Ellington and is comrable to the following list of bad 49er draft picks and talent evaluators:
    Sebynayah , WR, Rashaun Woods, 1st Rd; Kentwaun Balmer, 1st Rd; Ronald Johnson; LaMichael James, 2nd Rd; Joe Looney; Vance McDonald, 2nd Rd; Corey Lemonier, 3rd Rd; Marcus Martin, Brandon Thomas, 3rd Rd; Mike Davis; DeAndre Smelter; Blake Bell,
    Chilo Rachal, 2nd Rd; Reggie McGrew, 1st Rd or Kwami Harris, 1st Rd—–Take your pick from the York loser front offices.

  32. And by the way, Can’t believe were still having the Smith vs. Kap debate.

    I too, sent the 49ers a note advocating Rodgers be drafted. But since he wasn’t I noted he was only a fumbled punt away from a SuperBowl.
    Then, he got the 49ers through half a season before injury with a good record before Kap took over and lost the SuperBowl. Anyone thinking with Boldin, Crabtree, Walker, Ginn Jr., Randy Moss, Vernon Davis, that Kap couldn’t have scored from the one yd line to in (3) chances with this group is nuts.

    By the way, here’s the current NFL top 100 players and Kap didn’t make the cut:

    ‘Top 100 Players of 2017’: No. 81 Alex Smith


    1. The reason I wanted Rodgers, is because I got a front row seat at the local sports bar to watch Cal take on USC.
      Rodgers set a modern day collegiate record :

      “or 3 1/2 quarters, California quarterback Aaron Rodgers was perfect.
      Perfect as in 23 for 23. Perfect as in tying an NCAA record for consecutive pass completions in a game.”

      TomD’s Take: Almost every member of that SC defense was drafted into the Pros.
      I thought it was a forgone conclusion that Aaron had done enough to be a 49er

    2. That is, That Smith, not Kap, culd not have scored from the one yard line with that All Star offensive line up, with 3 chances from the one, is nuts.

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