Earlier this week, I wrote an article which featured my projection of the San Francisco 49ers' 2012 regular season record based on history and their upcoming schedule. I had the 49ers going 11-5 on the year and based upon said history, have the 49ers possibly winning the Super Bowl. (In three of the four previous times the 49ers have won 13 games in a season they have either won the Super Bowl that season or the next. Therefore, 2012 could be the year history repeats itself.)
However, several commented that they would reserve the right not to throw a number on the season when I asked for other predictions. Why? Because of the uncertainty revolving around the 49ers' quarterback Alex Smith.
Certainly he had a great regular season in 2011, throwing 17 touchdowns and just five interceptions, and helped lead the 49ers into the NFC Championship Game. However, as Smith himself has acknowledged, that was last year and 2012 will be an opportunity to once again prove to the entire NFL that he is for real.
The way I see things, Alex Smith is capable of leading the 49ers to a Super Bowl - and not simply because the team was maybe a series away from being there in 2011. While it may seem downright unfair, I believe in Alex Smith because of how Jim Harbaugh has been able to mold him. I trust in Smith because I trust in Harbaugh and that alone says a lot about how much Smith has to prove this season.
In 2011, we all saw Smith as the ultimate game manager who limited turnovers - with the team executing the second fewest passing plays while running the ball third most in the NFL - and he could again be that figure for the 49ers in 2012. However, the big question is whether or not that equates to Smith leading the 49ers to a Super Bowl?
Jim Harbaugh is the 49ers' coach for a reason, and he was put in place to help each player find their place with the team - especially Smith. I regard Harbaugh as the true leader of this football team, but when the 49ers are driving down the field, it is Smith and not Harbaugh under center.
So in short, yes I do think that Alex Smith could lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl. Why? Because he can continue to grow in his role as a quarterback and instead of learning a playbook this offseason, he has focused his efforts on becoming a better quarterback - both physically and mentally.
Food for thought: How about you? Will Alex Smith help lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 (or any other year) or do the 49ers need someone else under center to take them to the promise land?
David is co-founder of wrapupp sports blog where fresh content is posted daily and present sports blogs and sports opinions - all with a West Coast bias. Growing up in the Bay Area, David is a huge supporter of all the local sports teams; the Giants, Athletics, Warriors, Sharks, 49ers, and Raiders. His one fault, admittedly, as many of his friends and family would say, is his love for the Los Angeles Lakers. Growing up, Magic Johnson was his favorite basketball player and he fell in love with the team. He chalks it up to, "Not knowing any better". Now his love for sports has turned just as academic as it is intuitive and he follows most all sports all over the nation.
You can follow David on Twitter: @officialwrapupp
49ers.com. Alex Smith Offseason Highlights. NFL 2012.
NBCSports.com. 49ers offense dictated by Jim Harbaugh, not Alex Smith. NFL 2012.
Pro-Football-Reference.com. Alex Smith. NFL 2012.
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