There were a few quarterback’s that redeemed themselves in week two and were thus able to silence some of their critics. It is a step in the right direction for teams that have been worried about whether they have a franchise QB or not.
I bashed Cutler throughout the preseason and questioned him in week one, but in week two he took the first step toward redeeming himself.
As if taking the Cowboys down another notch wasn’t enough, the primary difference in Cutler’s game was an efficient 21/29 performance that resulted in three touchdowns and no interceptions. With four players catching four or more passes, Cutler seemed to be playing with more intelligence and awareness than ever.
There is no doubt that Cutler has the potential. I have dealt out my fair share of criticism against the QB, which is partially based on his mistake prone passes outside the pocket. The Bears still don’t seem to have a running game which is not RB Matt Forte’s fault, but in support of Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz, the Bears are finally using all of their weapons. Forte is beginning to portray Marshall Faulk-like similarities, possibly conveying signs of Martz’s influence on the Rams some years ago.
Sanchez displayed the mark of incompetence in week one, unable to even hit an open receiver within ten yards against the Ravens. Suddenly, there was a different QB on the field in week two.
Sanchez was a remarkable 21/30 for 220 yards and three TD’s, his highest game completions in his career and his second highest completion percentage. His 124.3 QB rating made his previous mark of 107.0 look like a thing of the past in the most opportune of times. Sanchez was selective, cognizant, and effective.
His play alone turned skeptics into renewed believers after handling the Pats on Sunday, and as the only component perceptively holding the Jets back, they now seem to be back in the discussion for a playoff run.
Smith’s performance on MNF against the Saints was arguably the most impressive week two turn-around in recent vintage.
Smith’s abysmal week one 26/45 performance that amounted to two INT’s and no TD’s was much more than a statistical blunder. The 49ers QB looked out of sync, indecisive, and represented zero characteristics of a leader.
Sometimes statistics misrepresent a players performance, which was exactly the case for Smith against the Saints on Monday Night Football. He threw two interceptions on the Saints side of the field, and although slightly off target, both passes were substantially tipped.
Smith threw for one TD and had a 71.9 completion percentage, shockingly the 4th highest of his five-year career. However, the numbers do not factor in to common opinion if you watched his week two performance.
It is hard to pinpoint when a quarterback turns the corner as a formidable starter, but Smith had a charisma and a pocket-presence on Monday that 49ers fans have been waiting to see for over half a decade. The QB seemed confident even after one of his interceptions cost the 49ers a chance to take the lead in the 4th quarter.
Smith was on queue while anticipating blitzes and resisted panicking under pressure. After an incredible goal-line stand that resulted in a Saints field goal, Smith led the 9ers down the field for TD/two-point conversion that forced overtime. Regardless of the loss, the 2005 first overall pick of the NFL Draft finally lived up to his billing.
Only time will tell whether Smith can duplicate his Monday night performance, but it is a definitive sign of hope for the 49ers organization and its fans.
About the Author
Written by Zachary Stanley
By the end of the fall I will have obtained a Bachelor's degree from Ithaca College. I have been blogging for quite some time and am greatly enjoying my various responsibilities in this field. I am currently a Feature Celtics Columnist and a Featured Sports Contributor for two different sites. I am also a couple weeks from opening up my new blog site, CelticsNotes.com.