SALT LAKE CITY -- After a long and grueling five weeks, former Ute Alex Smith and his San Francisco 49ers got their first win of the season, beating the Oakland Raiders 17-9. Smith was on thin ice after last week's last-second loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Against the Raiders, Smith started out slow, but picked up his game in the second half, throwing two touchdowns to take the lead and the eventual win.
Smith's first touchdown came late in the third quarter, finding Michael Crabtree for a 32-yard pass, putting the 49ers up 10-6. With 7:14 left in the game, Smith found Vernon Davis on a 17-yard touchdown pass, making the score 17-9.
You try to fix the negatives and build on the positives from the last five weeks.
Referencing his first touchdown of the game, Smith said: "You've got to start with one. You've got to start somewhere. You try to fix the negatives and build on the positives from the last five weeks."
In last week's loss to the Eagles, Head Coach Mike Singletary and Smith got in a heated debate on the sidelines, with Singletary ready to bench Smith. However, Smith was able to keep his composure against the Raiders, as Smith went 16 of 33 for 196 yards and no turnovers. This was the first week that Smith did not commit a turnover.
"We've had three really close games this year," Smith said. "A lot of these hurt. Today to go out and play how we did, staring 0-5 in the face, we stayed patient,"
Despite the slow start of the 49ers season, team president Jed York promised that the 49ers would still win the West and make the playoffs.
Sunday night's thrilling game of the Indianapolis Colts and the Washington Redskins, involved three local players that were key to their team's success.
Austin Collie of the Colts continues to remain one of Peyton Manning's favorite targets, catching a 5-yard touchdown pass the signal caller in the second to put the Colts up 14-7. Collie had seven catches for 57 yards.
Former Utah State Aggie Chris Cooley of the Washington Redskins started the game out well, with five catches for 37 yards, but suffered a concussion in the second half, forcing him to leave the game.
Redskins Head Coach Mike Shanahan said, "He's a competitor. [He] probably didn't think it was anything big and wanted to go back in there."
Being the second-leading receiver on the team, with 23 catches for 303 yards, the Redskins will look to get Cooley back as soon as he is cleared to play.
The biggest news of the Colts' win over the Redskins, however, was former BYU Cougar Aaron Francisco, the newly acquired safety for the Colts. With plenty of time left for the Redskins to put themselves in scoring position, McNabb threw a long pass down field, with Francisco making a one-handed leaping interception catch, securing the win for the Colts, 27-24.
Earlier this month the Colts acquired Francisco, starting him as their strong safety. Francisco ended the game with seven total tackles and a pass deflection.
Other notable locals in play:
- Stewart Bradley (Highland HS), LB, Philadelphia Eagles: Bradley had seven total tackles, one sack, and a deflected pass as the Eagles beat the Atlanta Falcons.
- Eric Weddle (Utah), S, San Diego Chargers: Weddle dominated the St. Louis Rams offense with 12 total tackles and one pass deflection.
- Haloti Ngata (Highland HS), DT, Baltimore Ravens: Ngata was Tom Brady's worse nightmare, sacking Brady twice and making some contact a third time. Ngata had a total of seven tackles.
- Steve Smith of the Carolina Panthers is still out after suffering an ankle sprain a couple of week ago. His status is questionable in their upcoming game against the San Francisco 49ers.
- Brady Poppinga of the Green Bay Packers left Sunday's game with a knee injury. His status is still unknown. Before the injury Poppinga had five total tackles.
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