49ers could spin quarterback wheel again

In a testament to just how awful the NFC West is, the San Francisco 49ers remain alive in the division race following their 34-7 loss to the San Diego Chargers on Thursday night.

Of course, for the 49ers (5-9) to win the division, they’ll have to do so with a losing record. They hold a 3-1 record in division play right now, and in the next two weeks they play at St. Louis (6-8) and host Arizona (4-9). With two wins, and a little help, they can reach the playoffs.

And with that, another quarterback switcheroo could be in the offing after Alex Smith was particularly bad in defeat. He completed 19 of 29 passes for 165 yards and was sacked six times. Tight end Vernon Davis caught just one pass and wide receiver Michael Crabtree had only three catches for 17 yards.

So, what’s up, Mike Singletary?

“Once again, I want to get back and look at the film," the coach said afterward, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee. “It wasn't just Alex. ... I think our offensive line has to do a better job in terms of protecting him.”

Still, Troy Smith brought a spark to the team. The 49ers have extra time to prepare for the Rams and they’re going to have to come up with something to get the offense in gear. Otherwise, the playoffs will be shot.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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