SAN FRANCISCO - NOVEMBER 21: LeGarrette Blount #27 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is tackled by the Ray McDonald #91 of the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on November 21, 2010 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** LeGarrette Blount;Ray McDonald
Troy Smith was so terrible Sunday that the San Francisco 49ers are probably back to having a quarterback controversy.
Smith did a bad Alex Smith impersonation all afternoon in a 21-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was sacked six times, and a trendy preseason Super Bowl pick is 3-7 and effectively out of it before Thanksgiving.
It was the 49ers' first home shutout at Candlestick since 1977.
The Bucs' Cadillac Williams revved it up with a six-yard touchdown run for the game's first score, and that was not until five minutes into the second quarter. There were not many offensive fireworks Sunday.
In the first half, Troy Smith had more rushing yards on one scramble (15) than Frank Gore had for the whole half (13). Gore would gain only 23 yards all afternoon.
Buccaneers' receiver Mike Williams, who almost didn't play after a DUI bust early Friday morning, had two critical catches on a late third quarter drive. His 33-yard catch put the Buccaneers in scoring range, then his eight-yard touchdown catch put the Buccaneers up 14-0.
A Ronde Barber interception of Troy Smith with ten minutes left in the game started the dejected early emptying of Candlestick Park. Hefty 310-pound left tackle Donald Penn caught a one-yard touchdown on some tackle-eligible trickery to convert the turnover and put the Buccaneers up 21-0 for good.
It gets worse. Vernon Davis has a sprained ankle, and may not be available next Monday night against the Cardinals.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer and the guy who thought he was being funny by chanting "We want Smith!"