Alex Smith has certainly endured a difficult time during his NFL career, with most of it spent either being forced to fight off intense and stinging criticism regarding the way he has played, or needing to contend with the fact that he has been injured. However, having displayed a solid performance in the 49ers' victory against Seattle, Smith now needs to show that he can get himself firmly on the sort of hot streak that the 49ers need him to ride if they are to stand a chance of qualifying for the play-offs despite their poor season so far
With the Niners well aware that nothing less than a victory will do when they visit their next opponent, the San Diego Chargers, Smith has attempted to show that he has the determination to succeed by taking part in post-practice training sessions and working on his throws to the club's latest young hope, Michael Crabtree.
Although there's no doubt according to most placing a super bowl bet this year that this certainly shows Smith is keen to do everything he can to repay the faith the 49ers have shown in him, he will have to do so without the support of his main full back Frank Gore, a man who has been central to the 49ers' offence in recent years.
Despite the absence of Gore, super bowl betting pundits note how Smith was still able to throw three touchdowns against Seattle, something that helped the 49ers earn themselves their biggest victory of the season so far. If they can recapture the drive that helped their offence to work so well, then Smith may just enjoy his return to his hometown more than anyone else.