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Sunday, November 29, 2009
Smith steps up with second TD pass

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

The 49ers have their biggest lead of the season since Alex Smith took over for Shaun Hill at quarterback.

Smith has been a primary reason behind the 17-3 halftime lead over Jacksonville. His second touchdown pass featured a hard scramble to the right sideline, a sudden stop and an accurate pass over coverage to Frank Gore in the end zone. This is what the 49ers need to see from a quarterback who has previously been most effective while trailing by wide margins.

The Jaguars' pass defense had allowed 17 touchdowns and a 93.8 rating to opponents through Week 11. Jacksonville was also horrible in its only previous game on the West Coast this season, falling 41-0 at Seattle in Week 5.

Jacksonville had won three in a row coming into this game, however, and the team's defense had shown improvement, albeit against struggling offenses.

Still, the 49ers must like what they see from Smith. He's playing well enough to win.