Smith struggles as SF is guaranteed seventh consecutive non-winning season

  • Philadelphia Eagles' DeSean Jackson, right, runs through the end zone after catching a touchdown pass against San Francisco 49ers' Michael Lewis (32) in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 20, 2009, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)

PHILADELPHIA ? On several occasions throughout the season, coach Mike Singletary made promises that the 2009 49ers would emerge as a ?special team.?

With two games remaining in the regular season, their best hope is to improve to the definition of mediocrity.

The 49ers? playoff hopes were dashed Sunday, as they committed four first-half turnovers that doomed them in their 27-13 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at frigid Lincoln Financial Field.

The 49ers (6-8) are guaranteed a non-winning season for the seventh consecutive year.

And with games against Detroit (2-12) and St. Louis (1-13) in the final two games, anything less than a .500 record would be an extreme embarrassment at the conclusion of Singletary?s first full season at the helm.

?Looking toward the next couple of weeks, realizing that you?re not going to the playoffs, there are a lot of things that are on my mind right now,? Singletary said. ?I need to think more before I talk because there are a million feelings that I have, and it wouldn?t come out right.?

One of the things apparently on Singletary?s mind was holding quarterback Alex Smith accountable for a ?poor performance.? But he also took the opportunity to give Smith his strongest endorsement yet for the 49ers? starting job in 2010.

?He?s capable of playing better than that,? Singletary said of Smith, who threw three first-half interceptions. ?I don?t have any questions about him going forward.

?He?s shown me enough prior to tonight. He had a bad game. Great quarterbacks have bad games. So, no, I don?t have any questions about it.?

Smith completed just 20 of 37 pass attempts for 177 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions against the Eagles, leaders of the NFC East with a 10-4 record. Smith was also sacked three times, and his passer rating was a lowly 42.3.

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