"If Alex Smith is the new Drew Bledsoe, will the Jets copy the Buffalo Bills?
As if there was any question about Smith's future with the 49ers beyond this season, Colin Kaepernick erased them with an exclamation point Saturday night with an epic, record-smashing performance in San Francisco's 45-31 demolition of the Packers in the NFC Divisional playoffs.
Much like Tom Brady with Bledsoe in New England 12 years ago, Kaepernick took Smith's starting job after a midseason injury and won't be giving it back — to Smith, at least — after Kaepernick's stunning display against Green Bay.
With Smith watching with what seemed like a forlorn face from the sidelines, Kaepernick ran through and around the Packers for 181 yards (the most ever by an NFL quarterback in any game, regular season or postseason), passed for 263 more and accounted for two rushing touchdowns and two passing touchdowns while putting the Niners back in the NFC title game for a second consecutive year.
Kaepernick's masterful performance seemed to put the final nail in Smith's San Francisco career and already is prompting speculation about his next stop when the former No. 1 overall pick hits unrestricted free agency in March.