Jim Harbaugh said he considers Alex Smith to be an "elite" quarterback. The Giants would love nothing more than for him to try to prove it.
“He is a guy who they are trying to keep out of a position to win the football game,” defensive captain Justin Tuck said of the quarterback he and his teammates will be facing this week. “Obviously, with a back like Frank Gore and the O-line keeping them in third-and-short situations and even if it is third-and-six or -seven, they still feel that they can pick it up running. I think they are asking Alex not to lose the game.”
That feeling seemed to permeate the Giants. Defensive coordinator Perry Fewell said Smith has become good at “managing” the game.
“He makes a lot of good decisions, smart decisions,” Fewell said. “It looks like he understands where he wants to go with the ball … The run game has helped him tremendously.”
Smith has 10 touchdowns and two interceptions this season. But Fewell said the gameplan is to keep the ball in the hands of Smith and not Gore. “No doubt about it,” he said.
“He’s not putting them in situations where they are going to be pinned back or their defense is not going to be put in bad situations,” Tuck said. “If they get in field goal range, they are going to run the ball and make sure they come away with some points. If they are not in, they are going to run the ball and make sure they punt to put their defense in good positions to stop the offense.”
So the idea is to make Alex Smith try to beat the Giants?
“That makes sense,” Tuck said.