Alex Smith says offense had “good balance” out of shotgun formations in first quarter vs. Giants

SANTA CLARA – Alex Smith spoke at his locker Monday afternoon. Here’s what he said.

Q: How do you rebound from a 26-3 loss?

ALEX SMITH: Definitely not right away – that’s not me. Waking up, thinking about it, replaying it. Obviously we’ve got to put this one away quick with a quick turnaround Thursday. Big division game.

Q: Do you like having a short turnaround after a loss?

ALEX SMITH: In some ways it’s nice. You can’t dwell on it. As a team you’ve got to move on.

Q: What do the Giants do in coverage that’s so vexing for you guys?

ALEX SMITH: Yesterday I thought we started well. Couldn’t end anything. Couldn’t finish anything well. Then we got down a couple of scores and we got one-dimensional. We gave our defense a short field. For me, the interceptions I threw late were the ones I thought about the most. It’s third down and you’re trying to make a play, but you’re just making matters worse. That’s what I was really kicking myself for.

Q: Were they dropping seven guys into coverage?

ALEX SMITH: That’s the thing. When they get a lead like that, they don’t have to bring pressure. They have a bunch of D-linemen who can get after the passer. They’re tough when they get a lead like that.

Q: Why did the first two drives stall right at the end?

ALEX SMITH: The first two? I thought we had good balance. We were moving it, mixing it up. We just didn’t capitalize down there. We had some third down situations where we couldn’t connect – the one tipped ball…I forget what the second one was, but moved it, changed field positions, got down there to kick the field. To only come away with three points, it was tough.

ME: You started the game passing more than usual, lots of shotgun formations (16 of the first 22 offensive plays. What was it about the Giants’ defense that made you guys think that was an effective way to attack them?

ALEX SMITH: Different reasons. One, we’re very conscious that they’re a good D-line. They knock down more passes than any D-line in the NFL. They’re all tall, they’re all long, they all put their hands up. So a little bit get back there and get away from them a little bit. Two, I thought we had good balance out of that formation. The week before we were running it well, even out of the shotgun. We wanted to continue that. We had good balance early, like I said. Just got away from it. Got down multiple scores, got one-dimensional and started forcing things and then it really got bad.

Q: You guys have played very well in your wins and very poorly in your losses. There have been some wild fluctuations. Do you see any reason for that inconsistency?

ALEX SMITH: A lot of reasons – there’s not one, for sure. It’s funny, offensively you turn on the film and it’s easy to ask questions about pretty much everything. None of it looked good. It wasn’t good enough. A lot of times that is the case with a loss. A lot of things played into it, but the turnovers were the nail in the coffin. You’re not going to overcome those, especially when you’re down. In some ways it is nice to have the short week. We’ve got to move on from this one and get ready for a big division game.

One observation: Smith said the offense had “good balance” out of shotgun formations in the first quarter. Greg Roman called 16 shotgun plays in the first quarter and 12 were passing plays. That is not good balance.

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