One of the main and most compelling storylines of Saturday's Saints vs 49ers matchup at Candlestick Park is the extreme differences in offensive styles between the two teams. Drew Brees and the Saints set NFL passing records this season and have a high-octane, high-scoring offense. Conversely, San Francisco wins with ball-control, hard running, and toughness on offense and as opposed to Brees' record setting season, Alex Smith actually had the least amount of touchdown passes of any starter that played in all 16 games this year. Of course, he also had the least amount of turnovers.
Here's what he had to say in Tuesday's presser, in the run up to this weekend's big game, regarding the differences between the two offensive schemes:
"You can say what you want. A lot of different ways to win games in this league. Obviously offensively, they're doing a lot of great things right now. Record-setting offense. It's kind of what you aspire to get to, no question, offensively. To be able to put up those kinds of numbers, do what they're doing. They've been in it a long time. Doing it at a really high level, no question. It's kind of for you guys to write about, to talk about the differences and differences of style. Whatever you want to call it. It is what it is. It still comes down to scoring more points than the other team and that's what we're looking to do."
So will the Niners be making any adjustments based on their upcoming, high-scoring opponent?
"We're going to play our game. We're not going to be somebody we're not. We're going to continue to do what we do. We've done it all year."
That said, Smith acknowledged that in some situations, and particularly when the Saints are blitzing, the Niners may have some opportunities to eschew their run-first identity and uncharacteristically strike down the field.
"No question. That's kind of the nature of the game when teams pressure a lot. Obviously you've got some chances to make plays. They're good at it. They've been doing it so long. They know where they're vulnerable. I think the guys in the secondary do a great job with it. They know where they're vulnerable. They do a great job of trying to take away those big plays as much as possible. So, we're going to have to be on top of it, no question."