SANTA CLARA Hopped up by the energy and euphoria of his game-winning touchdown pass Saturday, Alex Smith couldn't resist tossing a dig or two toward the New Orleans Saints defenders who had been chirping at him throughout the game.
"There was talking going on throughout the entire game, not much by me," the normally mild-mannered and well-behaved 49ers quarterback said Wednesday. " I couldn't remember what was coming out of my mouth. But obviously I was pretty jacked."
Smith and his teammates, however, have vowed to stay mum over the next few days.
Players were told by coaches earlier in the week that their New York Giants counterparts would be filling the airwaves and broadsheets with bluster and bravado, and they instructed their charges not to respond.
"They warned us that the guys would likely say some stuff in the media, and to leave it alone," safety Donte Whitner said. "That's their blueprint.
"Whenever they have a big game, they talk. We're not going to do that. That game is played on the football field."
Whitner said the Giants mostly were quiet on the field when the two teams played Nov. 13, a 27-20 49ers win. But they've been chatterboxes this week, none more so than safety Antrel Rolle, who faced the 49ers twice a season when he was with the Arizona Cardinals from 2005 to 2009.
Rolle took exception to tight end Vernon Davis' pronouncement during halftime of Sunday's Giants-Green Bay Packers game that the 49ers, desiring another home game, were rooting for the Giants.
"If he said that, I can only hope he's saying it just because they want to get a home game," Rolle said. "They better be careful what they ask for, because their wish is being granted, and we'll see them come Sunday."
Rolle will have an opportunity to fan the flames when he appears on a national conference call this afternoon. Representing the 49ers on a separate call will be Whitner, who earlier this year was voted the team's most media-friendly player by the reporters who cover the 49ers.
Whitner is loquacious and accommodating, and he appears to have found a trash-talking loophole: He spent a lot of time talking about how, unlike the Giants players, the 49ers weren't going to talk this week.
"We're going to talk on Sunday," he said. "That's the only answer we need.
"We don't need to say anything else. They can say whatever they want. God bless 'em. But we're going to prepare and we're going to go out there prepared to win a football game and that's it."
Whitner and offensive tackle Anthony Davis also avoided the bad-mouthing moratorium by engaging in some trash typing this week. Wrote Whitner on Twitter: "Out here in San Fran we let our Shoulder Pads do all the talking .haha."
Tweeted Davis: "Are the Giants doing drunk interviews? Lol."
Smith, meanwhile, had returned to his reserved and reasonable self Wednesday.
Asked if, after six tough seasons in which he was doubted by fans, media and opposing teams, he had an impulse to say, "I told you," the quarterback took the higher road.
"I think if we win this game and go to the Super Bowl, it will say it in itself," Smith said. "I'm not thinking about that right now. I really feel like winning games as a quarterback this time of year speaks for itself.
"That's how you do your talking. So, just focused on this game, preparing myself all week."
Besides, Smith said, his counterpart Sunday might have had a more difficult trek than him. Both Smith and Giants quarterback Eli Manning were No. 1 overall picks in the draft, Manning in 2004, Smith in 2005.
"To be Peyton's little brother, the No. 1 pick, and you go to New York, you're playing for the Giants, that's a lot of pressure," Smith said. "I don't think anyone has been in the situation he has.
Those are pretty unique circumstances. Your older brother is arguably, maybe, the greatest quarterback ever, and a lot of expectations are on you, and you go to a big city like New York. So, I didn't have to face those things."
Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul vs. 49ers right tackle Anthony Davis
The good news for the 49ers: The Giants are not a blitzing defense, and the San Francisco offensive line is not likely to have to face the all-out blitzes that have vexed it at different points throughout the season. The bad news: The Giants have an excellent defensive line and their best pass rushers are on the left side. The most interesting matchup will pit Davis against Pierre-Paul, who finished the season with 16 1/2 sacks and two forced fumbles. Davis' blocking skills on passing downs have improved since an inconsistent rookie season, but he still struggles with speed rushers. Osi Umenyiora (nine sacks) is likely to start the game, but Pierre-Paul will see plenty of action. Pierre-Paul, who like Davis was a first-round draft pick in 2010, is a smaller version of the 49ers' Aldon Smith, with long arms and excellent athleticism.