Back up quarterback Colin Kaepernick earned rave reviews last night for his mauling of the Chicago Bears, and the 49ers came away with a 32-7 victory. All eyes are on Coach Harbaugh now to see if veteran Alex Smith or Kaepernick will get the start on Sunday against New Orleans. The 49ers defense was spectacular, only allowing the Bears a season low of 143 total yards, while the star of the game was surely linebacker Aldon Smith who recorded 5 ½ sacks, continuing on his way toward the record books.
Smith took over the NFL sacks lead with 15, passing Denver’s Von Miller with 13, and he also accomplished something no other player has ever accomplished before: Smith has tallied 29 sacks through his first 26 games, which is an NFL record dating back to 1982—the first year they started recording sacks as an official stat. After last night’s game Smith told reporters, “We were playing our defense, stopping the run and then stopping the pass. I was just playing my game and getting after it.” Smith surely has a bright future ahead of him, but we can’t forget Justin Smith who deserves just as much credit for his hard work on the field.
Justin Smith is the relentless and explosive defender who has never missed a game to injury, and anchors the 49ers defensive front. He has earned the nickname “Cowboy” for his blue-collar, Midwestern approach to his job, and boy has it paid off. Smith has started 180 consecutive games, which leads all defensive lineman and ranks 3rd among all NFL players. Since joining the team in 2008, Smith leads the team with 29.0 sacks and ranks 1st in the NFL among defensive tackles over that span. During games, watch for Justin Smith to make stellar blocks, paving the pathway for Aldon Smith to take down opposing players.
Stay tuned this Sunday for another sack-happy match-up at the Superdome in New Orleans!