Monday, December 10, 2012

Aldon Smith's two sacks move him closer to Strahan record

After chasing Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill on Sunday afternoon, Aldon Smith is now officially chasing Michael Strahan.

Smith finished with two sacks against Miami, giving him an NFL-best 191/2 on the season. That moved him past Hall of Fame defensive end Fred Dean for first place on the 49ers' season sack list. It also means Smith is just 31/2 sacks from passing Strahan's NFL record for sacks in a season, which the ex-New York Giants defensive end set in 2001.

"I'm human, so it's going to cross my mind," Smith said of the record. "The focus is putting in a complete game and playing as best I can."

Smith admitted he left additional sacks slip through his grasp. Playing against a rookie, Jonathan Martin, who was making his first start at left tackle, Smith twice got within striking distance of Tannehill in the second half but couldn't quite pull him down.

"You can't let it happen twice," Smith said of a miss. "You have to make up for it on the next play."

Smith has increasingly used a bull-rush move to stagger opponents, and it was particularly effective against Martin on the first sack, which came deep in San Francisco territory. Smith knocked the rookie flat on his back, then plowed into the quarterback.

"He got me on that one bull rush pretty good," Martin said. "There's a reason why he is one of the best pass rushers in the league."

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