This week’s NFC West game ball decision has to be one of the toughest ones I’ve had to make yet. On the one hand you’ve got Aldon Smith’s record breaking (in more than one ways) performance on defense, albeit against an awful offensive line. On the other you’ve got a rookie quarterback, making his first NFL start against the Bears, and lighting them up for 243 yards and 2 touchdowns. Both performances were great, but I gotta give it to Smith.
Not take away from Kapernick’s performance, but unlike the young quarterback Smith was dominant from kickoff to game’s end. At no point did his performance tail off. Whether he lined up on the left or right side, it made no difference. With a little help from Justin Smith, he embarrassed the Bears offensive line all night and made Jason Campbell’s return to the Bay Area an absolute disaster.
His 5.5 sacks were a monday night record, and if that weren’t enough he added 2 forced fumbles to his otherworldly numbers. You almost have to wonder if shifting him to the left side for parts of the game was an act of mercy towards Webb, who is most likely still riding the bus back to Chicago. His raw power in working the bull rush on the inside was just too much for the Bears tackles to handle. To say they were overpowered is one hell of an understatement, as I’m sure a practice dummy would have put up more of a fight for parts of that game.
As bad as the Bears offensive line is, let’s not take away from what Aldon Smith was able to accomplish. He set the record for sacks in a Monday nighter, and has become the fastest player to reach 29 sacks, hitting the mark in only 26 games. Just so we are better able to realize how tremendous a feat that is, he wasn’t even getting all the reps in his rookie year as he was sharing playing time with Parys Haralson. He now leads the league in sacks with 15 and is on pace to finish the season 24. That number may seem like a bit of a stretch, but I’m not ruling it out for this Niners defender.