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49ers notebook: Aldon Smith's 5.5 sacks set Monday night record

  • 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith (99) sacks Bears quarterback Jason Campbell on Monday. (JOHN BURGESS / The Press Democrat)

SAN FRANCISCO — While Colin Kaepernick was redefining the 49ers offense, Aldon Smith was almost singlehandedly destroying the opposing offense. Smith had 5 sacks — most ever by a player on “Monday Night Football” and second in franchise history behind the six that Fred Dean collected against the Saints in 1983.

“I think I have a thing for night games,” Smith said. “I love playing at night. I love the lights.”

Smith victimized offensive tackles J’Marcus Webb and Gabe Carimi, and anyone else the Bears tried to block him with. Sometimes it seemed they weren’t trying to stop him at all. The second-year rush specialist alternately used his strength and bursts of speed to terrorize Jason Campbell.

Smith’s final sack was in the end zone, and resulted in a safety after the ball came free.

Even when Smith wasn’t sacking Campbell, he was making his presence felt. On one play, he came on a stunt and rushed the quarterback into a high throw that safety Dashon Goldson intercepted.

Smith finished the game as the NFL’s sack leader, with 15. He now has 29 sacks in his short career. Only Reggie White (31) and Derrick Thomas (30) had more in their first two seasons. Both of them are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


The strangest moment of the night came with 9:38 left in the game when those two bullying Smiths — Aldon and Justin — converged on Campbell from different directions on third-and-28 and hit him in the end zone, jarring the ball loose. Bears guard Chilo Rachal, the former 49er, scooped the ball and sort of tossed it out of the end zone, where a mad scramble ensued.

Officials first signaled an incomplete pass. That didn’t make sense, of course, because Rachal had no real intended receiver. They changed it to intentional grounding, marking the ball inside the 5-yard line.

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