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Tag:Rookie of the Year
Posted on: December 20, 2011 1:00 am
 

Aldon Smith makes Defensive ROY case Monday

Aldon Smith picks up one of his record-breaking sacks of Ben Roethlisberger. (AP)
By Will Brinson

A blown transformer caused a power outage on Monday night in San Francisco. Or maybe 49ers rookie linebacker Aldon Smith just snuck out back of the stadium and swallowed that bad boy whole before the 49ers handed Pittsburgh a 20-3 loss in Candlestick Park.

Because, my goodness, Smith was off the charts, dominating the Steelers offensive line en route to recording 2.5 sacks and a pile of hurries and hits on a hobble Ben Roethlisberger. Smith's sacks were notable for more than just his performance Monday, though, as he broke Charles Haley's record for sacks in a season (12.5) by a 49ers rookie.

"The biggest thing with him is when there's a guy there ready to block he can just turn his hips, get skinny and get through there and still pressure on the quarterback," defensive tackle Justin Smith said afterward when asked about Aldon. "He's done it all year, he did it a bunch tonight and he's one of the reason we're where we're at."

Where they're at is the No. 2 seed in the NFC, a spot they'll lock down if they can beat the Seahawks and the Rams on the road over the next few weeks.

And where Smith should be is near the top of Defensive Rookie of the Year ballots. His 13 sacks are the best by any rookie in 2011, and even the other guy who might win the award, Von Miller, knows how good Smith is -- he told me before the season Smith would win the award.

If Smith plays the last two games like he did on Monday night, Miller might be right, at his own expense.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com