This has been an exciting year for pass rushers in the NFL. Von Miller, J.J. Watt, and Aldon Smith have all had superb seasons. They have been a pure joy to watch. Smith is so disruptive and fun, that I find myself watching him almost exclusively on defense sometimes, ignoring the other players. It's a bad way to watch Football, but every once and a while, I just can't help it. To be honest, I think one could make strong cases for each of these men winning the NFL's Defensive MVP. And who would have the strongest case? That's open for debate. But if one man sets a new sack record, I imagine that would almost seal the deal.
In this quest, though Aldon has a ways to go in just one more game. At 19.5 sacks, Aldon would need 3.5 more in order to break the sack record. There is actually a super cool page over at NFL.com that tracks Aldon's sacks throughout the year, game by game. Totally worth a perusal, if you have some time.
If not, my biggest impression from the page is that Aldon has been slowing down. The last two games? Sackless. That makes it really tough to catch up, well, because he ideally wanted to ender the Cardinals game as close as possible. Duh, right? And there is reason to hope. In his last showing against the Cardinals earlier this year, Aldon had two sacks. Obviously, that wouldn't be enough, but it's a start.
Let's be honest, though. A pass rush doesn't work like that. In the first game against Seattle, Aldon recorded a sack. He was held to nothing in the second game. So it goes. And the worst part? Some of that may have had to do with Justin Smith's absence. They work so well in tandem that I'm sure it is weird to pass rush without your fellow Smith brother.
Football Outsiders has Arizona as the 25th worst pass protecting team. They have given up an absurd 56 sacks for an adj. sack rater of 8.2%. Gross. That sucks (though not as bad as us, lololol). If this is the game in which Aldon has to go off, then so be it. Arizona is the team to face. And, Aldon is one of those guys who can put up a five sack game out of nowhere. I really hope it does so. That would be awesome.