As Aldon Smith chases down the NFL record for sacks, his specialty becomes of particular significance this week when the San Francisco 49ers face New England and the NFL's top-ranked offense.
The Patriots have encountered problems most often this season when opponents put quarterback Tom Brady on his back.
Nobody in the league has done that to quarterbacks this season better than Smith. The NFL leader with 19 1/2 sacks, Smith enters Sunday night's game three sacks short of Michael Strahan's NFL record after recording at least one sack in seven consecutive games and 14 in San Francisco's past six games.
Brady has been sacked seven times in New England's three losses this season and just 13 times in the Patriots' 10 wins. How much pressure San Francisco's second-ranked defense can put on Brady could become a key in ending the Patriots' seven-game winning streak.