Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/13/12
When the San Francisco 49ers travels to New England this weekend, linebacker Aldon Smith's pursuit of the NFL single-season sack record will take a backseat as the team is worried about slowing down Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Some are more worried than others. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio didn't hold back in his compliments of the Patriots offense. "They're not only the top rated offense in the league, they're way ahead of who's in second in all the important stats, too," he said. "It's not like they're just a little bit ahead of team two in a lot of the stats. So, they're very impressive and they have been for a long time with (QB Tom) Brady as the quarterback." Fangio pointed out New England's first down total (361) is by far the most in the league, ranking 42 ahead of Detroit. For comparison, San Francisco's 266 first downs ranks 13th in the NFL. Smith was much more direct in his thoughts of how the 49ers defense stacks up. "We can stop them," he said. Smith has a successful history against New England starting left tackle Nate Solder, dating back to their college careers. When Smith played for Missouri, he had three sacks against Solder, who played for Colorado. "I faced him in college and I know who he is," said Smith, who added it was a favorable matchup for him. "I was able to beat him, yeah." Brady has been sacked just 20 times this year, an impressive number considering his 495 attempts. "They do a good job protecting him, and he does a good job getting rid of the ball," Smith said. "Hopefully we can change that number." New England coach Bill Belichick, like most people around the league, has been impressed by what Smith has been able to do in his second NFL season and first as an every-down player. "Smith has a good combination of skills," Belichick said. "He's strong, he can power rush, he can run the edge, he's quick, he's got a good up and under move, good inside move, good outside move and can run over those guys. That's three pretty good pitches to have right there, hard to block them all."NOTES -- WR Randy Moss had 116 receiving yards at New England in 2005 as a member of the Oakland Raiders. The performance included at 73-yard touchdown reception from QB Kerry Collins. -- S Donte Whitner's first NFL appearance came at New England in 2006. In the same game, he recorded his first interception. -- P Andy Lee's longest NFL punt came against the Patriots in 2008. He boomed an 82-yarder, which ranks second on the franchise's list of longest punts. -- LB Patrick Willis set a franchise record with 22 tackles against New England in 2008. It was his fourth career 20-tackle game. -- WR Mario Manningham's status is in jeopardy because of injury, but if he plays, he'll bring a history of success against New England. On the Giants' game-winning touchdown drive against the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, Manningham had three catches for 56 yards.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Dallas Cowboys' team employee bus involved in fatal crash

Aldon Smith posts video under a pseudonym of a blunt on Periscope

WATCH: Cam Newton get blocked by a girl playing volleyball

Russia avoids complete ban from Rio Olympics by the IOC

Report: Padres trying to move Andrew Cashner, Derek Norris

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Baseball's top prospect called up to majors by Astros

Report: Braves 'aggressively' shopping Francoeur, Aybar

Report: Hue Jackson designing plays for Terrelle Pryor

Report: Darnell Dockett expected to announce retirement

Report: Yankees have not discussed releasing A-Rod

Report: D-Backs making Shelby Miller available via trade

Cristiano Ronaldo spars with Conor McGregor in gym

Adam Silver is the new standard-bearer for league commisioners

Iowa football player held at gunpoint by police while playing Pokemon Go

Eight most significant injuries going into NFL training camp

Man. U players banned from playing 'Pokemon Go?'

Ken Griffey Jr. put on backwards hat during HOF speech

Mike Piazza honors 9/11 victims during Hall of Fame speech

Jeremy Lin hints he is racially profiled by arena employees

Why did Rio mayor offer to put kangaroo in Olympic village?

Joe Maddon wastes no time cracking Chris Sale joke

Report: Lamar Odom walked out on family intervention

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker