SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The pass rusher in Aldon Smith is getting a little more excited than usual this week.
That's a feeling spreading throughout the San Francisco defense as the 49ers prepare for Monday night's game against the Arizona Cardinals, the only NFC West team to beat the Niners during coach Jim Harbaugh's two seasons here.
Despite another strong season from Smith, the 49ers aren't sacking opposing quarterbacks at the same rate they did last year. But that hasn't prevented San Francisco from leading the NFL in both total defense and passing defense.
There could be plenty of opportunities for sacks against the Cardinals, who have struggled all season to protect quarterbacks Kevin Kolb and John Skelton. That pair has been dropped 35 times in seven games, by far the most sacks allowed by any team in the league.
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