Michael Strahan is now looking over his shoulder.
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith tied Fred Dean for the franchise record of sacks with 17.5, going back to 1982, when sacks first became an official stat. Smith had just 4.5 sacks in his first six games, but came into today's game against the St. Louis Rams with 12 sacks in his last five games, including 5.5 against the Bears in Week 11.
In addition to tying the franchise record, Smith also passed Reggie White for the most sacks during a player's first two seasons. The 49ers linebacker now has 30.5 sacks in his first 28 NFL games and is 5.5 sacks shy of breaking Michael Strahan's single-season sacks record of 22.5 that was set back in 2001. Smith has more than four and a half games remaining to do so.
Jared Allen had 22 sacks last season, falling just shy of the record. Jason Babin had 18 sacks last season for the Eagles and was released this year. That's probably not something that Smith, making his way toward being the most successful pass-rusher in team history, has to worry about.