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Tuesday, October 15, 2013
49ers getting pressure without Smith

By Bill Williamson

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- It would be silly to say the San Francisco 49ers do not miss Aldon Smith.

Smith, who hasn’t played since Week 3, has 38 sacks since entering the NFL in 2011. It leads the league. Smith has missed the past three games because he is in an alcohol treatment center. There is no timetable for his return to the field.

Even though the 49ers would be better off with Smith, they are still creating a strong pass rush.

According to ESPN’s Stats & Information, the 49ers have generated tremendous pressure with a four-man rush. The 49ers have put opposing quarterback under pressure -- which consists of a sack, under duress and a quarterback hit -- on 32 percent of opposing quarterback drop backs while suing a four-man pass rush. It is the second highest rate in the NFL since 2009.

This bodes well while Smith is out and it should improve when he returns.