SANTA CLARA -- Linebacker Aldon Smith's streak of games without a sack has reached five, but no one around here seems too worried about the drought.
"He hasn't had a sack in five games, but we won four of them," 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said Wednesday.
Smith recorded a team-record 19 ½ sacks through the 49ers first 13 regular-season games. He got shut out in the final three regular-season games, as well as the playoff victories over the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons.
People no longer can write off Smith's inability to take down the quarterback as a direct result of defensive lineman Justin Smith being out of the lineup.
Justin Smith missed the final 2 ½ regular-season games, but he returned in time for the playoffs.
Aldon Smith said Wednesday that teams are double-teaming him more often and quarterbacks are doing a good job of getting rid of the ball in a hurry.
That's precisely what Matt Ryan did on most occasions in the 49ers' 28-24 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday in the NFC Championship game, when he attempted 42 passes and got sacked once.
The way Aldon Smith sees it, the rest of the defense benefits if he is getting double-teamed.
"It's freeing somebody up," Smith said. "Somebody's going to get to the quarterback. It might not be me making the play, but somebody's going to get there."
There's also the matter of Smith playing with a sore shoulder for more than a month. The injury limits his participating in practice these days, but he still gives it what he has in games.
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