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49ers' Aldon Smith now 3.5 sacks away from NFL record

The second-year linebacker could break a historic NFL record with a strong finish to the season.

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith broke a franchise record in Week 14 after recording sack No. 18.5 of the season. Smith then came away with another sack against the Dolphins, bringing him to 19.5. With three games left on the schedule, the second-year star out of Missouri could break an NFL record.

If Smith is able to pick up 3.5 more sacks this year, he'll break Michael Strahan's record of 23. That would be quite the accomplishment, especially considering the amount of depth and talent San Francisco has on defense.

Smith's first two challenges will be tough. In Week 15, he'll face Tom Brady and a tough Patriots offensive line. The following week will pit the 49ers against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks.

If Smith is anywhere close to the record entering Week 17, it's almost guaranteed that he breaks it. He will face the Arizona Cardinals, who have given up the most sacks in the league this year. Smith recorded two sacks against Arizona when the two teams met in late October.