Even if the San Francisco 49ers do not get All-Pro linebacker Aldon Smith back from a rehabilitation facility and a potential suspension, they still have a chance to win the Super Bowl. The All-Pro linebacker still leads the team in sacks despite his absence this season. Smith has been missed on the field but the team has been winning games since Week 3. Luckily for the 49ers’ defense, the offenses they have been playing have been having problems such as: they cannot run the football, they have a bad offensive line, they are undisciplined or have a combination of all the previously mentioned issues.
The remaining members of the defense need to either get healthy or stay healthy. The meat grinder part of the season is after the 49ers’ bye week. The offenses that defense will be facing will be better, more disciplined, and elite to some degree. Since getting back to their winning ways, the defense has looked dominant against offenses who have glaring weaknesses. They will be tested once the second half of the season starts. All-Pro linebackers Ahmad Brooks, Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman have been holding down the fort and will have to continue to do so if they want to stay in the Super Bowl hunt.
All-Pro defensive lineman Justin Smith has been leading the front four emotionally and the defensive secondary is still being led by All-Pro safety Donte Whitner and spear headed by rookie safety Eric Reid. Whether on offense or defense, everything starts up front, and the front will be tested in the latter part of the season without Smith.