Three and Out: Kap responds; Aldon Smith finding rhythm
Just a week after being called for a game-changing penalty, Ahmad Brooks bounced back with a two-sack performance in a win at Washington. (USATSI)
LANDOVER, Md. – A week ago, Ahmad Brooks was known for making a play that ultimately turned into a reason the 49ers’ lost their second game in a row.
Brooks remained in the spotlight for all the right reasons while contributing greatly to a dominating defensive performance in the 49ers’ 27-6 victory over Washington on Monday night.
“Finally, having that hit on Drew Brees gave me that publicity,” Brooks said after recording two sacks for a defense that allowed just 190 total yards. “It was positive but it was also negative.”
Brooks was called for a controversial unnecessary roughness penalty against Drew Brees that negated a potential game-changing late-game fumble. He was also fined $15,750 for a hit that was ruled to be in the neck area.
And for the first time since Aldon Smith took a voluntary leave of absence to seek treatment for substance abuse, the 49ers featured a strong pass rush from both sides.
“This is for real,” said Brooks, who leads the 49ers with a career-best 8.5 sacks. “Having Aldon out there, sometimes I do get over looked because he does get a lot of sacks."
Said Smith, “I’m glad Ahmad is out there making plays. We have guys all over our defense making plays, so on any given week that guy making those plays could be anybody.”
Smith also recorded two sacks for the 49ers. And although Justin Smith did not receive credit for any sacks, he will likely be awarded two sacks of Washington quarterback Robert Griffin after a review of the game from the official NFL statisticians.
Aldon Smith said he got into a better rhythm on Monday night because he saw more action on base downs. Although Dan Skuta received his eighth consecutive start at outside linebacker, Smith saw a lot more playing time as the game went on.
“Any time I can be in there on consecutive plays, it helps with the rhythm,” Aldon Smith said. “Any time you can get a rhythm being in the game that helps out. It was good for me to get back in there and get in the swing of being back in there every play.”
Smith, who has been battling a cold, said his conditioning is back where he wants it to be after a five-game absence.
“Once I’m over this cold, I’ll be all right,” Smith said. “I’m just getting over it.”
While the 49ers’ defense turned up the heat, it was Griffin and the Washington offense that was as cold as the 35-degree game-time temperature.
Griffin completed 17 of 27 passes for 127 yards and one interception. And Washington’s top-ranked running team in the league was held to 100 yards on 27 attempts.