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2011 San Francisco 49ers that should be considered for the Pro Bowl

Nov 17, 2011 at 6:35 PM13


In the era of fantasy football, recognition among NFL fans has been determined by the stat sheets. To be considered an elite player, you must put up the big numbers. This evaluation of a player's worth is also apparent in the Pro Bowl. Participation within the league's annual All-Star contest is partly determined by the fans. Fan voting counts one-third in the selection process for each conference's 43-man roster.

Currently, San Francisco 49ers punter, Andy Lee, is the only NFC West player leading his position in fan voting. Obviously the Green bay Packers, the last of the league's undefeated teams and the only team with a better record than San Francisco, has numerous players doing well in fan voting.

That's not to say that Any Lee will be the only representative for San Francisco. With the team currently possessing the league's second best record and being in the hunt for a bye week, possibly even home field advantage, in the playoffs, it is unlikely that there will be a lack of representation from the 49ers on the NFC's roster.

49ers star linebacker Patrick Willis is behind Packers linebacker Desmond Bishop while defensive lineman Justin Smith is behind Detroit Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh.

Looking at the statistics, here are some other 49ers, who if they keep performing at their current level or better, could earn some respect among voters ... or at least should.


Linebacker NaVorro Bowman

You want to talk statistics, this guy has them. When you think "San Francisco 49ers linebacker," you probably automatically think Patrick Willis. However, second year player NaVarro Bowman leads all NFC players in total tackles and solo tackles. He even has two fumble recoveries. The guy has been doing it all and performing at an extremely high level this season. If the Pro Bowl is a statistics contest, Bowman deserves to be there.

Cornerback Carlos Rogers

Packers cornerback Charles Woodson leads the NFC in voting at the cornerback position, partly due to his 5 interceptions and his team's 9-0 start. However, there is one NFC cornerback with just as many interceptions who happens to be on a team with almost as perfect a record ... San Francisco's Carlos Rogers. While Woodson is the clear winner in the tackles category, Rogers has just as many passes deflected, touchdowns (one) and more yards returned from his interceptions. At this point in the season, if anyone deserves to be on the other side of Woodson on the NFC roster, it might as well be Rogers.

Rogers came to the 49ers from the Washington Redskins during the offseason, where he had a reputation for not being able to hang onto the ball. His coverage skills were never in doubt, but when a ball came his way, he rarely was able to hang on. In fact, prior to his first nine games as a Niner, Rogers never had more than two interceptions in a season. There may be bigger names out there, but this former first round selection deserves to be in the Pro Bowl discussion.

Quarterback Alex Smith

Love him or hate him, Smith's 2011 play has earned him some respect. His 95.8 quarterback rating ranks fifth among the NFC and is his best in his seven NFL seasons. With Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees running away with the voting, that leaves only two quarterbacks, Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys and Eli Manning of the New York Giants, ahead of Smith when it comes to quarterback rating. Smith's 49ers have already beaten Manning's Giants. However, they have also lost to Romo's Cowboys. And both quarterbacks have thrown for more yards.

You can debate all you want on whether or not Smith is playing like an elite quarterback right now, but you can't argue the fact that he is playing pretty mistake free with 11 touchdowns and just 3 interceptions. However, there are 11 NFC quarterbacks with more passing yards.

In a league where statistics rule, it is unlikely Smith will make the final cut because the 2011 San Francisco 49ers are not about statistics, they are about winning football games.

Running back Frank Gore

Running backs Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings and Matt Forte of the Chicago Bears are currently in the NFC voting lead. After a slow start to the season for Gore, both Peterson and Forte have more rushing yards. In fact, there are four NFC running backs with superior numbers in this category. However, Sunday's win against the Giants ended a streak of five straight games of 100 yards or more for Gore. A strong upcoming few weeks and more wins by San Francisco could get Gore some notice.

Kicker David Akers

Kicker Mason Crosby of the Green Bay Packers leads the NFC in voting at his position. While Crosby is perfect when it comes to field goal attempts, making all 16 of his, Akers has more attempts with 25, making all but two of them. Akers' longest of the season is just 3 yards shy of Crosby's. Both are perfect from inside the 40 while Akers is a perfect 5 for 5 from beyond the 50. Crosby has made only two such attempts. Don't get me wrong, Crosby is having a fine year and deserves to be considered for the top spot. However, a case could be made for Akers to be considered as well.

Linebacker Aldon Smith

When Aldon Smith was selected using San Francisco's first round pick in April, passing on bigger names, fans were frustrated. After all, Smith was not a well known name. However, all of that has been forgotten as Smith's rookie season has been a good one. He is second in sack total in the NFC to Dallas' DeMarcus Ware. He had four during two games against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the then undefeated Detroit Lions. He also has a forced fumble. He is young, fast, strong, and will only get better with playing time. However, his name is not even on the online fan ballot.


While we encourage fans to keep voting for their favorite 49ers players, it is likely that some very deserving players will not make it. That is the nature of the Pro Bowl.

In fact, it would be ideal if no San Francisco 49ers players made an appearance in the 2012 Pro Bowl ... because hopefully, they will be preparing for the Super Bowl which takes place the Sunday after.

Voting will end on Monday, December 19 and the two rosters will be announced on Tuesday, December 27 on NFL Network.

Are there any other 49ers not mentioned here that you feel should make the Pro Bowl? Leave a comment below.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


13 Comments

  • Rodman Young
    YOU FORGOT MIKE IUPATI.
    Nov 21, 2011 at 5:11 PM
    0
  • Frank
    I think Goldson deserves consideration...he's finally showing the ballhawking skills we've been looking for. He's not getting beat deep...he and Whitner have formed a very nice S tandem.
    Nov 21, 2011 at 2:28 PM
    0
  • Bill
    Amazing to see an article like this at this point of the season. Who would have thunk it? Arguing about which 49er or how many 49ers should be in the Pro Bowl? A discussion that hasn't taken place, seriously, in nearly a decade...
    Nov 18, 2011 at 4:40 PM
    0
  • MauiDave
    What position is Suh leading in...dirtiest player? NFL All Star game is the worst in pro sports. If you want the real all stars then let the opposing players and coaches vote. Fans stuffing the ballots is how you get Yao Ming voted in when he doesn't even play as a classic example of why fans shouldn't vote. Football is too dangerous to play meaningless games. Just give them awards and have a Fan day during Super Bowl week.
    Nov 18, 2011 at 9:24 AM
    0
  • overthemiddle
    Personally I hope zero Niners make the team. I would hate to see injuries in such a meaningless game. Pre-season games have more meaning then that game. With that being said I dont think Alex Smith deserves to go (I am a supporter of this man) also Aldon and Rodgers should not go I just think there are better players at their positions. Ackers by all means should go, Vernon Davis should go as well as Iupati.
    Nov 18, 2011 at 8:43 AM
    0
  • DonJulio
    MIke Iupati will be voted in with right tackle Davis only by the coaches and as alternates.
    Nov 17, 2011 at 9:35 PM
    0
  • Mountain Jack
    Willis and Bowman are getting around 25 tackles per game for one main reason -- Isaac Sopoaga being moved to NT and replacing Franklin. He had been immovable in the middle and a huge upgrade over Franklin. He is highly rated by his opponents but ignored by the fans. This is not to mention his contributions at fullback on offense. Most underrated player on the Niners by far.
    Nov 17, 2011 at 9:11 PM
    0
  • Mike iupati
    IUPATi is All star CaLlibur. Goodwin staley and Davis deserve nominations. Justin smith and Goodwin Davis and iupati deserve nominations. Justin smith Willis and bowman also deserve a nomination. Akers will probably win the scoring record this year from rice. How about vernon delanie and frank. Sound like an star ballot that could keep going. bowman also.
    Nov 17, 2011 at 8:23 PM
    0
    Response: Smith and Willis, along with Andy Lee, were mentioned in my article. I actually originally had Vernon Davis on my list because he is such a dominant presence on the field. However, the stats took him off my list. There are eight tight ends in the NFC alone with more receiving yards than Davis, six with more receptions, and four with more touchdowns. It was just the Niner fan in me that put him on my original list. I didn't list any offensive linemen because that seems to be too much of a popularity contest since it is too tough to compare stats.
  • Will G
    Dashon Goldson. Starting.
    Nov 17, 2011 at 7:50 PM
    0
    Response: Brilliant!
  • Joe2Rice
    Goodwin, Staley, Jennings...there is about 7-11 on the 49ers team
    Nov 17, 2011 at 7:41 PM
    0
  • donjulio
    Don't think you can consider either Smith at a pro bowl level. Aldon Smith impact on the 9ers top ranked defense is undeniable, but not so much in comparison to other rushing linebackers. Alex Smith has been very efficient and numbers certainly don't tell the entire tale, but his and his receivers overall numbers are too pedestrian compared with other q.b.'s
    Nov 17, 2011 at 7:33 PM
    0
  • DaveWilcox
    Mike Iupati has played well enough to be in the pro-bowl discussion.
    Nov 17, 2011 at 7:25 PM
    0
    Response: No argument here. However, see my concern below.
  • Merton_Hanks_36
    What about Mike Iupati and Justin Smith?
    Nov 17, 2011 at 7:15 PM
    0
    Response: Justin Smith was mentioned along with Patrick Willis. He is behind Ndamukong Suh in the voting. I was simply noting players not in there with Andy Lee, Patrick Willis and Justin Smith. I am all for Iupati, but I don't think he is that big of a name among fans and stats are tough to compare for offensive lineman. Plus, Packer fans appear to be stuffing the ballots with the names of their offensive linemen.

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