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Pro Bowl Update: Week 14

Posted by Sam Good on December 10, 2010 – 2:59 PM

No matter how many times you’ve been to the Pro Bowl, it never gets old. Just ask Patrick Willis, who has gone to the NFL’s annual All-Star game every season in his three-year career.

“It’s a great honor to make the Pro Bowl, to know the players, coaches and fans think you’re the best at what you do,” the 49ers inside linebacker said. “And even though I’ve been a few times now, I’ll never take it for granted.

“Whether you’ve been 10 times or zero times in your career, you have to approach every season the same. You go out and play the best you can, and everything else will take care of itself.”

And while all of the 49ers have that mindset, six in particular have stood out the most in 2010. Now they need you, the 49ers Faithful, to vote for them to make it to the 2011 Pro Bowl in Hawaii.

Here are the six 49ers who are having Pro-Bowl caliber seasons:

LB Patrick Willis
You could say Patrick Willis got his NFL career off to a quick start. After the 49ers made him the 11th-overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, all he did in his first three seasons was lead the league in tackles twice, make three Pro Bowl appearances,  and become arguably the best defensive player in the game.

Well, he’s at it again in season No. 4.

Opposing offenses have done whatever they can to take away Willis’ play-making ability in 2010, but it hasn’t worked. You can’t game-plan enough to stop Willis. Through 12 games, the 49ers defensive captain leads the team in tackles with 118 and has set a new career high with 5.0 sacks. His best game came against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 11 when he recorded 15 tackles and 2.0 sacks.

DT Justin Smith
He’s about as consistent as they come, and as reliable too. Defensive tackle Justin Smith has recorded at least 6.0 sacks in eight of his nine NFL seasons, and his current streak of 151 consecutive starts ranks first among active defensive linemen.

For years Smith was perhaps the most underrated defensive lineman in the NFL, but he finally played in his first Pro Bowl last season. He said making the Pro Bowl isn’t something he thinks about, but if Smith finishes this season as well as he started it, he could earn himself a trip to Hawaii for this year’s game. He has had little trouble wreaking havoc on opposing quarterbacks with a team-high 5.5 sacks, 38 quarterback hits and 55 quarterback pressures. He also has 10 tackles-for-loss.

TE Vernon Davis
After a breakout 2009 season in which Vernon Davis tied an NFL record for tight ends with 13 touchdown receptions, it’s only natural that opposing defenses have keyed in on him this year. But Davis is proving that it takes a lot more than a solid game plan to slow him down.

He leads the team with 674 receiving yards and is tied for the team lead with five touchdown receptions, all while being a leader of the offense. Davis has two games with more than 100 yards receiving, including last week in Green Bay when he set a career high 126 yards to go along with his one touchdown. Davis also had a streak of four consecutive games with a touchdown reception earlier in the year, which tied a career long.

RB Frank Gore
Before he was placed on injured reserve with a fractured hip, Frank Gore was on pace to have one of the best seasons of his six-year career. Through all the changes to the 49ers offense this season, Gore’s production never dipped and he remained the focal point of the team.

He has missed nearly two games with the hip injury, but Gore’s 853 rushing yards still rank him fifth in the NFC. In 10 full games this season he had four 100-yard rushing performances, including a 149-yard game in a win over the Raiders. But Gore was more than just a runner this year, he leads the team with 46 receptions and is one of the best pass-blocking running backs in the game.

LB Takeo Spikes
Thirteen seasons in to his NFL career, and there’s no doubt that Takeo Spikes still has it. The inside linebacker hasn’t lost a step and is second on the team with 92 tackles to go along with his two interceptions and one fumble recovery.

But Spikes is more valuable than the numbers say. His veteran leadership has been priceless for the 49ers this season, keeping the hope and morale high despite the team’s record. He has continued to push him teammates no matter how trying the times have been. He seems to step his game up when the team needed it most, tying a career high with 17 tackles last week against the Green Bay Packers.

P Andy Lee
Punter Andy Lee is looking to make back-to-back Pro Bowl trips, and he certainly has the numbers to do so. Lee is averaging 46 yards per punt, good for fourth in the NFC, and he has downed an NFL-high 24 punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line.

The two-time Pro Bowler has three games in which he has averaged more than 50 yards per punt, and his long on the season is 61 yards.

Click here to vote your 49ers into the Pro Bowl.

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Posted in Announcements | 10 Comments »

10 Responses to “Pro Bowl Update: Week 14”

  1. By Mi bambino en su boca on Dec 10, 2010 | Reply

    Nate Davis should be starting in the Pro Bowl too!!!

  2. By Viliam Dugovic on Dec 10, 2010 | Reply

    49ers what happened? Cocky and funny? Well watching post game 49ers conferences come to my mind one key word efficiency! Organization, 49ers structure is not, how to say it?” SUFFICIENT”! It is not another football club having problems! Organization structure has had basic manege, what football club will be focused. Reason for that is,that present moment NFL become so big in play games and strategy it is almost impossible to cover all spectrum and stile of football game. One point football club has to say we will be concentrate on this spectrum and swear, we going this direction! When 49ers decided for there way! Than personal will be having specific task to perform before each game and give head couch options and best combination of specific again opponent.
    Let me say it another way, football is changing every week. There is not info time for head couch to be prepared, just him self than prepared all staff members and couches and player. Place have to be, management stile, witch free him, couch to be competitive. There have to be philosophy and personal that will carry out details of. Couch job have to be to summarize all it, for him self and others. Find best strategy against opponents from philosophy and players who he has.
    Let me say it another way! 49ers can not improvise anymore, if 49ers like to be in NFL playoff someday!

  3. By Vic on Dec 10, 2010 | Reply

    Andy Lee is a great Punter, even thought the Niners have had to punt a lot, that doesn’t diminish his greatness, I voted for him. Willis is a no brainer, he is the one of the hardest working players on the roster, if not the hardest. Vernon Davis has been inconsistent but it’s mainly due to the office but he is a great TE. I actually voted for all of them, great players.

  4. By jordan on Dec 10, 2010 | Reply

    what no Mike Iupati

  5. By tom in nj on Dec 11, 2010 | Reply

    Wonder when we’ll have a QB in the Pro Bowl?Our players that were selected have one thing in common, they play hard every snap no matter what the score! Thats what it takes but the WHOLE TEAM has to play with the same effort! Congrats to all selected! GO NINERS!

  6. By tonyaranza on Dec 11, 2010 | Reply

    Coach Singletary should be the Coach ofthe year.

  7. By tom in nj on Dec 12, 2010 | Reply

    John Madden always said that there’s about 6 major plays that make or break a game..We don’t make those six plays because we don’t have the one player thats key to those 6 plays: A QB! I do like Troy SMith and looking forward to see how he does with a whole year with training camp but right now he’s gotta be a back up and we have to look for that FRANCHISE QB.TAke a look at the Colts, bad QB play has even plagued them! Times like this I wish Walsh was around for some QB picks! GO NINERS! Keep streak going of not allowing 100 yard rusher!

  8. By theetechguy on Dec 12, 2010 | Reply

    I think we should have at least 6 players in this years pro bowl.

  9. By Chad on Dec 27, 2010 | Reply

    This is Bull$!%* Mike Singletary fired. Not his fault the damn QB’s SUCK. Fire them! If we had a good QB we would be in the playoffs. Lets do something this off season. Been a fan for more then 23 years. Seen players and coaches go. Mike great coach Alex Smith……….Def not worth the 1s round..and the money. More like 5th or 6th. Sorry Lets go San Francisco get you heads out of your a$$ ! TY 1 pi$$ed of fan!!!!!!!!!

  10. By Viliam Dugovic on Dec 27, 2010 | Reply

    Mike Singletary, make 49ers run again.He was one,who make 49ers worth, last ten years.True is,that without QB couching job is very difficult!
    But we do not know,what rely happens.Is possible,people round him know what have to be done.Maybe, MIKE,he has nothing to offer to 49ers anymore..But i am sock,i like him to stay 49ers be head couch.Singletary has bright future in NFL.This day NFL employing smartest and brightest.NFL always looking for for new talent,People in NFL can see differences in 49ers during Singletary years.I will be not surprise,if Mike will be head couch in DALLAS COWBOYS next year.

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