Second-year linebacker Aldon Smith has picked up where he left off to finish his rookie season. The talented, emerging star has racked up 9.5 sacks this year after notching a franchise rookie record of 14 in 2011, flourishing in his every-down role.
Smith has proven to be a valuable run-stuffer throughout the season, as evidenced by last week’s impressive one-on-one tackle of running back Steven Jackson in the St. Louis backfield. Smith also took down Rams quarterback Sam Bradford twice to pick up his third multi-sack game of the year and second in a row. He currently ranks third in the NFL with 9.5 sacks and you can send him to Hawaii for the first Pro Bowl of his career.
You can vote for Smith and his teammates using 49ers.com’s 2013 Pro Bowl Ballot.
Smith isn’t the only member of the defense making his case for a trip to the NFL’s annual All-Star game. Safety Dashon Goldson is looking to make back-to-back Pro Bowls after maintaining his status as one of the game’s hardest hitters. The veteran has 43 tackles, eight pass break ups, two interceptions, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble on the year.
49ers rushing king Frank Gore is also looking for his second straight Pro Bowl invitation and the fourth of his career. Gore carried the ball 21 times for 97 yards and a touchdown on Sunday, bringing his season totals to 753 yards and five scores. Gore, who ranks among the league leaders with his 5.4-yards per carry average, only needs three more rushing touchdowns to set the franchise record.
Punter Andy Lee has also been a steady contributor for the 49ers special teams unit all year. The reigning All-Pro and Pro Bowler has consistently pinned opponents near their own goal line this season, as he ranks fourth with 20 punts inside the 20-yard line.
Tags: Aldon Smith, Andy Lee, Dashon Goldson, Frank Gore, Pro Bowl
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