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Pro Bowler Bowman the 'Armor' of 49ers Defense

Posted Nov 26, 2013

NaVorro Bowman ranked fourth in the NFL with 100 tackles through Week 12.

They don't hand out Pro Bowl roster sports for being a good teammate.

But this is just another line on NaVorro Bowman's resume for offseason accolades.

Coming off his first Pro Bowl honor and in the midst of his fourth season pro season, the 49ers inside linebacker has been playing his best football for a defense that has, at times, needed to pick up its other unit.

Bowman and Co. take pride in being there for their offensive 'mates.

"Offense is a thing where you never know what's going to happen, but the defense is your armor," Bowman said after his eight-tackle performance in Washington. "We have to continue keeping teams out of the end zone, and the offense will come around sooner or later; they got it going, and I'm happy for 'em."

Be happy for Bowman too: The Penn State product leads San Francisco in tackles (100), a number that ranks him fourth overall in the NFL, and has recorded two sacks and two forced fumbles through Week 12.

He is on pace to obliterate his 113-tackle 2011 season. Stay tuned.



Boldin's two-touchdown game at Washington was the 12th multi-score game of his 11-year career. While Michael Crabtree is expected back for Week 13, Boldin has been the 49ers unquestioned No. 1 wideout Weeks 1 through 12. His rapport with Colin Kaepernick has resulted in two significant team highs: 52 catches and 724 yards. His five touchdowns are second only to tight end Vernon Davis (nine).


Spillpman won't sparkle on the stat sheet -- he had just one tackle in Week 12 -- but his role on special teams can't be underestimated. If a non-specialist is able to crack the Hawaii-bound roster, he is one of San Francisco's top candidates. His ability to make shoe-string tackles on the league's niftiest return man is inimitable. Name a better gunner.


Whitner already has as many interceptions, two, as he did in 2012. Those aren't his only turnovers: Whitner has forced two fumbles and recovered another while representing a stout presence in the running game. As defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has said, his defensive backfield leader is playing better this season, his fourth in the system, than he did during his Pro Bowl campaign a year ago.


Smith's rush of Robert Griffin III resulted in Whitner's interception. The All-Pro outside linebacker also registered two sacks, his first since Week 3. That six-week absence from the team has limited his sack numbers, but consider that he has 6.5 in six games (three starts). The more he plays down the stretch, the better his chances are of earning a second straight Pro Bowl berth.


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