2013 Midseason All-Division Team: NFC West
Khaled Elsayed puts together a best-of-the-best team from the NFC West based solely on on-field performance from the first half of season 2013.
2013 Midseason All-Division Team: NFC West
Yesterday we unveiled our All-Pro team for the midseason, but we’re going to dig into a little bit more data and that means All Divisional Teams.
That’s right the best players from each division in one team, giving those who deserve praise their due. As ever it doesn’t matter about reputation just what they’ve done on the field.
Up next it’s the NFC West so sit back and enjoy.
Quarterback: Russell Wilson, SEA (+12.9)
He’s had to deal with some offensive line issues, and not quite managed the consistency of his end of 2012, but Wilson has outplayed all the NFC West quarterbacks by some distance. Our sixth-ranked quarterback on the year.
Running Back: Marshawn Lynch, SEA (+9.9)
Outside of a slow opening to the season Lynch has been finding Beast Mode an awful lot. Nobody is close to his 44 missed tackles forced running the ball with a healthy 2.6 yards per carry after contact. Tough break for Gore who would have made a number of divisional teams.
Fullback: Bruce Miller, SF (+5.8)
Miller remains the best blocking-back in the division. There shouldn’t be any objections here.
Tight End: Vernon Davis, SF (+9.4)
He made the All-Pro team so there was never any doubt he’d make this one. Hasn’t been at his blocking best but his receiving is at another level this year.
Wide Receivers: Anquan Boldin, SF (+3.8) and Larry Fitzgerald, ARZ (+6.4)
Both Doug Baldwin and Golden Tate were close, but the experienced duo of Boldin and Fitzgerald have just done enough to hold them off. For now.
Tackles: Jake Long, StL (+19.7) and Joe Barksdale, StL (+7.7)
There may not be any two better tackles in the league right now than Long or Joe Staley, who have both upped their game in the past four weeks. But only one left tackle can be selected and I’ve leaned on Long in a tricky spot. The right side was far easier with Barksdale a huge surprise for a Rams team that wouldn’t have expected him even starting this year.
Guards: Daryn Colledge, ARZ (+8.9) and Alex Boone, SF (+0.7)
Colledge has been the standout guard in this division, with Mike Iupati a long way off his 2012 best. The right side hasn’t featured any stand out candidates but Boone wins himself in over the injured Harvey Dahl. Just.
Center: Max Unger, SEA (-2.1)
Normally a strength of the division, it’s be anything but this year. Unger has dealt with a number of combinations at guards and some injuries, but just about gets the nod.
We’re putting forward a hybrid defense that features two edge rushers (4-3 defensive ends or 3-4 outside linebackers), three players on the “interior” of the defensive line (defensive tackles or 3-4 defensive ends) and two linebackers (all inside linebackers and 4-3 outside linebackers).
Defensive Interior – Ends: Michael Bennett, SEA (+16.2) and Calais Campbell, ARZ (+11.4)
Bennett is the kind of guy you can line up at any spot on the defensive line depending on package and watch him go. He’s our third-ranked 4-3 defensive end and a nightmare to match up against.
Defensive Interior – Nose: Brandon Mebane, SEA (+17.6)
There really aren’t many crooked nose studs like Mebane in the league. Just makes life for centers exceptionally hard. Credit to Glenn Dorsey as well for reinventing himself as the nose tackle in the 49ers’ base 3-4.
Edge Rushers: Robert Quinn, SL (+34.2) and Cliff Avril, SEA (+7.7)
If you make our All-Pro team why wouldn’t you make an All Divisional one? Quinn is the top ranked 4-3 defensive end in the league so consider this a slam dunk. On the other side Avril edges out Chris Long with the former Lion an incredibly productive pass rusher.
Linebackers: Patrick Willis, SF (+5.1) and NaVorro Bowman, SF (+6.9)
Would I like to see Bowman play a little better against the run? Yes. But he’s got time to work on that with Daryl Washington not playing enough snaps to challenge the formidable 49er pairing.
Cornerbacks: Richard Sherman, SEA (+9.2) and Patrick Peterson, ARZ (+6.3)
Two top quality cornerbacks here to make the division proud. Peterson is a man up to any ask task, while the physical Sherman holds down the left side of the Seahawks’ defense relentlessly. Very nice pairing.
Safeties: Earl Thomas, SEA (+8.5) and Donte Whitner, SF (+7.4)
There’s plenty of talent to pick from, leaving me a little sad that rookies Tyrann Mathieu and Eric Reid, as well as Kam Chancellor, can’t get the praise they deserve. But Thomas and Whitner both have earned the selection so I’ll have to live with that.
Kicker, Steven Hauschka, SEA (+21.4) Fresh off a game winner and with just the one miss all year.
Punter, Johnny Hekker, SL (+22.5) He’s certainly had a lot of practice, and it shows with his booming leg.
Returner, Golden Tate, SEA (+6.3) He’s some punt returner to put Patrick Peterson in the shade.
Special Teamer, Justin Bethel, ARZ (+8.5) Cruel fate. The best two in the league are Bethel and Jeremy Lane so it’s harsh not to mention both of them.
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