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Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
We have a problem at running back in putting together our all-NFC West team for 2008.
The Rams' Steven Jackson and the 49ers' Frank Gore put together nearly identical seasons from a statistical standpoint.
I'm inclined to give Gore the edge given that his team won more games, but regular contributors to this blog know it's not that simple. Let's open the subject for discussion, not just at running back but for the other positions.
I've penciled in players who seemed to qualify as easy choices, either through their own efforts or by default. The offensive linemen played the specific listed positions this season, although Floyd Womack moved to left guard later in the season.
Walter Jones would be my choice at left tackle, but I know we have some Joe Staley fans out there. Orlando Pace looked good in a couple of late-season games, at least from what I saw. John Carlson and Vernon Davis would be the candidates at tight end.
Parys Haralson, Leroy Hill, Pisa Tinoisamoa and Takeo Spikes might qualify as candidates for that third linebacker spot. Marcus Trufant and Nate Clements could be in contention for that second cornerback spot. Ron Bartell played well late in the season.
All four kickers in the division showed good accuracy. Olindo Mare had 22 touchbacks, easily the most in the division.
Josh Brown made 6 of 8 field-goal tries from 50 yards or longer, best in the division. He also averaged better than 68 yards per kickoff, another division best.
Neil Rackers did not miss from 40 to 49 yards. Joe Nedney was solid if unspectacular in any one category.For reference, here are the players we considered earlier in the season. I'll weigh the arguments and put together a team that most of us can hopefully live with.