A look at my all-NFC West picks for the 2010 season, concluding with the special teams:
Jon Ryan was the choice at punter after finishing the season with 27 punts downed inside the 20 and only one touchback. That's a sensational ratio. Ryan didn't spend half his games punting indoors, adding to degree of difficulty. The Rams' Donnie Jones and the 49ers' Andy Lee are worthy choices most years.
Cardinals kicker Jay Feely set an NFL record by scoring 22 consecutive points for Arizona against Denver, including six on a fake field goal. That set him apart. The Rams' Josh Brown made more field goals, but Feely connected on a higher percentage than Brown or Seattle's Olindo Mare. Mare had 20 touchbacks, Feely had 16 and Brown had five. Feely was the too often the Cardinals' greatest scoring threat.
Several candidates deserved consideration for overall special-teams play. The 49ers' Manny Lawson and Reggie Smith were consistent performers even though Lawson started all season and Smith started some of the time. Smith had 26 special-teams tackles. The Rams' Chris Chamberlain would have earned a spot, most likely, had he not missed five games. Seattle's Mike McCoy deserves mention. He and Chamberlain each had 19 special-teams tackles.
Arizona's LaRod Stephens-Howling threatened Leon Washington as a returner for part of the season, but Washington's production on kickoff returns and punt returns set him apart. Stephens-Howling was stronger on coverage teams when opponents focused on former teammate Sean Morey. Stephens-Howling also played more on offense this season.
The chart breaks down all-division choices from 2008 and 2009, plus this season.