Monday, January 24, 2011
2010 All-NFC West Offense
By Mike Sando
A look at my all-NFC West picks for the 2010 season, beginning with the offense:
- There was no clear-cut choice at receiver after Larry Fitzgerald. The St. Louis Rams' Danny Amendola was more consistent than Seattle's Mike Williams or San Francisco's Michael Crabtree. Amendola ranked ninth in the NFL with 85 receptions. He had 29 catches for 298 yards and two touchdowns on third down. Only Atlanta's Roddy White and Buffalo's Steve Johnson had more third-down catches this season. Williams had 25. Amendola also carried seven times for 81 yards.
- The 49ers' Mike Iupati was my choice at left guard. Iupati's raw power and improvement made him the choice. The Arizona Cardinals' Alan Faneca was better than advertised. The 49ers had the better offense and ground game. The Rams' Jacob Bell played well enough to factor as well. At his best, though, Iupati stood out.
- Not much to choose from at right guard in this division. The right side in general wasn't very strong. I went with the Rams' Jason Smith for his run blocking. Was he worth the second overall choice? That isn't the relevant question here. Smith was the best right tackle in the division, I thought.
- Sam Bradford was the choice at quarterback. He was more consistent than the other quarterbacks and the only one to play every offensive snap (or even close to every snap). Matt Hasselbeck's strong finish made him a consideration.
- Teams did not use fullbacks frequently enough for me to consider one. I went with the two best running backs, an easy choice even though Frank Gore missed the final five games. Gore had 853 yards and a 4.2-yard average. He averaged a career-high 9.8 yards per reception on 46 catches.
I'll be back with defense and special teams in a bit. The chart breaks down all-division choices from 2008 and 2009, plus this season.