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Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Who is the 49ers' MVP so far?

By Bill Williamson

ESPN.com has a weekly MVP Watch.

It’s wildly popular, but it’s been pretty much a 49ers-free zone this season.

At face value, that’s somewhat strange. The top-10 list is filled with players from the top teams. The 49ers qualify as a top team. They are 8-4 and are ranked sixth in ESPN.com’s NFL Power Rankings. Still, they don’t get much mention in the MVP conversation.

I can understand why. It's been a group effort without anyone dramatically standing out. I’ve written quarter checkpoints for all three quarters of the season. I’ve given offensive and defensive MVPs for all three quarters. I’ve recognized six different players.

No one has been head-and-shoulders, the best player on the team this season.

If I had to give an MVP for the season, with a quarter of the schedule to go, I‘d go with inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman. He’s been unbelievable. He makes an impact on nearly every play. With fellow inside linebacker Patrick Willis dealing with multiple injuries earlier in the season, Bowman led a strong defense.

I asked on Twitter earlier Tuesday for people to send in their suggestions. Several players received consideration.

Among them are receiver Anquan Boldin, tight end Vernon Davis and running back Frank Gore on offense. On defense, along with Bowman, linebackers Ahmad Brooks and defensive lineman Justin Smith received MVP support.

I can see the argument for all of the players. It backs up the theory that it is a deep, ensemble team that doesn’t rely on any one player.

Fill the comment section below with thoughts on who you believe has been the team's MVP this season.