USA TODAY Sports
Pretty much the entire San Francisco 49ers defense made the Pro Bowl. Also, football writers tend to be a lot smarter than most fans. Go figure.
Let's get one thing out of the way about the Associated Press NFL All-Pro team: Jeff Saturday, who was benched during the season on the Green Bay Packers and really wasn't very good this year, didn't make it. Saturday will play in the Pro Bowl — thanks, Packers and Colts fans! — but won't be an All-Pro, a more selective crew.
On to the more ridiculous story of the All-Pro roster, which you can see in its entirety here: essentially the entire San Francisco 49ers defense is on it. Again. Aldon Smith, Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman and Dashon Goldson were named to the first team, and Ahmad Brooks and Justin Smith made the second team. Justin Smith made it twice (as a DE and DT). Andy Lee, the punter, also made the first team, for good measure.
To be clear, more than half of the 49ers' defense, including every starting linebacker, was named an All-Pro. Donte Whitner is going to the Pro Bowl, unless he decides not to or the 49ers make the Super Bowl, and he received two votes for the All-Pro team.
The Niners ranked second in the NFL in points allowed and third in yards allowed this year. They were ninth in takeaways and tied for ninth in sacks.
Other than the 49ers' defensive dominance, a big story before the voting was where Richard Sherman — who won his appeal to the NFL after a positive test for PEDs, but was snubbed from the Pro Bowl despite a superlative season — would end up. Sherman wound up leading all cornerbacks in votes and made the first team, right where he belongs.