The San Francisco 49ers offensive line, one of only three NFL lines that has started the same five players in all 16 regular season games, was honored with John Madden's Most Valuable Protectors Award, given annually to the NFL's best offensive line.
“The offensive line is the unsung champion of many teams but is not often celebrated, therefore with this award we honor the guys who provide the critical run blocking and pass protection,” said John Madden. “I’ve followed San Francisco all season long; they have proven they have the mental and physical toughness that enables their team’s offense to put up impressive numbers on the ground and in the air.”
The left side of the 49ers front -- Joe Staley and Mike Iupati -- was elected to the Pro Bowl this year, as the 49ers were third in the league in yards per play (6.0), third in average yards per rush (5.1) and fourth in total rushing yards (2,491).
Fittingly, the trophy is the heaviest in the NFL, weighing in at 102 pounds.
*The selection process is based on a number of intangibles and performance measurements, including: sacks allowed, rushing and passing yardage, time of possession, O-line penalties, third and fourth down conversion percentages, plus Madden’s own personal observations throughout the season.
NFL media services contributed to this report