Smith: 'It's playoff time. It's win-or-go-home'
NaVorro Bowman had three sacks, two interceptions with one touchdown return, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in December, numbers no other player has accumulated all season. (USATSI)
NaVorro Bowman is now officially recognized as the 49ers’ top inside linebacker.
Bowman was chosen to the First Team of The Associated Press All-NFL team for the third consecutive season. Bowman was the only 49ers player chosen to the First Team.
Patrick Willis was not selected to the First or Second Team for the first time in his seven-year NFL career. Willis, a six-time First-Team All-Pro, has made the Pro Bowl team every season of his career.
Carolina inside linebacker Luke Kuechly joined Bowman on the First Team at inside linebacker. Cincinnati’s Vontaze Burfict and Arizona’s Karlos Dansby were selected to the Second Team.
Tight end Vernon Davis, offensive tackle Joe Staley, defensive tackle Justin Smith and outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks were selected to Second-Team All-Pro.
Bowman, Davis, Staley, Smith and Brooks were chosen last week to the Pro Bowl, along with Willis, running back Frank Gore and guard Mike Iupati.
[RELATED: Eight 49ers chosen to Pro Bowl]
Bowman is considered a top contender for NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He led the 49ers in tackles while recording five sacks, two interceptions, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Bowman also provided the signature moment of the 49ers’ season when he intercepted a pass broken up by Tramaine Brock and returned it 89 yards for the playoff clinching touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons on Dec. 23.
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The Associated Press 2013 NFL All-Pro team selected by a national panel of 50 media members:
Quarterback: Peyton Manning, Denver.
Running Backs: LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia; Jamaal Charles, Kansas City.
Fullback: Mike Tolbert, Carolina.
Tight End: Jimmy Graham, New Orleans.
Wide Receivers: Calvin Johnson, Detroit; Josh Gordon, Cleveland.
Tackles: Joe Thomas, Cleveland; Jason Peters, Philadelphia.
Guards: Louis Vasquez, Denver; Evan Mathis, Philadelphia.
Center: Ryan Kalil, Carolina.
Placekicker: Justin Tucker, Baltimore.
Kick Returner: Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota.
Ends: J.J. Watt, Houston; Robert Quinn, St. Louis.
Tackles: Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay; Ndamukong Suh, Detroit.
Outside Linebackers: Robert Mathis, Indianapolis; Lavonte David, Tampa Bay.
Inside Linebacker: Luke Kuechly, Carolina; NaVorro Bowman, San Francisco.
Cornerbacks: Richard Sherman, Seattle; Patrick Peterson, Arizona.
Safeties: Earl Thomas, Seattle; Eric Berry, Kansas City.
Punter: Johnny Hekker, St. Louis.
Running Backs: Adrian Peterson, Minnesota; Eddie Lacy, Green Bay.
Fullback: Marcel Reece, Oakland.
Tight End: Vernon Davis, San Francisco.
Wide Receivers: A.J. Green, Cincinnati; Demaryius Thomas, Denver, and Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh.
Tackles: Tyron Smith, Dallas; Joe Staley, San Francisco.
Guards: Jahri Evans, New Orleans; Logan Mankins, New England, and Josh Sitton, Green Bay.
Center: Alex Mack, Cleveland.
Placekicker: Matt Prater, Denver.
Kick Returner: Dexter McCluster, Kansas City.
Ends: Mario Williams, Buffalo; Greg Hardy, Carolina.
Tackles: Dontari Poe, Kansas City; Muhammad Wilkerson, New York Jets, Jurrell Casey, Tennessee, and Justin Smith, San Francisco.
Outside Linebackers: Tamba Hali, Kansas City; Ahmad Brooks, San Francisco.
Inside Linebackers: Vontaze Burfict, Cincinnati; Karlos Dansby, Arizona.
Cornerbacks: Aqib Talib, New England; Joe Haden, Cleveland, and Alterraun Verner, Tennessee.
Safeties: Eric Weddle, San Diego; Kam Chancellor, Seattle, Jairus Byrd, Buffalo, T.J. Ward, Cleveland, Devin McCourty, New England, and Antrel Rolle, New York Giants.
Punter: Brandon Fields, Miami.