Linebacker NaVorro Bowman had an incredible season.
Unless you watched the 49ers play every game, you probably have no idea the kind of season he had based on his statistics alone.
That said, Bowman still arguably had a better statistical season than Carolina’s Luke Kuechly. I’m not going to argue with the selection of Kuechly as the NFL Defensive Player of the Year because I did not see every game the Panthers played this season.
But if Bowman had won the award, I can say that he most certainly would not have been the wrong selection.
Bowman had 145 tackles, five sacks, nine passes defensed, two interceptions, one touchdown and four forced fumbles.
Kuechly had 156 tackles, two sacks, seven passes defensed, four interceptions, no touchdowns and no forced fumbles.
Kuechly might have won the award with his performance in Week 16 against the New Orleans Saints when he recorded 24 tackles and had an interception. But the next day on "Monday Night Football," Bowman had 11 tackles and clinched a 49ers playoff spot with an 89-yard interception return for a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons.
What’s shocking is that Kuechly won the award with 13.5 votes. Of the 44 national votes, Bowman did not receive any votes.
None. That's more than a little surprising.
NFL Defensive Player of the Year votes
LB Luke Kuechly, Carolina, 13 votes
LB Robert Mathis, Indianapolis, 11.5
S Earl Thomas, Seattle, 7.5
DE Robert Quinn, St. Louis, 6
CB Richard Sherman, Seattle, 4
DE J.J. Watt, Houston, 2