NFL honor for Willis

October 12, 2011, 4:50 pm
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Linebacker Patrick Willis, who had 18 tackles in the 49ers' win over Tampa Bay, was named NFC Player of the Week for the first time in his career.

The 18 stops were the most for the dynamic middle linebacker since he posted 22 against New England in October 2008.

Willis led a 49ers defense that held the Buccaneers to three points and 272 total net yards (86 rushing, 186 passing).

He is the first 49ers linebacker to be honored since 2006, when Brandon Moore received the distinction in Week 9.

Willis is leading a defensive resurgence in San Francisco. The 49ers lead the NFC with 14 takeaways and a plus-10 turnover differential. San Francisco recorded three takeaways (two interceptions, one fumble) and three sacks in the 48-3 win over the Bucs.

The 45-point margin of victory was the teams largest since Super Bowl XXIV (San Francisco 55, Denver 10).