It's only fitting that the heart and soul of the team's offense and defense were each recognized for their on-field accomplishments this season. For Willis, he has led a defense ranked No. 3 overall and was the top-ranked unit throughout much of the season. Gore has been the inspirational head of the team and has posted strong numbers on the ground, carrying the ball 238 times for 1146 yards and seven touchdowns.
NaVorro Bowman and Aldon Smith will join fellow linebacker Willis, and Justin Smith, the defensive lineman responsible for creating space for the corps of linebackers to get to the passer, will join them. Safeties Donte Whitner and Dashon Goldson will be the last lines of defense and each start for the NFC come January.