Shocker: First weekly award for 49ers' LB

At times this season, second-year linebacker NaVorro Bowman has stood out as much or more than Patrick Willis, his more accomplished fellow linebacker on the San Francisco 49ers.

Willis stood out more Sunday with 18 tackles during the 49ers' 48-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He's the defensive player of the week in the NFC, the NFL announced.

In a big shock, this marks the first time Willis has won the award despite earning Pro Bowl honors in each of his first four seasons in the league. In fact, no 49ers linebacker has won the award since Brandon Moore way back in 2006.

Seattle's Brandon Browner and Chris Clemons were also nominated for the award this week. Browner's 94-yard interception return for a touchdown clinched Seattle's 36-25 victory over the New York Giants. Clemons had two sacks and a forced fumble. More on him in a bit.

Separately, the 49ers' offensive line earned praise from Hall of Fame coach John Madden, who singles out one line each week as the best in the NFL.