The San Francisco 49ers award machine continues to roll on as David Akers and Aldon Smith took home monthly awards for the December/January final stretch of the season. David Akers was named NFC Special Teams players of the month and Aldon Smith was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month.
There was little doubt that Akers would win the special teams award for this final month. He took home the weekly special teams award the last two weeks and has put together a dominant month. He led the NFL with 58 points and 16 field goals during the month and was arguably as important to the 49ers 4-1 month as anybody else. Add in his first career touchdown pass and it only made sense.
Aldon Smith takes home his second rookie of the month award, having also won in October. Over the final five weeks of the season, Smith compiled 6.5 sacks as he continued his strong rookie campaign. He came up just short of Jevon Kearse's single season rookie sack record, but his 14.0 sack performance was dominant nonetheless.
David Akers received his full season recognition as he was named to the NFC Pro Bowl squad. Aldon Smith was unable to make the team, but still has a chance to bring home NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors. He is in a dogfight with Von Miller who won defensive rookie of the month honors for November and possibly Ryan Kerrigan, who took home defensive rookie of the month honors in September. Smith is the only one of the three to take home the honor twice.
ESPN has been releasing their annual awards and they named Smith their defensive rookie of the year. Although Smith did not play every down, he brought an insane mix of athleticism and power to the pass rush and is worthy of the award.