This is an article from the Nov. 5, 2012 issue
Entire Niners line playing well, but Davis is one of the NFL's most improved tackles.
Forgotten man came off bench in Weeks 2--4; now tied for NFL lead with 60 catches, mostly in traffic.
Football's most dangerous receiving/returning weapon is on pace for 120 catches.
The pugnacious enforcer is the top run-blocker, responsible for springing Ray Rice.
Narrowly edges Eli. Both raise their games with outcome on line. The difference: Ryan is 7--0.
Such a bruising back—the perfect Harbaugh runner—and he averaged 5.8 yards per carry entering Monday.
One scout: "He's the key to keeping Russell Wilson healthy behind a bad line."
Even at 36, he's on pace for 105 catches, which would be the most in his storied career.
The best long kicker since Sebastian Janikowski, he is 12 of 14 on FGs over 40 yards.
Hasn't allowed a sack since Week 15 of 2010—that's 27 straight clean games, including playoffs.
Game of his life (13 catches, 212 yards, winning TD) helped beat Green Bay in Week 5.
An injury elsewhere forced him to move to center in Week 4, but he's been a stalwart in both spots.
Single biggest defensive force in football. Last nine games: 13 sacks and 11 pass deflections.
Amazing run-support CB ("It's the only way I know to play," he says) with top cover ability.
Supplements a fierce pass-rush game with instinctive all-around play.
Becoming one of NFL's most versatile at position: stuffs run and intimidates in pass coverage.
It's a measure of what a tackling machine he is that I rate him over Niners' NaVorro Bowman.
Starting to get noticed. He's been 2012's most disruptive interior rusher aside from Watt.
Long after Reed and Polamalu retire, Weddle will wear the mantle of "most instinctive safety."
Rededicated himself after trade from Houston; he's the MLB the Eagles have needed for years.
Returned INTs for TDs in Weeks 4 and 5, then erased Calvin Johnson in Week 7 Monday-night win.
Sacked Drew Brees three times (close on two others) in Chiefs' only win so far.
Smooth transition from OLB to DE. Wreaked havoc on Cardinals with 4½ sacks in Week 4.
Master of dropping kicks inside the 10, he edges Saints' Thomas Morstead and his gaudy net average.
MATT RYAN QB
Made a quantum leap under new coordinator Dirk Koetter. Playing great in clutch.
PERCY HARVIN WR-KR
Averaging 13.7 yards every time he touches the ball—rushing, receiving, returning.
J.J. WATT DE
Astounding impact for a 23-year-old 3--4 end. This wouldn't be a close vote today.
ROBERT GRIFFIN III QB
I knew he'd be tough enough to start as a rookie, but also to lead NFL in accuracy?
BOBBY WAGNER MLB
Rangy second-round pick is No. 2 on Seattle with 62 tackles. Plugged a huge hole.
Had the brains and guts to hire two new coordinators, even on a playoff team. it's working out.