With this season nearing its end there really isn’t much for anyone to be excited about. Another losing season, our potential franchise quarterback not even playing due to injuries again and even some top players on this team regressing. I hope things can improve next season but one bright spot for this team has been their defense and in particular Kiko Alonso.
Taken in the 2nd round of this past year’s draft he has been nothing short of great for this defense. Starting since game one he has been a focus for many as fans have been able to watch a future star grow and play in his first season. Playing every snap and putting him into position to make plays shows me defensive coordinator Mike Pettine knew exactly what he had as soon as he got to see him earlier this year. Pressures on the quarterback, high tackle count, sacks, interceptions and fumble forces/recoveries has propelled him into that player that seems more like a vet than a rookie. In on every snap and always seems to be in the right places on the field makes me think that he is only going to get better and learn from his teammates and coaches. Stats going into the final week look like this: 145 combined tackles, 2 sacks, 4 interceptions, 1 forced fumble and 2 recoveries.
Wanting to get some more information on the stats I decided to check Advanced NFL Stats. Looking at the ranks for the linebackers they have Kiko number one in the league. Now are they saying he’s the best in the league no but rather his stats and everything that happens in a play /game is calculated into WPA from the site. Here is a link to help you understand what is calculated. Here are the guys that were selected instead of Alonso along with their rank: NaVorro Bowman 49ers #6, Vontaze Burfict Bengals #20, Luke Kuechly Panthers #7 and Patrick Willis 49ers # 60.
So looking at the stats part of it to me Kiko should be going to the Pro Bowl. Not everyone will agree and that’s fine but when a guy has this good of a season let alone being a rookie I think for sure he has to be acknowledged (hopefully defensive rookie of the year). Now it’s important he just finishes the season on a good note and then be ready to compete at this level again next season.