Big interception helps NaVorro Bowman pick off NFC defensive player of the month

AP

One of the lasting images from the 2013 season is the one of 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman closing down Candlestick Park with an 89-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of a 34-24 victory over the Falcons clinched a playoff spot for the 49ers.

That big moment and excellent play in five December wins for the 49ers made Bowman the choice as the final NFC defensive player of the month for the 2013 season. Bowman added another interception in the Week 17 victory over the Cardinals and also forced a fumble as the 49ers assured themselves the fifth seed over the Saints.

Bowman racked up 45 tackles, another forced fumble and a fumble recovery in the five games to close out a very strong season in the middle of the 49ers defense. Bowman was credited with 145 tackles and Randall Liu of the NFL passes along word that Bowman is the first player with at least 45 tackles, three sacks, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles in a month that also saw him recover a fumble and return an interception for a touchdown.

That impressive finish made Bowman an easy choice for Pro Bowl duty alongside teammate Patrick Willis.