I was one of them. Despite watching all the games (sometimes even twice) I was beginning to doubt the skills of Sheldon. I thought he was slipping. Being abused by Fitzgerald in the NFC Championship Game only further confirmed my opinion. But in the end I was wrong.
Samuel got the big money contract. Samuel made the highlight reels with his interceptions and TDs. Sheppard garnered the headlines with his unhappiness and attitude. Dawkins was Dawkins and was everyone's favorite DB. Mikell's level of play rose so much he was named 2nd team All-Pro.
Sheldon, well where was he? The answer...he was playing his usual consistent, high-level ball. When looking at the stats you might not be impressed...1 interception, 1 FF, 1 sack, and 51 tackles. Nice, but not great. WRONG!
If you look further into the stats (as this site did) you see that Brown had one of the best seasons of all the CBs in the league (including Samuel the Pro Bowler).
Totals for Brown: 63 attempts, 4.84 YPA, 44.44 Forced INC%, 0 TDs, 1 INT
Analysis: Among CBs with at least 40 attempts, Brown was behind only Brandon Flowers, Samari Rolle and Corey Webster with a 4.84 YPA.
So in the end it looks like Sheldon is still the man. Not only can he bring the pain on a tackle, the man can cover with the best of them. It's safe to assume that Lurie won't be mentioning Brown's YPA anytime soon.