The participants of the 2012 NFL Pro Bowl were revealed Tuesday night, with some great picks and some awful snubs.
Starting with the AFC, Brady and Roethlisberger were great picks as they are up there in terms of yards and touchdowns, as well as leading their teams into the playoffs. Rivers was a bit of a head scratcher, as he has too many interceptions, and I personally would have picked Tebow or Flacco even, instead of Rivers. The running backs are lead by Ray Rice out of Rutgers, who's the NFL leader in yards from scrimmage and tied for the AFC lead with 10 rushing touchdowns. The league leader in rushing yards, MJD got the nod, as well as Texans RB Arian Foster. Welker and Mike Wallace, who are in the top 10 in receiving, got the starting picks for the Pro-Bowl. The standout TE from New England, Rob Gronkowski, who set the record for touchdowns for a TE in a single season, will also be starting. The defense is where there are a few mis-picks in my opinion. You have Pittsburgh and Houston being the 1-2 leaders in terms of statistically being the best defenses in the AFC, and you only have Troy Polamalu and CB Joseph there, now there is something seriously wrong. Denver, though, got some great guys in with Bailey, Dumervil, and Von Miller. Revis and Ray Lewis have become standards in setting a pro-bowl roster it seems. New England is sending the most players into the Pro-Bowl with 8 for the AFC.
The NFC is also a bit mis-picked. The quarterbacks are perfect, though, as you have MVP candidates in Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees leading the way, with Eli Manning as the extra reserve. Stafford is a player that might have been snubbed. RB's were also picked well, as the NFC rushing leader in McCoy getting the starting job, with injured RB Forte finishing second, and the 49ers Frank Gore finishing third. I would have picked Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch over Forte, since Forte has been out for weeks, and Skittles has been a powerful RB that seems to make the highlight reel every week. At wide receivers, you have brand name players in Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson starting, but missing is Giants WR Victor Cruz, who was not on the starting ballot because of being injured early in the year. Cruz is in the top 5 in receiving in the league, including a 99 yard reception in week 16. At tight end you have Saints standout Jimmy Graham and future hall of famer Tony Gonzalez as the reserve. On defense, you have 4 of the 5 league leaders in sacks getting into the Pro-Bowl, except for LB Aldon Smith from San Francisco. He really needed to be elected. He as 14 sacks and is a big reason the 49ers are the best rushing defense in the NFL. The league leader in tackles, London Fletcher, is also missing from the list. No Rams love on this ballot. The 49ers lead the NFC charge with 8 players headed to Hawaii. The Pro Bowl takes place the week before the Superbowl, January 29, 2012.