The rosters for the 2012 Pro Bowl were released Tuesday, and debates sparked almost immediately, especially with some of the snubs. There were several players who were top-notch throughout the season that didn’t make the roster as a starter or a backup, but let’s get through each conference roster and then review skill position snubs shall we?
NFC: Rodgers, Brees, Eli Manning
AFC: Brady, Rivers, Roethlisberger
Not opposed to any of those NFC QBs at all, you could argue that Stafford deserved to be on the roster, which I agree, he should, but if I may, let me make a case for Eli Manning. He’s been doing everything for the Giants without a consistent running game as both Bradshaw and Jacobs have been out or not productive, throwing for 4500 yards, 26 TDs, and 16 INTs. Their defense gives up 255.4 passing yards per game and 26 TDs through the air, on the ground they allow 126.1 yards per game and 15 TDs. I think Eli’s ability to keep the Giants in the playoff hunt even after their big losing streak speaks volumes about what he can do, besides, Stafford will more than likely be named an alternate as it’s pretty likely Rodgers or Brees may not show up…just saying. The AFC is slightly different, but instead of arguing against Rivers as many have done, I’m going to ask people to consider that he’s brought his team back from certain playoff absence to a fighting shot….that is, without a superior defense or running game around him. Tebow has done well as a rushing QB, but not too hot passing, as evidenced by this recent outing against Buffalo. One name that I know will not be considered, but should be at least looked into, all jokes aside, is Matt Moore. 15 TDs to 7 picks, has completed 60% of his passes, and is part of the reason that Miami has played so well since their 0-7 start, if we’re allowing QBs to come in mid-season and get Pro Bowl nods, I think you have to give Matt a head nod. I think you also have to give Matt Hasselbeck looks in the AFC, who would’ve though that the Titans would be in playoff contention?
NFC – McCoy (PHI), Forte (CHI), Gore (SF), Kuhn (FB – GB)
AFC – Rice (BAL), Jones-Drew (JAX), Foster (HOU); Leach (FB – BAL)
You can’t really name snubs here per say, you can just name additional guys who did well. McCoy, Forte, and Gore all put in solid seasons for their teams and kept them alive in their respective playoff pushes. Want to know how important Forte was? Look what happened once he and Cutler went down? The running game became non-existent and made things even tougher on Caleb Hanie. The next man up in my opinion would be Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch, who singlehandedly kept the Seahawks in playoff contention, you could tack on Adrian Peterson, but the injuries he suffered during the season kept his numbers down. Another player who one could argue to be on here is Darren Sproles, he has been as effective as anyone else in the Saints offense and is the very definition of a playmaker. But I couldn’t see anyone being removed for either of those players.
Rice, Jones-Drew and Foster are obvious choices for the AFC, for one, Jones-Drew has been the only reason the Jaguars have come close to winning games. Any other potential choices are either hurt, or could never stay healthy the entire season, or are named Reggie Bush. Pretty open and shut case here.
NFC- Megatron, Larry Fitzgerald, Steve Smith, Greg Jennings
AFC- Wes Welker, Mike Wallace, AJ Green, Brandon Marshall
There are a few guys who you could argue should be on this list. The main one being Victor Cruz, as he’s been Eli’s main vertical threat throughout the season, other than that, Jennings’s teammate Jordy Nelson has been as big of a cog in the Packers offense as anyone. Many have argued Roddy White, but he leads the league in drops, something that the other Pro Bowl receivers have avoided. One person you could argue for is maybe Laurent Robinson, as his emergence in Dallas’s offense has helped carry them along.
As far as the AFC Goes, these are all logical choices. Welker is the other part of the Patriots offense not named Tom Brady, Mike Wallace is what allows the Steelers to get vertical offensively, AJ Green has been absolutely ridiculous, to the point where one could honestly consider him for Rookie of the Year. Brandon Marshall is another reason why the Dolphins are 5-3 since their 0-7 start (along with the aforementioned Moore and Bush), but I also believe that Andre Johnson or the ever-clutch Santonio Holmes could be on this list.
NFC – Jimmy Graham, Tony Gonzales
AFC – Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Gates
The only debatable player on this list is Antonio Gates, and even that really isn’t debatable, because I can’t think of too many people above him.
DEFENSE will be handled tomorrow.