Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

21 Dec 2005

Colts Lead Way with Seven Pro Bowlers

Okey doke. After accidentally posting last year's Pro Bowl roster a few minutes ago, I'll just make it simple and link to the story on FOXSports.com. The Colts had seven players to make it, and the Bears and Falcons had six each; the Browns, Titans, 49ers and Packers were all shutout. In terms of surprise winners, Koren Robinson made it as a kick returner, and Eli Manning, one of the leaders in fan voting, ended up as the third alternate.

Update: NFL.com has updated their Pro Bowl pages. The AFC roster is here (http://nfl.com/probowl/afc_roster), and the NFC roster is here (http://nfl.com/probowl/nfc_roster). Have at it.

Posted by: P. Ryan Wilson on 21 Dec 2005

90 comments, Last at 26 Dec 2005, 1:05am by Sid

Comments

1
by Sophandros (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 6:33pm

What's the all-time record for pro-bowlers on a team without a winning record? Failing that, what's the record for pro-bowlers on a team that fails to make the playoffs?

Oh, to be a bandwagon Fall-Clowns fan...

2
by Dennis (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 6:38pm

As a Jets fan, IMO Ty Law being on there is ridiculous, and Vilma was robbed. And Ben Graham should be on there as well.

3
by B (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 6:41pm

San Deigo has 6 pro-bowlers too, by my count.

4
by Sophandros (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 6:44pm

Are any of San Diego's pro-bowlers vastly overrated and overhyped?

Do San Diego fans suck?

5
by JonL (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 6:48pm

Chris Samuels, eh? That's...odd.

And I guess you could make a case that Brunell should have made the team over Delhomme, but, eh.

6
by JonL (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 6:55pm

I'm also surprised Kyle Orton didn't make the team, since he's such a good manager of the game.

(/cheap shot)

7
by Potomac Drainage Basin Indigenous Person (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 6:59pm

Only 42 guys per side are listed. Are these just the ones voted in by fans? When will the other members of the squads be announced?

8
by TN Josh (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 7:01pm

Longsuffering Titans fan here--how is Kyle Vandenbosch not a Pro-Bowler? I know we suck this year but KV has been the only sweet suprise this year. Oh, well--looks like we'll be back in 06 with Matt Leinart or Jay Cutler under center.

9
by turbohappy (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 7:03pm

I guess my daily voting for Saturday (before last Sunday's game anyway) paid off :o)

10
by R. Mexico (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 7:13pm

Sweet! I knew that I - I mean, that Michael Vick guy - deserved to get in!

11
by JonL (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 7:18pm

RE: #7

There's a Post article up now that includes alternates named (click my name). Cooley, Portis, Taylor and Washington are all alternates. No Philip Daniels, though, which is mildly surprising.

The article also contains this sentence, which is hilarious: "Sellers has been a strong lead blocker, has seven touchdowns and is a solid player on all special teams unit, but he did not make the Pro Bowl team in any capacity, either."

12
by JonL (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 7:20pm

It would help if I actually linked to the article, wouldn't it? (free registration required)

13
by Ben (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 7:20pm

Any pro bowl team that includes Ogden over Lepsis and any AFC center over Nalen is a joke. Yes I live in Denver. FO stats say Denver is 2nd in Adjusted line yards and 7th in pass protection. Only Indy is better in the AFC in both categories. How can the players on the line be overlooked year after year? Tarik Glenn of Indy got robbed too. Ogden doesn't belong.

14
by Independent George (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 7:23pm

Larry Allen is still playing?

15
by Independent George (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 7:24pm

Yay! David Tyree!

16
by Jesse (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 7:34pm

Mike Vick? Rod Smith? Lorenzo Neal?

There were some bad picks, but I was pleasantly surprised by the positions that got nailed (NFC recievers, NFC running backs, AFC running backs, AFC quarterbacks, lots of defensive positions)

still, overall it seemed to be a popularity contest

17
by Ben (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 7:34pm

I take it back about Ogden. The real joke on the AFC team is Chambers at WR. 61st in DPAR. Marty Booker is 55th. Wes Welker is 34th. That's an abomination.

18
by turbohappy (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 7:39pm

Tarik Glenn has had some problems this year. I would guess he has 1/2 of the Colts O-line penalties.

19
by Chris (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 7:39pm

The fan vote for pro bowls is rarely accurate. Your average fan gets their information from analysts, who infer how a game went by the score and the QB statlines. Overhyped players almost always get in. On the O-line, the same players get in year in, year out whether they're very good or not just because most people don't know linemen.

Also, the stats are often deceptive since the players with the highest number of "big plays" often get in over players who are probably better - especially true of Fullbacks and tight ends, where good blocking fullbacks hardly if ever make it.

20
by ChrisFromNJ (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 7:54pm

#16: Lorenzo Neal?

Absolutely Lorenzo Neal. Granted, I (like most fans) don't generally pay much attention to the fullback position, but I was floored by his perfomance as LDT's lead blocer in the Week 3 game against the Giants: he was in position and brutally effective clearing the path on each and every run (often getting multiple blocks in), and derserved as much credit for LDT's big day as Tomlinson himself. So I'm glad to see he got in.

#15: Yay! David Tyree!

Indeed, and also yay for Eli not making it. But Antonio Pierce definitely deserved a spot- he was all over the field all season, especially against the run, where he seemed to single-handedly vault the Giants' defense from near the bottom to near the top. (Don't believe me? Watch how a once #2-DVOA run defense got shredded by Larry Johnson and Ryan Frickin' Moats once he went down.)

21
by Smeghead (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 7:55pm

Mack Strong. Nice vote for an old-school blocking FB who doesn't touch the rock much.

22
by Al H (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 7:57pm

Al Wilson over Mike Peterson who nearly doubled Wilson's production is a travesty. But c'est la vie

23
by Richard (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 8:00pm

Jamal Williams was one of last year's biggest snubs. It's good to see him in the Pro Bowl.

24
by Richard (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 8:02pm

Re: 4
Nope. They're all good. I'm not all that high on Milligan, though. Our best special teams guy had been Osgood, but he's hurt.

25
by Richard (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 8:03pm

re: #4

I'm not a Chargers fan, but I live in San Diego, so I get to watch all the games.

IMO, none of the Chargers selections were completely unwarranted. I think LT made it on name value and you could probably put Rudi Johnson in his place. That's not clear, but I also don't think Rod Smith over Keenan McCardell is at all clear.

While some San Diego fans might argue for Donnie Edwards, I don't think he was better than other 'backers who were left off.

Ciphers as the punter, I think, would have been the best choice in the conference. He didn't make it either.

Six does seem about right or fairly close. Maybe not all of the players chosen necessarily deserve it, but the number is representative, IMO.

26
by Richard (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 8:06pm

re: #20

Agree re: Neal. He deserves the nod. I didn't see a better AFC fullback this year, though I'm not exactly sure how high that praise is.

27
by johonny (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 8:13pm

"The Dolphins need a lot more than Favre to make a run at the Patriots for the AFC East crown. Before it’s all said and done this winter"

According to Aaron's expected wins the Dolphins are exactly 1 win behind the Pats this season. The Pats have some age issues on their defense as well. One has to think getting good consistant quarterback play would do a lot to narrow the gap between Miami and New England.

28
by Independent George (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 8:21pm

#20 - I love Pierce, but would you put him ahead of Urlacher & Trotter? Urlacher is the best player on the best defense in the NFL. And, if I recall correctly, the Eagles experience a similar dropoff in run defense in games where Trotter plays, vs ones where he doesn't. I'd say it's about a push between the Trotter & Pierce; I like Pierce, but really can't say he was robbed.

But let me reiterate the huzzahs for Tyree. I think the Minnesota game locked up his slot.

29
by MJK (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 8:25pm

Heh. I'm a New England fan, and normally I'm incensed over the pro-bowl selections, but this year I don't have many complaints. Personally, I think Chris Chambers or one of the other WR's could have been left off in favor of Deion Branch, who's had a monster year in spite of the fact that he was Brady's only target for about four weeks running and constantly faced double coverage. But the only other place that I even feel NE was slightly robbed was in special teams--I haven't watched many Cincy games, but is this kicker really better than Vinateri? And I HAVE watched Bills games, and I personally would take Miller over Moorman. Moorman has a great leg and can kick the ball really far, but he's never impressed me in his ability to pin the other team deep, which Miller is very good at, and which I think is one of the punter's most important skills.

30
by BlueStarDude (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 8:27pm

Generally I could care less about all-star voting in any sport, but that doesn't lessen my surprise that Jason Witten was not made a pro-bowler. 2nd in DPAR and 3rd in DVOA. And he has had to stay in and do extra blocking all year. Proof positive of why these things are utterly meaningless.

31
by Richard (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 8:29pm

I can't help but think of the character from Dave Chappelle's Real World parody whenever I see the name "Tyree".

And as long as you're sharing my room, you'll sit down when you pee!

32
by Richard (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 8:31pm

re: #30

I couldn't agree with that more. I thought that Shockley and Witten had made the TE spot on the the easiest to predict. Guess my prediction was wrong.

33
by JonL (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 8:35pm

Well, Vick needs someone to throw to, hence Crumpler's presence.

34
by BlueStarDude (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 8:38pm

Yeah, Shockey has really played well this year, dag-gum-it! He deserves his spot.

And, oh yeah, I should have written "couldn't care less" for those keeping score at home.

35
by BlueStarDude (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 8:40pm

Re: #33 - or maybe the NFL was afraid of the structural damage that could be done by Atlanta fan hate mail if Crumpler didn't get the nod. Yeah, that's the ticket.

36
by Jesse (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 8:41pm

Rediculous that Hines Ward didn't make it

37
by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 8:44pm

Roy Williams!?!? Are you kidding me? Do they want someone to break a leg during the game?

"We're going to make a rule against your tackling style... it's completely illegal... we're also not going to enforce the rule on you... oh and by the way you're in the Pro Bowl..."

Am I just an unobjective Redskins homer? Or is Roy Williams that great?

And as an unobjective Redskins homer, I'd like to say that Chris Samuels did NOT have a Pro Bowl like year.

38
by Craig B (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 8:46pm

No Levi Jones? I guess shutting out Dwight Freeney and others didn't gain him any publicity.

39
by Richard (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 8:57pm

Levi Jones should have made it.

Hines Ward should not have. Oh, he didn't. Well, that seems appropriate. Even if you think he was more deserving than Smith or Chambers, I don't think he deserved it over McCardell. You could add Branch to the list above Ward, too (and I would).

Just my opinion, though.

40
by Tally (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 9:02pm

Did no one mention that Chargers rookie Shawne Merriman made the Pro Bowl? Quite a surprise considering that he hasn't been getting much RoY consideration.

Rudi Johnson has a higher DPAR and DVOA than LT at this point in the season, but I think fans across the country remember LT's explosive start of the season. They're not far apart and LT has had a subpar last two weeks.

Agreed that Scifres and Osgood might have been good choices. Williams is overdue. Incredible that this is only Neal's 2nd Pro Bowl selection. Gates a no-brainer.

41
by Tally (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 9:05pm

Oh yeah, McCardell might be considered a snub, but interesting that their other WR Parker is #2 in DVOA. They're both good receivers, but #1 and #2 in the league? Some of that must be attributed to their environment (i.e., teams stacking the box against LT and double-teaming Gates freeing up the WRs).

42
by B (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 9:05pm

Too bad Carl's not around to praise Patrick Pass. He might not be the run-blocker that Steven Neal is, but if you factor in the receiving, rushing & blitz pickup, I think he's a more complete player. Of course, being injured for over a month doesn't help my case.

43
by TheWedge (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 9:05pm

RE: 37
Not to mention that Williams sucks in coverage and often gives up huge yards because he is always gunning for the big hit. Although I must note that I am an Eagles fan (So obligatory no Dawkins! or Micheal Lewis! for shame). Also does anyone else think Joey Galloway (or even Terry Glen) deserves a spot? Maybe over Holt who has been injured a lot or Santana Moss who has really fallen off in the last half of the season?

44
by jim's apple pie (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 9:13pm

I'm shocked that Merriman made it, considering he didn't even start until week 7. I think that the players and coaches must have turned in the ballots this week and still had his Indy performance fresh in his mind. He's been great, no doubt, but I was thinking he would be fighting for RotY honors, not playing in the Pro Bowl.

Personally, I think Donnie Edwards is a more valuable linebacker to the Chargers then Merriman. He's probably one of the best tacklers in the league, and he's pretty good in coverage. I remember seeing the voting last year and he only got snubbed because no one whether to vote him in as a OLB or MLB. Apparently, the NFL doesn't count total votes, only votes at a particular position.

45
by Richard (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 9:14pm

re: #41

I think that's definitely part of it, and I think my support of McCardell has a lot to do with a relatively weak WR class in the AFC this season.

46
by J (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 9:22pm

No Alex Brown, no Adewale Ogunleye, no Anquan Boldin.

Wow...

47
by Theo (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 9:24pm

If Larry Allen is in, then why not Brett Favre?!

48
by Jason O (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 9:30pm

I think the buggest joke is that the league told the Colts that Glenn was on the PB roster, then called back a couple hours later and said "Oops, our bad, no he isn't."

Talk about getting hosed.

49
by Matt (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 9:41pm

So when does Adrian Wilson get in? For that matter, how is Roy Williams in over Gibril Wilson?

Keith Bulluck should be in over Merriman, and Vick being in is probably a mistake. But why even complain, they don't even make an effort and the game is usually bad.

50
by Jason O (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 10:03pm

I wonder what Tony D. is referencing with these comments? What were the things that were told to him? Makes it sound like it was more than just a "mistake."

“I am happy for the guys who made it,� Dungy said. “We’ve got some bones to pick with the Pro Bowl people, so I’m not going to say too much about it right now.

“It’s a bad, bad, bad situation and I’m a league guy. I back the league all the time. But not in this case. This was terrible. They need to tell the whole story and it’s not good.

“Everybody can’t go, but it’s still got to be done the right way. Things were told to me that didn’t come through and it’s just not good.

“I’m not very happy about it, and the less I say the better right now.�

51
by NFC Central Freak (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 11:00pm

I am glad for Lance Briggs. He has deserved this honor for some time. Just a fine, fine player.

I don't know Darren Sharper's assessments but by observation he is now a classic boom or bust guy. He guesses constantly and when correct he makes big plays. But what I think folks are missing is that when he guesses wrong it is also a big play, for the other team obviously.

Any Packer fans care to comment on 3 ex-Packers on the NFC Pro Bowl team in Bidwell, Wahle, and Sharper?

Yup, that Mike Sherman could really manage that old cap baby. Yessir. No problem there.

Do I enjoy taking the easy shot?

Maybe.

But I think it's important that folks understand that this team is in crisis NOT because the coach cannot COACH. It's because as player personnel guy he couldn't recognize talent.

52
by Jerry P. (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 11:07pm

"So when does Adrian Wilson get in?

No kidding, take a look at every long run given up by the Cardinals (there are many). The only one ever even trying to chase the ball carrier down is number #24.

"...no Anquan Boldin."

I think the Quan would have made it had he not missed any games. Still, 14th in the league in DPAR (.1 from being lucky #13) while missing some games is pretty impressive.

At least Fitz got some love.

53
by Kibbles (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 11:21pm

Re #13: The upshoot is that players around the league don't like Denver linemen, and so they don't vote for them. Refusing to talk to the media certainly doesn't help in fan voting, either. Which makes all of Tom Nalen's pro bowls even MORE impressive.

I have to agree, Hartings over Nalen is a joke, but I can understand Lepsis being left off, even if I think he deserves it (over Ogden, especially). What surprises me is just WHICH Cincinnati tackle he got left off in favor of.

Also, for what it's worth, John Lynch isn't even the best safety on his own team.

Re #22: Al Wilson over Mike Peterson who nearly doubled Wilson’s production is a travesty. But c’est la vie

There was an article several weeks back about how misleading of a statistic tackles really are. Make no mistake about it, Al Wilson is the most valuable player on the Denver defense. They can and have played and won without Bailey. They can, and have, played and won without Pryce. Heck, they have been forced to start their #5 and #6 linebackers, and they've still won. Denver's defense simply could NOT afford to lose Wilson. He's what makes the defense go.

Anyway, MLBs in defenses like the one Denver runs don't usually lead the team in tackles. It's just how the defense is designed, and where the plays are funneled. Normally, it's the Weakside LB that leads the team in tackles. If you want some corroboration on this, the two teams I can think of with the most similar defensive scheme are Tampa and Indy, where Derrick Brooks has put up Hall-of-Fame numbers, and Cato June is a 100+ tackler and a pro bowler.

54
by Jason (not verified) :: Wed, 12/21/2005 - 11:51pm

How the heck did Julius Peppers get picked over either Alex Brown or Ogunleye? That is simply ridiculous and is the type of popular over performance pick that I would expect in baseball. Also Michael Strahan is good and so is Osi Umenyiora...but how many GMs would pick them over Alex Brown and Wale Ogunleye right now...and Santana Moss over Joey Galloway, are you kidding me? In games that Joey catches a TD, Tampa is 5-2 for Santana the skins are 2-2? Santana is stats and Joey is the difference maker.

55
by Ruben (not verified) :: Thu, 12/22/2005 - 12:41am

Ugh...why not, oh, I don't know...Brunell, Bledsoe, Delhomme, Favre, Bulger, WARNER, Manning Jr., AARON FREAKING BROOKS, McNabb, Chris flippin' Simms or Brad Johnson???

But no, we have to see whomever Nike wants to promote/owes millions to, or who will get people to watch, because, hey "he can make stuff happen," and can "be Mike!" (he and Favre are the only QBs who can be praised so abstractly...)

http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/qb.php

56
by Ruben (not verified) :: Thu, 12/22/2005 - 12:56am

I'm also glad to see Cato June made it. I haven't seen any Colts games this season, but the former Wolverine Safety wasn't highly regarded leaving college. I believe he was a 6th rounder or so, but I surely remember him and Little Curry getting on the wrong end of a lot of highlight reels.

Good for him; let's hope, for the Cardinals' sake, John Navarre has a similarly up-from-nowhere 3rd year in the NFL....heh...

57
by Dennis (not verified) :: Thu, 12/22/2005 - 12:59am

Re #53: That's exactly why the Denver linemen didn't get the votes. Rightly or wrongly, they have a big reputation for chop blocking and that doesn't just hurt them with player voting, but also the fan and coaches votes. As a fan of another team, there's no way I'd vote for them, just like there's no way I'd vote for a guy like Romanowski.

58
by Ruben (not verified) :: Thu, 12/22/2005 - 1:40am

I had a question about this knock on the Denver O Line (Kibbles and Dennis), in regards to cut-blocking:

How is it that, if it is so well-known to happen, why isn't it ever on any highlight reels?

I mean, it isn't like baseball, where the pitcher can hide a wedge of sandpaper in his glove, or basketball, where point-shaving can be made imperceptible. If a Guard starts up from his 3-point, and then lunges at the knees of the Nose Tackle, I'm sure at least one of the 30+ NFL Films cameras, 25+ Network cameras, 5 officials, and 65-92,000 fans would see it. But I only HEAR about, usually from opposition linebackers.

So, what's the deal? Does it happen? If so, why isn't it identified through video evidence? Both REAL Sports, and to a lesser exetent Inside the NFL, have shown their willingness to tackle NFL taboos pretty fearlessly; where's Bernie Goldberg railing away at Shanahan, TiVO controller a-wagging?

Or, are most DLs and MLBs alot like Ray Lewis: Make excuses for opposition's superior play, or their own inferior play?

I'd be interested in hearing a dispassionate articulation of what really happens (isn't that why this forum exists?)...

59
by Rollo (not verified) :: Thu, 12/22/2005 - 1:45am

As a self admitted Jags fan, I cannot believe the choice of Al Wilson over Mike Peterson. Wilson may be integral to the Denver D, but Peterson is easily as or more valuable to the Jags' D, and has played a bigger role in carrying his team to playoff contention than Wilson - the Jags have been forced to lean much more heavily on their D than Denver. Add that to the statistical imablance and I don't see how Wilson gets the nod. Peterson has been amazing and just all over the field.

On another note, there are a few really blatant name recognition choices that disgust me. Ty Law? I can't believe he is one of the top 3 corners in the AFC. Richard Seymour? He hasn't even played a full slate of games. And John Henderson should have taken Marcus Stroud's spot at DT, he's had a superior season.

60
by Andrew (not verified) :: Thu, 12/22/2005 - 1:50am

What a crime to see that incompetent punk DeAngelo Hall as a pro-bowler, and cornerbacks who are worlds better excluded. Like Chris Gamble, Ken Lucas, Sheldon Brown, Al Harris, Fred Smoot, Antonie Winfield, Brian Williams, etc. If Hall was a bedspread, he couldn't cover a mattress if he was thrown over it.

And why is Ron Mexico in again? Were any of the NFC East QB's even considered? Mark Brunnell, Drew Bledsoe, or Eli Manning are all way better. Vick is unlikely to even match the statistics of Donovan McNabb, who hasn't played for 6 weeks, but who still has 500 more yards, 3 more TD's, and 14 points of DPAR more than Vick, is likely to finish the SEASON leading Vick in these categories.

What has Orlando Pace done this year to deserve a slot? Does he just get an automatic start until he retires? Were neither of Atlanta's tackles available? Does Luke Petitgout not want to play? Will John Runyan ever receive any love?

61
by Jerry F. (not verified) :: Thu, 12/22/2005 - 1:56am

Hall got his ticket to the Pro Bowl in week 1, when he did an adequate at best job covering Owens and garnered heaps of undeserved praise from the Monday night crew. Every Falcons game I've seen since then the commentators have been parroting that praise.

62
by Richard (not verified) :: Thu, 12/22/2005 - 2:05am

re: #59 and previous

I really don't care who is more valuable to their team, and I've probably only seen each of Denver and Jacksonville play four times (or so) each, but at no point in watching those eight games did I think Al Wilson to be having a better year than Mike Petersen.

But that's just me.

63
by MJK (not verified) :: Thu, 12/22/2005 - 2:10am

Rollo,

The Pro Bowl isn't supposed to be about who is most valuable to their team. That is what MVP is about. The Pro Bowl is about who has the best all around skill set to play on a "team" composed of a bunch of individual stars. That's why the Pats are traditionally shafted every year--they build a team like an interlocking brick wall where as the Pro Bowl selection process looks for massive field stones surrounded by loose gravel.

I agree that Ty Law was selected for blatant name recognition. While he still has a lot of talent, I would not think he's one of the top three CB's in the league right now.

But I'll defend the Seymour choice. You're right--he didn't play for about a month. During that month the Pats were, at best, a .500 team with a decent offense and a shoddy defense. Then he came back and instantly they became a lot more dominant. Of course, there were other factors as well that contributed to their improvement (schedule strength not the least), but Seymour's healthy return was a huge part of the improvement of almost all phases of the Pats games. He really is one of the most impressive defensive linemen in the league, which is why the Pats broke the bank (by New England standards) to extend his contract this spring. Plus he can play end or tackle and is a force against the run and in the pass rush, making him even more impressive than a pass rushing specialist like Freeny or a big run stopper.

64
by jim's apple pie (not verified) :: Thu, 12/22/2005 - 2:34am

re: 58

I know that the Denver o-line has used some cut-blocks to end the seasons of some Chargers d-linemen. Jamal Williams had one of his seasons ended that way, and the Chargers promptly went in the tank after he got hurt (so it must have been either '01 or '02).

There was also another who-dat that had his career ended because of a Denver cut block. He was young, maybe a a second or third year, but I remember the story about him when the Chargers and Broncos played last year.

I think you're forgetting that people/teams tend to develop a reputation for a reason. I seriously doubt that everybody who doesn't do well against the Donkeys all decided to start claiming that they are cut-blockers without reason. Has their reputation eclipsed their actual transgressions? Perhaps.

65
by NF (not verified) :: Thu, 12/22/2005 - 2:39am

At least they got the AFC QBs right. Palmer, Manning, and Brady have been the best of the AFC this year. The only other QB you could make a fair case for is Roethlisberger over Palmer, but Palmer has played the entire year while Roethlisberger was injured for a while, so Palmer has accomplished more on the field.

Hasselbeck is the only non-shaky good QB in the NFC. After that, in the NFC, you have the good-but-shaky QBs and the above-average-error-avoiding QB: Bledsoe, Brunell, Delhomme, Favre, and Eli Manning. After that you have rookies and guys who haven't played enough games to say there on the same class as the players above. Where does Vick fit into this? Who has done more to help their team, Brunell or Vick?

Also, Alge Crumpler but not Jason Witten? This is what happens when you say that Vick is one of the three best QBs in the NFC.

As far as the NFC defense, any snubs of Chicago players happened because they are already sending more defensive players than any other single NFC team's defense.

Neil Rackers in the Pro Bowl, how about that?

As far as wide receivers, Torry Holt is there on reputation and the fact that he hasn't had a good QB all year, and players that should be there but aren't are Keenan McCardell and Joey Galloway, one of whom makes up a third of the receiving game for his team (1/3 Gates, 1/3 Keenan, 1/3 random combination of LT, Parker, Caldwell, and inanimate carbon rod) and a player who is the only consistent receiver in his offense. Also, I'm glad to see props given to Rod Smith.

66
by NF (not verified) :: Thu, 12/22/2005 - 2:44am

Wait a second, no KC d-players? The world is oblivious to the revamped KC run D. Or is this fallout from the Denver and NYG games?

67
by Patrick (yet another one) (not verified) :: Thu, 12/22/2005 - 3:34am

Hey, just in case we get a flame war in here (despite the fact that this thread is not a FOX Sports-related piece), I figured we could adapt the tried and true FO format for team comments:

[Player] is clearly [a snub or undeserving of pro bowl spot] because [reasoning which either dismisses DVOA and DPAR or takes it as Biblical truth]. [Person at spot of player is either not worthy of pro bowl spot or deserved to replace player depending on first staement]. [unrelated player-supporting or -denigrating comment, preferably with poor spelling and/or chat-acceptable spelling].

68
by James, London (not verified) :: Thu, 12/22/2005 - 6:43am

I'm not attempting to start an argument, but how on earth is Jonathon Ogden going to the Pro Bowl this year? And how on earth is Ogden going when Levi Jones is not?

69
by Vince (not verified) :: Thu, 12/22/2005 - 6:50am

Re#58: It happens all the time, mostly by Denver and Atlanta. Didn't Denver's OL take out three opponents in three weeks last year or something? And against Carolina, Alge Crumpler took out Julius Peppers at the knee and (temporarily) knocked him out of the game. And that wasn't in the middle of the pile, that was out on the edge.

The reason there are no fines or suspensions is because these blocks, though dangerous and perhaps unethical, are 100 percent legal. If a defensive lineman is engaged with another blocker, you're not allowed to take out his legs. But if he's standing there or running, he's fair game.

This is how the cutback works in the zone blocking scheme. In that Crumpler-Peppers play, for example, Crumpler lined up on the right side. The run started left. Peppers, lined up across from Crumpler, followed the play. Crump came basically from Pepper's left side and whacked him right in the knee. Peppers fell to the turf, and that opened a cutback lane. Not that it did Atlanta a lot of good...

70
by Becephalus (not verified) :: Thu, 12/22/2005 - 9:43am

At least E. Manning didn't make it even though he was one of the top NFC vote getters from the fans (I think he might have been second behind Vick). I am not sure who I wold ditch Vick or Delhomme, but I think Brunell has been better than both of them this year, and possibly Bledsoe even though he is highly inconsistent.

71
by Andrew (not verified) :: Thu, 12/22/2005 - 11:01am

Undeserving pro-bowlers heading to Hawaii on reputation because they went there last year and the year before that and the year before that ... or chancing upon a number of badly thrown balls from inexperienced quarterbacks during a prime time game instead of their actual play over the season in coverage:

Chris Chambers
Jonathan Ogden
Jeff Hartings
Champ Bailey
Ty Law
John Lynch
Tory Holt
Orlando Pace
LeCharles Bentley
Alge Crumpler
Ron Mexico
Julius Peppers
DeAngelo Hall
Roy "Horse Collar" Williams
Darren Sharper

72
by senser81 (not verified) :: Thu, 12/22/2005 - 11:33am

re: #53

"If you want some corroboration on this, the two teams I can think of with the most similar defensive scheme are Tampa and Indy, where Derrick Brooks has put up Hall-of-Fame numbers, and Cato June is a 100+ tackler and a pro bowler."

I guess you'd be interested in knowing that Shelton Quarles has more tackles than Derrick Brooks and Gary Brackett has more tackles than Cato June.

Anyway, here is my undeserving list:

Holt
Vick
Pace
Larry Allen (worst selection)
Kruetz
Peppers
Trotter
Roy Williams
Tony Gonzalez
Ogden
Hartings
Al Wilson
Law

73
by jaxjaggywires (not verified) :: Thu, 12/22/2005 - 12:01pm

Al Wilson over Mike Peterson is a true snub. Peterson has it over Wilson in almost every statistical category. He has been a tackling machine, but is also rounded out with his 5 sacks and 3 INTs (one returned for a TD).

Meanwhile, Wilson has 3 sacks, and no INTs. He also has about half as many tackles as Peterson, but the tackle discussion has already been had, so I'll let it go. Wilson does have more passes defensed, so if that's what you're going on...

In the end, Peterson has a career year and gets snubbed, while Wilson gets in on name recognition, IMO. Production-wise, it's not even close.

74
by Elisha (not verified) :: Thu, 12/22/2005 - 12:10pm

You never even gave me the time of day 'til I started getting good reviews.

75
by Sophandros (not verified) :: Thu, 12/22/2005 - 12:54pm

#71:

I'll wager that Bentley got in because of player and coach voting and based on his performance this season.

76
by mikeabbott (not verified) :: Thu, 12/22/2005 - 1:25pm

How about an FO pro-bowl team by the numbers ,analagous to the FO power rankings?
I would love to see how the differences get explained, especially when some over the hill 'name' guy with tons of fans is 'slighted'. I would like it both for the insight and knowledge as well as the fun of knowing how upset people might get. You might need an entire new template.

77
by ToxikFetus (not verified) :: Thu, 12/22/2005 - 1:28pm

I think it's funny how the only player from Philly to earn his way into the Pro Bowl, Trotter, was the most undeserving from last year's Eagles smorgasbord. I suppose a case could be made for Dawkins, but the rest of the crew was IR'd or stunk up the joint. I'm looking in your direction Lito "Blown Coverage" Sheppard and Michael "Defensive Pass Interference" Lewis.

78
by mikeabbott (not verified) :: Thu, 12/22/2005 - 1:33pm

It only just now occurs to me that only a subset of positions could be done, sorry about that.

79
by BAS (not verified) :: Thu, 12/22/2005 - 1:39pm

What a travesty....say what you want about how pathetic the Packers are this season but Al Harris, as much as you love to hate him, was deserving of a Pro Bowl.

80
by TomC (not verified) :: Thu, 12/22/2005 - 2:27pm

I agree with 79. I'm a Bears fan, but I'll admit freely that Nathan Vasher is far from a shutdown corner (at least at this stage of his career) and that I'd take Harris over him in a minute.

That Vasher sure does have a nose for the ball, though.

81
by Rich Conley (not verified) :: Thu, 12/22/2005 - 3:14pm

re 79

Aye, that blows my mind. 2 rookie CBs, and a guy whos been lights out all year doesnt get it.

82
by NFC Central Freak (not verified) :: Thu, 12/22/2005 - 5:16pm

Al Harris had a poor game on MNF against the Ravens as Derrick Mason made multiple catches against him. And the Lions hit Harris for a 40 yard pass along with their TD.

Al Harris is a solid cornerback having a solid year. Vasher has made some HUGE plays. I could see either one, but it is not a mismatch.

83
by cjfarls (not verified) :: Fri, 12/23/2005 - 4:39pm

re: 73

While Peterson's had an great year, I find it hard to believe Al Wilson gets anywhere based on name recognition... does anyone besides football nerds like us, or people actually in the NFL even know who he is? Its not like he is one of those big media hyped players...

For the Donkeys going to Hawaii, Lynch and Bailey arguably don't deserve, but Smith & Wilson are probably the best players the Broncos have, have had more than solid years, so I have no issue with them going.

Do we know how the breakdown fan vs. NFL votes went? I could see Smith and Wilson being very high on NFL votes, vs. Peterson/McCardell who stand out more on traditional stats.

As for other maybe undeserving, nobody has metioned Bob Sanders... I haven't seen enough Colts games to really, judge but in the 2 I saw, I saw a linebacker playing safety... big hits, limited coverage. Of course, don't know who I'd put in instead...

84
by Sid (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 2:21am

RE: 20

Pierce was great, but I'm glad he wasn't voted as a started. What's the point of having an injured guy as the Pro Bowl starter? I guess it's something for Pierce to list on his resume (don't know how to do the special letters), and he probably would've gotten some kind of bonus, but I think he has plenty of money to be getting on with.

85
by SJM (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 3:26am

There should be a rule that no player who has missed 4 or more games is allowed to make the Pro Bowl. That would take care of Seymor, among others.

Are other people with me that there are more undeserving players this year than usual?

86
by Sid (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 3:06pm

RE: 25

Ciphers=Scifres?

Wow.

87
by Sid (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 3:33pm

RE: 60

Fred Smoot over Hall? Fred Smoot has been injured, and when he's played, he's hurt the Vikings. I would've chosen Winfield over Hall, though.

88
by Sid (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 4:03pm

RE: 85

No. If anything, this year is better than usual. Every year, a lot of the players are undeserving.

89
by Sid (not verified) :: Sun, 12/25/2005 - 4:23pm

RE: 63 and your Seymour comments.

"The Pro Bowl isn’t supposed to be about who is most valuable to their team."
Guys who miss 4 games do not deserve to go to the Pro Bowl. All you've shown is that Seymour is very valuable to New England.

RE: 65

I'd argue Brees before I'd argue Roethlisberger. The AFC QBs is one of the only thing the Pro Bowl voters got right. Ron Mexico has been one of the worst QBs in the NFC, and didn't deserve to go over Bledsoe and Brunell.
Did you really call Brett Favre "error-avoiding"? There's a reason crazy passes are called "favres", you know. He's had a pretty bad season.
I think Vilma and Peterson should've been the AFC ILBs, not Wilson and Zach Thomas.

Some of the usual suspects were undeserving:

Chris Chambers, Ogden, Roaf (he missed a number of games), Tony Gonzalez, Joey Porter, Shawne Merriman, Champ Bailey, Ty Law, Deltha O'Neal, John Lynch, Torry Holt, Orlando Pace, Chris Samuels, Larry Allen, Jake Delhomme, Ron Mexico, DeAngelo Hall (Al Harris could replace him), Mike Brown, Roy Williams, and perhaps even Darren Sharper.

90
by Sid (not verified) :: Mon, 12/26/2005 - 1:05am

Darren Sharper deserved the Pro Bowl spot.