The NFL announced its Pro Bowl rosters Tuesday night. Below, I share my thoughts on the players who made it and in a few instances some players who should be heading to Hawaii instead.
Both Brees and Rodgers have been great, and Manning has been just as good. He has had to carry the Giants while they have dealt with all the injuries and no run game.
RUNNING BACK & FULLBACK
McCoy is as close to Barry Sanders as anyone playing right now, and both Forte and Gore are so good in every phase. Leaving Adrian Peterson off the list is never easy, but these three were all better this season. In fact, the next one up wouldn't even be Peterson; it'd be Marshawn Lynch. And fullbacks, in my opinion, aren't full-time players; would rather see H-back or a second TE starting spot here.
All are big-time play-makers who had amazing years. Steve Smith has to be the Comeback Player of the Year. Two receivers are also deserving: the Giants' Victor Cruz has been amazing and the Packers' Jordy Nelson does not get the pub, but he is more than a third receiver. Roddy White's numbers are great, but the drops keep him off the list.
Graham has been the key component in the explosive Saints offense and Gonzalez once again has been consistent. The Cowboys' Jason Witten is hard to leave off. Jermichael Finley of the Packers has not caught the ball consistently enough to be here.
Peters has been the best all season, and both Staley and Bushrod have played well.
Excellent years for both players. Kalil especially should be given extra credit for his role in helping Cam Newton get off to a great start.
The two starters are great, but Jason Pierre-Paul might be the Defensive Player of the Year. He is dominating in both run and pass. No Julius Peppers? I'm fine with that. He has not played as well as the other three and finishes fourth.
How does Smith get better with age? He is amazing and looks to be stronger and tougher now than at any point in his career. Brandon Mebane of the Seahawks has played better than B.J. Raji, and it is hard to leave Ndamukong Suh off the list. Ratliff is good, but he is not better than Suh -- this year, or any year.
Love all three, but where is Niners rookie Aldon Smith? He is a dominating rusher and a huge part of San Francisco's success. Briggs is so fun to watch; he can still run and make plays. Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orkapo are both talented rushers for the 'Skins and deserve mention.
Both are really good players, but NaVorro Bowman of the Niners and Sean Weatherspoon of the Falcons deserve to be on the list. Willis is good, but sometimes when I'm watching tape it is hard to tell Bowman from Willis. And when I watch tape on the Redskins, London Fletcher is a tackling machine. Not sure how he is off this list.
Woodson might have lost some coverage skills, but he is still a top player. The Eagles thought they had two Pro Bowlers in Asante Samual and Nnamdi Asomugha, but both have been inconsistent. Rogers has benefited from a great pass rush and has played his best football of his career. Cardinals rookie Patrick Peterson made the team as a specialist but he should have won the third spot over Tillman, as he is really a good man-to-man corner.
Part-linebacker and part-safety, Wilson is a force on every level of the defense.
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