Jets, Giants will be well-represented on all-star teams in Honolulu

The New York Jets placed an NFL-high seven players on the 2009 AFC Pro Bowl team, and the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings weren't far behind with six players each on the NFC squad.

The Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, Feb. 8, in Honolulu (NBC, 4:30 PM ET).

The Jets' seven All-Star selections -- G Alan Faneca, QB Brett Favre, NT Kris Jenkins, RB Thomas Jones, C Nick Mangold, CB Darrelle Revis and RB/KR Leon Washington -- are the most in team history and surpass a team-high of five following the 1982, 1985 and 1998 seasons. All seven Jets will make their first Pro Bowl appearances as representatives of the team in Hawaii.

Favre was selected to his 10th all-star game but his first representing the AFC. Favre ties Johnny Unitas for the most Pro Bowl selections by a quarterback with 10, and he is the first Jets QB to appear in an all-star game since Vinny Testeverde (1998).

Fourteen NFC players will participate in their first Pro Bowl, including New York Giants QB Eli Manning, who will join his brother, Peyton Manning, a nine-time all-star with the Indianapolis Colts. The Mannings are the first quarterback brothers to be named to the same Pro Bowl and the fourth set of brothers to be selected in the same season (Bruce and Clay Matthews, 1989-90; Shannon and Sterling Sharpe, 1993-95; Tiki and Ronde Barber, 2005-07).

Along with Eli Manning, three other Giants will make their Pro Bowl debuts -– C Shaun O'Hara, G Chris Snee and DE Justin Tuck. They join veteran K John Carney (second Pro Bowl) and P Jeff Feagles (second). Carney was an all-star in 1995 with the San Diego Chargers, and Feagles was selected to the 1996 Pro Bowl with the Arizona Cardinals. Carney's 14 seasons between all-star selections is the longest such period in NFL history.

Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson, the NFL's leader rusher with 1,760 yards, returns to Hawaii after winning the 2008 Pro Bowl MVP award as a rookie. Joining him are Vikings DE Jared Allen (second Pro Bowl), G Steve Hutchinson (sixth), DTs Pat Williams (third) and Kevin Williams (fourth), and CB Antoine Winfield (first).

The AFC roster includes 17 first-time All-Stars, including Denver Broncos QB Jay Cutler.

The AFC's backfield consists of four first-timers. The Jets' Jones earned the starting role at running back after setting the team's season record with 15 touchdowns and leading the AFC with 1,312 rushing yards. At 260 pounds, the Baltimore Ravens' Le'Ron McClain used his size to pound his way to a career-high 10 rushing touchdowns this season. The first-time all-star will be the AFC's representative at fullback.

Rounding out the threesome at running back are rookie Chris Johnson of the Tennessee Titans and Ronnie Brown of the Miami Dolphins.

Four wide receivers were named to each all-star squad. Chosen for the AFC's 2009 team are Houston's Andre Johnson, who led the NFL in receptions (115) and receiving yards (1,575). The sixth-year pro will make his third Pro Bowl appearance. Lined up opposite from Johnson as a starter will be first-time selection Brandon Marshall of the Denver Broncos. Two veteran receivers will round out the AFC all-star receiving foursome -- the Indianapolis Colts' Reggie Wayne and the New England Patriots' Wes Welker, a Pro Bowl first-timer who ranked second in the NFL behind Johnson with 111 receptions.

Representing the AFC at tight end is 10-time all-star Tony Gonzalez, who has been selected to the most Pro Bowls at the position in NFL history. In his 12th season, the Kansas City Chiefs' star led NFL tight ends in receptions (96), receiving yards (1,058) and touchdowns (10). In his sixth NFL season, San Diego's Antonio Gates was selected to his fifth consecutive Pro Bowl.

Three AFC South stars will be on display at defensive end. Mario Williams of Houston will make his Pro Bowl debut as a starter and be joined by Indianapolis defensive end Dwight Freeney, who's in his fourth Pro Bowl in seven seasons. Freeney's Colts teammate, Robert Mathis, will cap off this trio with the first all-star appearance of his six-year career.

Sacks were plentiful for the AFC's starting outside linebackers -- Miami's Joey Porter ranked first in the AFC with 17.5, and James Harrison of Pittsburgh was second with 16. Porter will make his fourth Pro Bowl appearance and first as a Dolphin, and Harrison settles in with his second consecutive Pro Bowl start. Joining Porter and Harrison at outside linebacker is Terrell Suggs, who had eight sacks and two interception-touchdown returns for Baltimore.

Roaming the middle of the AFC defense will be two linebackers from the NFL's top-two-ranked defenses -- Ray Lewis of Baltimore and James Farrior of Pittsburgh. In his 13th NFL season, Lewis will start as he makes his ninth appearance in Hawaii. Farrior, the captain of the league's No. 1 defense, will appear in his second all-star game.

Two of the NFL's elite will start at safety for the AFC. Pittsburgh strong safety Troy Polamalu earns his fifth consecutive all-star berth, and Ravens ball-hawking free safety Ed Reed is a five-time Pro Bowl choice in seven seasons.

The starting quarterback for the NFC is four-time all-star Kurt Warner of the NFC West champion Arizona Cardinals. Warner, who was last selected to the 2002 Pro Bowl, returns to the all-star team after seven seasons, the third-longest such period for a QB since 1970 (Randall Cunningham and Phil Simms, eight years). Joining Warner at quarterback are three-time all-star Drew Brees of New Orleans, the leading vote-getter among fans, and Manning of New York. Brees and Manning's father, Archie (1979-80), are the only Saints QBs to be named to the Pro Bowl.

Peterson is the first player to start the Pro Bowl at RB in each of his first two seasons since Edgerrin James did it in 2000 and 2001. Peterson is joined by Washington's Clinton Portis, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, and first-time all-star Michael Turner of the Atlanta Falcons. Portis, who was previously selected in 2004 with Denver, is the first Redskins' all-star at the position since Stephen Davis in 2001. Turner is the first Falcons running back in the Pro Bowl since Warrick Dunn in 2006.

The starting wide receivers for the NFC are Arizona's Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald, both selected for the third time. Along with QB Warner, this marks the first time in the AFC-NFC Pro Bowl that the starting quarterback and both wide receivers for the all-star squad are from the same team. The other receivers for the NFC are Carolina's Steve Smith and Atlanta's Roddy White. Smith is making his fourth All-Star appearance and third as a wide receiver. White, a first-time selection, is the first Falcons wide receiver to go to Hawaii since Terance Mathis in 1995.

Starting at tight end for the NFC is Dallas' Jason Witten, who will play in his fifth consecutive Pro Bowl. For the second consecutive season, he is joined by Washington's Chris Cooley, who is the second tight end in Redskins history to be named to multiple Pro Bowls (Jerry Smith, 1968, 1970).

Four-time all-star Julius Peppers of Carolina and the Giants' Tuck receive the start at defensive end for the NFC. Peppers' four Pro Bowl appearances are the most by a defensive player in franchise history. Minnesota's Allen, who last year played for the AFC All-Star team as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs, also was chosen to represent the NFC.

The San Francisco 49ers' Patrick Willis, last year's Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year, will get the start at inside linebacker, his second consecutive All-Star appearance. He will be joined at the position by Carolina's Jon Beason, who is making his Pro Bowl debut.

The starting outside linebackers are Chicago's Lance Briggs and Dallas' DeMarcus Ware, the NFL's sack leader with 20. Briggs has been selected to four consecutive Pro Bowls, and Ware has been named an all-star in each of the past three seasons. Tampa Bay's Derrick Brooks was chosen to the Pro Bowl for the 11th time in his career, the second-most All-Star selections for a linebacker in NFL history (Junior Seau, 12).

In the secondary, Brian Dawkins has been selected to seven Pro Bowls, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Reggie White for the second most in Philadelphia Eagles history.

The NFL is the only professional sports league that combines voting by fans, coaches and players in determining its All-Star teams. The consensus vote of each group counts one-third towards the total. Each team submits two ballots –- those of the coach and the players, with no one permitted to vote for a player on his own team. This year, nearly 85 million fan votes were cast on NFL.com.

The NFC defeated the AFC 42-30 last season in the Pro Bowl. The all-time series is tied 19-19.

Under terms of the collective bargaining agreement, each player on the winning Pro Bowl team receives $45,000, and each player on the losing squad earns $22,500.

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