Pro Bowl 2012: Cam Newton Should Not Have Been Replacement for Eli Manning

Anthony Pucik@AnthonyPucikCorrespondent IJanuary 29, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01:   Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers looks to throw a pass during the game against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The Saints defeated the Panthers 45-17.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The NFL's best took the field in Hawaii this evening as the National Football Conference took on the American Football Conference in the annual Pro Bowl.

In the end, the AFC defeated the NFC 59-41.

As lopsided as this game seemed, it was not like that from the beginning. The score was tied 28-28 at the half and was 38-35 in favor of the AFC heading into the fourth quarter.

Everything fell apart for the NFC after that, however, as they were outscored 21-6 in the fourth quarter.

This game really means nothing—besides pride—so losing isn't a big deal. But, if someone has to be blamed for the defeat, it's Cam Newton.

The Carolina Panthers' rookie quarterback played the second half for the NFC—a half where they were outscored 31-13. Although Newton had the most passing yards of all three NFC Pro Bowl quarterbacks and had an equal amount of touchdowns, he was a major reason for the NFC's loss.

Along with his two touchdowns, Newton had three interceptions—including one that was taken back for a touchdown. Newton did not look like the stud who just broke the passing yards and rushing yards records for a rookie quarterback.

He looked very nervous; perhaps this was because he was up against the best defenders in the AFC. But, in my opinion, he should not have been in the Pro Bowl anyways.

When New York Giants' quarterback Eli Manning was unable to partake in the Pro Bowl this weekend because he is resting for the Super Bowl next weekend, another quarterback was named to take his place. The man chosen was Cam Newton.

Judging by his play tonight, I am sure this was the wrong choice.

When the Pro Bowl rosters were first announced, people were in shock that Detroit Lions quarterback Matt Stafford was left off the NFC roster. When a spot opened for a quarterback and Newton was chosen over Stafford, I was even more shocked.

There is no doubt that Newton had a very impressive year, arguably the best ever by a rookie quarterback.

However, just because he had an amazing rookie season does not mean he deserved to be in the Pro Bowl.

Stafford had over 5,000 yards passing with 41 touchdowns this season. Coming off an injury last season and a decent rookie year in 2009, he proved that he could stack up against big-name quarterbacks.

I think that Matthew Stafford was snubbed to begin with by not being picked for the Pro Bowl. After Newton was chosen over him to replace Manning, I felt that he was snubbed even more.

Stafford proved himself this year and deserved to be in the Pro Bowl.

Newton played well, but Stafford played better.

I feel that Stafford would have played better than Newton did and would have given the NFC a better chance to win the Pro Bowl.