NFC Pro Bowl Roster 2013: Players Snubbed by Ultra-Deep Positions
There are two kinds of snubs.
The first kind is the one everyone loves to complain about. From this point forward, we might be calling it the "John Sullivan Snub."
Jeff Saturday, you know, the center who was recently benched by the Green Bay Packers, somehow earned a Pro Bowl nomination over Sullivan, who has been a key part in clearing the way for Adrian Peterson to rumble his way to one of the best seasons ever for a running back.
One guy completely deserves a spot, but is ousted by someone who doesn't even come close to justifying his selection. Snub No. 1.
The second kind is the one that doesn't get talked about as much.
Often times, a player puts together what would normally be a standout season but gets "snubbed" because there are simply too many talented players who also warrant a trip to Honolulu. They become victims of playing a position where there is too much talent.
Let's take a look at this year's players who fall in that second category.
Note: A complete look at both Pro Bowl rosters can be found at the bottom of this page, or at NFL.com.
Luke Kuechly, ILB, Carolina Panthers
From a statistical standpoint, it's going to be difficult to find an inside linebacker with a résumé as impressive as Kuechly's.
The rookie currently leads the NFL in total tackles and has chipped in a sack, two interceptions and three fumble recoveries for the improving Carolina Panthers defense.
When you watch him fly from sideline to sideline and cover seemingly the entire field, it's hard to call him anything but a Pro Bowler, even as a first-year player.
But the NFC is absolutely stacked at the position.
Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman, who received the two selections, are completely worthy of the spots, but in addition to Kuechly, Chad Greenway, James Laurinaitis, Lavonte David and Bobby Wagner can all make arguments for being chosen, as well.
There was no way for the voters to go wrong at this position.
Stevan Ridley, RB, New England Patriots
When you think about the New England Patriots, you think about Tom Brady.
About those dreamy eyes. About that dominant pass attack. About Wes Welker. Rob Gronkowski. The endless amount of weapons through the air.
You don't think about the running game.
But Ridley emerged from a crowded backfield this season and has racked up 1,189 rushing yards (seventh in the NFL) and 10 rushing touchdowns.
Unfortunately for the young back, the AFC simply features too many talented ball carriers.
Arian Foster has ridden his work-horse load to 1,328 yards and 14 scores. Jamaal Charles has amassed 1,456 yards on a ridiculous 5.4 yards per carry and managed to break the 200-yard mark twice in the season. Ray Rice has suffered from poor play-calling at times, but has still tallied 1,138 rushing yards to go with 61 receptions, 478 receiving yards and 10 total scores.
Ridley would usually be deserving of a spot, but it's tough to keep out any of those three.
Anthony Spencer, OLB, Dallas Cowboys
Could the entire NFC linebacker corps be any more stacked?
We've already covered just how many options there were at the inside position. Now let's take a look at the outside.
The starters, Aldon Smith and Clay Matthews (CLAY...Matthews!), have been about as close to unblockable as physically possible. Smith has recorded a stunning 19.5 sacks while Matthews, despite playing in just 11 games, has racked up an equally impressive 12.0 on the season.
Who most deserves a spot in the Pro Bowl?
The third choice is where things get a little cloudy.
DeMarcus Ware got the nod, likely because of his 11.5 sacks, but his teammate Anthony Spencer proved to be much more versatile, recording 10.0 sacks to go with 87 total tackles.
In the end, I probably would have gone with the lesser-talked about Cowboy—Spencer—but you're basically splitting hairs either way.
|QB||Peyton Manning*||Denver Broncos|
|QB||Tom Brady||New England Patriots|
|QB||Matt Schaub||Houston Texans|
|RB||Arian Foster*||Houston Texans|
|RB||Jamaal Charles||Kansas City Chiefs|
|RB||Ray Rice||Baltimore Ravens|
|FB||Vonta Leach*||Baltimore Ravens|
|WR||A.J. Green*||Cincinnati Bengals|
|WR||Andre Johnson*||Houston Texans|
|WR||Reggie Wayne||Indianapolis Colts|
|WR||Wes Welker||New England Patriots|
|TE||Rob Gronkowski*||New England Patriots|
|TE||Heath Miller||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|T||Joe Thomas*||Cleveland Browns|
|T||Duane Brown*||Houston Texans|
|T||Ryan Clady||Denver Broncos|
|G||Logan Mankins*||New England Patriots|
|G||Marshal Yanda*||Baltimore Ravens|
|G||Wade Smith||Houston Texans|
|C||Maurkice Pouncey*||Pittsburgh Steelers|
|C||Chris Myers||Houston Texans|
|P||Dustin Colquitt||Kansas City Chiefs|
|PK||Phil Dawson||Cleveland Browns|
|KR||Jacoby Jones||Baltimore Ravens|
|ST||Matthew Slater||New England Patriots|
|DL||J.J. Watt*||Houston Texans|
|DL||Cameron Wake*||Miami Dolphins|
|DL||Geno Atkins*||Cincinnati Bengals|
|DL||Vince Wilfork*||New England Patriots|
|DL||Elvis Dumervil||Denver Broncos|
|DL||Haloti Ngata||Baltimore Ravens|
|LB||Von Miller*||Denver Broncos|
|LB||Tamba Hali*||Kansas City Chiefs|
|LB||Jerod Mayo*||New England Patriots|
|LB||Robert Mathis||Indianapolis Colts|
|LB||Derrick Johnson||Kansas City Chiefs|
|CB||Champ Bailey*||Denver Broncos|
|CB||Johnathan Joseph*||Houston Texans|
|CB||Antonio Cromartie||New York Jets|
|S||Ed Reed*||Baltimore Ravens|
|S||Eric Berry*||Kansas City Chiefs|
|S||LaRon Landry||New York Jets|
|QB||Aaron Rodgers*||Green Bay Packers|
|QB||Matt Ryan||Atlanta Falcons|
|QB||Robert Griffin III||Washington Redskins|
|RB||Adrian Peterson*||Minnesota Vikings|
|RB||Marshawn Lynch||Seattle Seahawks|
|RB||Frank Gore||San Francisco 49ers|
|FB||Jerome Felton*||Minnesota Vikings|
|WR||Calvin Johnson*||Detroit Lions|
|WR||Brandon Marshall*||Chicago Bears|
|WR||Julio Jones||Atlanta Falcons|
|WR||Victor Cruz||New York Giants|
|TE||Tony Gonzalez*||Atlanta Falcons|
|TE||Jason Witten||Dallas Cowboys|
|T||Russell Okung*||Seattle Seahawks|
|T||Joe Staley*||San Francisco 49ers|
|T||Trent Williams||Washington Redskins|
|G||Mike Iupati*||San Francisco 49ers|
|G||Jahri Evans*||New Orleans Saints|
|G||Chris Snee||New York Giants|
|C||Max Unger*||Seattle Seahawks|
|C||Jeff Saturday||Green Bay Packers|
|P||Thomas Morstead||New Orleans Saints|
|PK||Blair Walsh||Minnesota Vikings|
|KR||Leon Washington||Seattle Seahawks|
|ST||Lorenzo Alexander||Washington Redskins|
|DL||Jason Pierre-Paul*||New York Giants|
|DL||Julius Peppers*||Chicago Bears|
|DL||Justin Smith*||San Francisco 49ers|
|DL||Henry Melton*||Chicago Bears|
|DL||Jared Allen||Minnesota Vikings|
|DL||Gerald McCoy||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|LB||Aldon Smith*||San Francisco 49ers|
|LB||DeMarcus Ware*||Dallas Cowboys|
|LB||Patrick Willis*||San Francisco 49ers|
|LB||Clay Matthews||Green Bay Packers|
|LB||NaVorro Bowman||San Francisco 49ers|
|CB||Charles Tillman*||Chicago Bears|
|CB||Tim Jennings*||Chicago Bears|
|CB||Patrick Peterson||Arizona Cardinals|
|S||Dashon Goldson*||San Francisco 49ers|
|S||Donte Whitner*||San Francisco 49ers|
|S||Earl Thomas||Seattle Seahawks|
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