The Associated Press has announced its first- and second-team All-Pro selections, highlighted by star offensive standouts like Peyton Manning, Jamaal Charles and LeSean McCoy. The Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers had the most selections, with five apiece.
Here is the full list of the first-team selections on offense (via Pro32.com):
- Quarterback: Peyton Manning, Denver
- Running Backs: LeSean McCoy, Philadelphia; Jamaal Charles, Kansas City
- Fullback: Mike Tolbert, Carolina
- Tight End: Jimmy Graham, New Orleans
- Wide Receivers: Calvin Johnson, Detroit; Josh Gordon, Cleveland
- Tackles: Joe Thomas, Cleveland; Jason Peters, Philadelphia
- Guards: Louis Vasquez, Denver; Evan Mathis, Philadelphia
- Center: Ryan Kalil, Carolina
- Placekicker: Justin Tucker, Baltimore
- Kick Returner: Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota
And here are the defensive selections:
- Ends: J.J. Watt, Houston; Robert Quinn, St. Louis
- Tackles: Gerald McCoy, Tampa Bay; Ndamukong Suh, Detroit
- Outside Linebackers: Robert Mathis, Indianapolis; Lavonte David, Tampa Bay
- Inside Linebacker: Luke Kuechly, Carolina; NaVorro Bowman, San Francisco
- Cornerbacks: Richard Sherman, Seattle; Patrick Peterson, Arizona
- Safeties: Earl Thomas, Seattle; Eric Berry, Kansas City
- Punter: Johnny Hekker, St. Louis
Here is the list of second-team offensive selections:
- Quarterback: None
- Running Backs: Adrian Peterson, Minnesota; Eddie Lacy, Green Bay
- Fullback: Marcel Reece, Oakland
- Tight End: Vernon Davis, San Francisco
- Wide Receivers: A.J. Green, Cincinnati; Demaryius Thomas, Denver; Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh
- Tackles: Tyron Smith, Dallas; Joe Staley, San Francisco
- Guards: Jahri Evans, New Orleans; Logan Mankins, New England; Josh Sitton, Green Bay
- Center: Alex Mack, Cleveland
- Placekicker: Matt Prater, Denver
- Kick Returner: Dexter McCluster, Kansas City
Finally, the list of second-team defensive selections:
- Ends: Mario Williams, Buffalo; Greg Hardy, Carolina
- Tackles: Dontari Poe, Kansas City; Muhammad Wilkerson, New York Jets; Jurrell Casey, Tennessee; Justin Smith, San Francisco
- Outside Linebackers: Tamba Hali, Kansas City; Ahmad Brooks, San Francisco
- Inside Linebackers: Vontaze Burfict, Cincinnati; Karlos Dansby, Arizona
- Cornerbacks: Aqib Talib, New England; Joe Haden, Cleveland; Alterraun Verner, Tennessee
- Safeties: Eric Weddle, San Diego; Kam Chancellor, Seattle; Jairus Byrd, Buffalo; T.J. Ward, Cleveland; Devin McCourty, New England; Antrel Rolle, New York Giants
- Punter: Brandon Fields, Miami
It's no surprise that Manning tops the list, and he was the only unanimous selection. He'll likely be named the league's Most Valuable Player after setting NFL records for regular-season passing yards (5,477) and passing touchdowns (55) while leading the Broncos to the top seed in the AFC.
Charles was also expected to make the first team, as he accounted for 1,980 yards from scrimmage and 19 total touchdowns. He represented 36.7 percent of Kansas City's yards from scrimmage this year, making him one of the most valuable players in all of football, period.
The Eagles were rewarded by having the league's best rushing attack with McCoy—the NFL's rushing leader with 1,607 yards—making the list alongside two of his offensive linemen, Peters and Mathis.
Graham (86 receptions, 1,215 yards, 16 touchdowns) and Calvin "Megatron" Johnson (84 receptions, 1,492 yards, 12 touchdowns) again had epic seasons, while Gordon absolutely blew up down the stretch and finished with an NFL-leading 1,646 receiving yards despite missing two games due to suspension.
Of course, these lists always generate debate. For instance, Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com feels A.J. Green was snubbed in favor of Gordon:
Don't agree with Gordon over AJ Green. Missed 2 games. Does anyone really believe Gordon is a better player?— gregg rosenthal (@greggrosenthal) January 3, 2014
Defensively, Robert Quinn had a breakout campaign, finishing with 19 sacks, seven forced fumbles, two recovered fumbles and a defensive score. Mathis has long been an excellent edge rusher for Indianapolis, but he exploded this season, leading the NFL in sacks (19.5) and forced fumbles (eight).
Kuechly (156 tackles, four interceptions) and Bowman (145 tackles, five sacks) represent the inside linebackers, while Seattle was rewarded for having the league's best pass defense with Sherman and Thomas being named first-team selections.
It comes as little surprise that 36 of these players are currently on playoff rosters, and quite a few will be doing battle on Wild Card Weekend and beyond. You can bet those players will have a major say in this year's push to the Super Bowl.