Pro Bowl

Pro Bowl 2014 Lineup: Players Who Will Put Up Big Numbers in Hawaii

January 24, 2014; Kapolei, HI, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) during the 2014 Pro Bowl practice at Kapolei High School. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIJanuary 26, 2014

Because of the way the Pro Bowl squads were chosen, there could be a few stars who play with a chip on their shoulders in Hawaii on Sunday. Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders selected the un-conferenced teams fantasy-football style.

Some really great players had to wait in a holding area to hear their names called. The process seemed a bit awkward and embarrassing for some.

This could create the type of edge that shifts the momentum in this All-Star exhibition. Here's a look at the lineups for both teams.

2014 Pro Bowl Rosters
Team SandersPositionTeam Rice
Andrew Luck, Indianapolis ColtsQBPhilip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
Cam Newton, Carolina PanthersQBAlex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs
Nick Foles, Philadelphia EaglesQBDrew Brees, New Orleans Saints
RBLeSean McCoy, Philadelphia Eagles
Eddie Lacy, Green Bay PackersRBMatt Forte, Chicago Bears
Alfred Morris, Washington RedskinsRBDeMarco Murray, Dallas Cowboys
A.J. Green, Cincinnati BengalsWRBrandon Marshall, Chicago Bears
Dez Bryant, Dallas CowboysWRJosh Gordon, Cleveland Browns
Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh SteelersWRAlshon Jeffery, Chicago Bears
DeSean Jackson, Philadelphia EaglesWRLarry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals
Jordan Cameron, Cleveland BrownsTEJimmy Graham, New Orleans Saints
Jason Witten, Dallas CowboysTETony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons
Branden Albert, Kansas City ChiefsOTJoe Thomas, Cleveland Browns
Trent Williams, Washington RedskinsOTTyron Smith, Dallas Cowboys
Duane Brown, Houston TexansOTJordan Gross, Carolina Panthers
Mario Williams, Buffalo BillsDECameron Jordan, New Orleans Saints
Greg Hardy, Carolina PanthersDECameron Wake, Miami Dolphins
J.J. Watt, Houston TexansDE
Tamba Hali, Kansas City ChiefsOLBJustin Houston, Kansas City Chiefs
Brian Orakpo, Washington Redskins (via trade)OLBJohn Abraham, Arizona Cardinals
Terrell Suggs, Baltimore RavensOLBRobert Mathis, Indianapolis Colts (via trade)
Luke Kuechly, Carolina PanthersILBVontaze Burfict, Cincinnati Bengals
Paul Posluszny, Jacksonville JaguarsILBDerrick Johnson, Kansas City Chiefs
Tim Jennings, Chicago BearsCBAlterraun Verner, Tennessee Titans
Patrick Peterson, Arizona CardinalsCBJoe Haden, Cleveland Browns
Darrelle Revis, Tampa Bay BuccaneersCBBrandon Flowers, Kansas City Chiefs
Brent Grimes, Miami DolphinsCBAntonio Cromartie, New York Jets
T.J. Ward, Cleveland BrownsSAntrel Rolle, New York Giants
Eric Berry, Kansas City ChiefsSJairus Byrd, Buffalo Bills
Eric Weddle, San Diego ChargersSEric Reid, San Francisco 49ers
Justin Tucker, Baltimore RavensKStephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots
Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota VikingsPRDexter McCluster, Kansas City Chiefs
NFL.com

Are you looking to bet on a player to win game MVP honors? Here are three strong candidates who had to feel a bit insulted about where they were selected.

 

Cam Newton

Jan 23, 2014; Honolulu, HI, USA; General view of the Under Armour cleats of Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton with Superman shield at practice for the 2014 Pro Bowl at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Sanders had the first pick after losing the team-captain pick to Rice. With his choice between Indianapolis Colts star Andrew Luck and Carolina Panthers stud Cam Newton, Sanders went with Luck.

These two will forever be compared because they were No. 1 overall selections in 2012 and 2011, respectively. Whether they admit it or not, they each want to prove their superiority over the other.

Aside from the sting of not being chosen ahead of Luck as motivation, the game's non-defensive style could make a dual threat like Newton a favorite to go off.

Here's what Kevin Patra of NFL.com said:

Everything about the Pro Bowl screams: "Cam Newton for MVP." It's hard enough for players to tackle Newton when they are trying. In a game in which defenders aren't known to tackle, Cam shouldn't be on the ground much. Ted Ginn Jr. is not one of his top wide receivers in the Pro Bowl, so Newton's stats should improve right off the bat.

Newton will probably be flashing that winning smile on a regular basis in Hawaii.

 

Alex Smith

Jan 22, 2014; Ko'Olina, HI, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (left) and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Nick Foles at the Pro Bowl draft at the J.W. Marriott Ihilani Resort & Spa. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Is there any man more disrespected than Smith in the NFL? The former No. 1 overall pick was benched by Jim Harbaugh in 2012 while he was injured and shipped to the Kansas City Chiefs in the offseason.

He subsequently led the Chiefs to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth.

Even after all that, he wasn't even selected in the Pro Bowl draft. Instead, he was appointed to Rice's team after Sanders said: "I'm a go with Nick Foles" when Smith and the Philadelphia Eagles' breakout star were the last two kids left in the sandlot.

Smith just might surprise everyone by putting up huge numbers with a stellar set of weapons for Team Rice. 

 

Matt Forte

The Chicago Bears star might be all smiles in this image, but you can bet he didn't like the fact that running backs like the Green Bay Packers' Eddie Lacy and the Dallas Cowboys' DeMarco Murray were selected ahead of him.

Forte is a proud competitor who never seems to get the respect he deserves. Dissing Forte is not a new trend; it's been going on for a while. Back in 2012, Forte was trying to get a well-deserved contract extension, but the NFL Network only voted him the 33rd-best player in the league.

Per Josh Alper of NBC Sports (via the NFL Network broadcast), Forte said:

All you can ask for is respect, and you go out there and you do your best to earn it. Respect isn’t given to anybody. You’ve got to earn it out there. So the way I go about playing the game, preparing for it and the way I play, I feel I have earned the respect.

Forte should be more highly regarded. The numbers don't lie.

He was second in the NFL in rushing with 1,339 yards, and third in total yards from scrimmage with 1,933. Neither Lacy nor Murray were ahead of him in those categories.

Forte may be putting on a show on Sunday in his never-ending quest for the love he deserves.

 

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