Surprise Picks For The Pro Bowl: Part One AFC Offensive Edition
Hey everybody! Thank you for tuning in to read my predictions for the AFC Pro Bowl. Yes, I am aware that this is a bit early.
But, I wanted to write this article BEFORE it became glaringly obvious who would make it and who wouldn't.
I am counting players who may pass on their Pro Bowl ticket, including the big man in the photo to the left.
But anyway, thank you for reading my first slide, and let's get on with the article!
Who did you seriously expect to come in at top dog in the AFC? Peyton Manning of course. He has everything in his favor.
Great receiving corps with all of his receivers having crisp route running and great hands.
Great offensive line built just for defending the pass.
Great offensive scheme. Personal philosophy: includes having fewer than ten rushes per game being a possibility.
Peyton Manning has everything going his way this year, and it shows in his stats, which include leading the league in yards and touchdowns. Also, let's not forget he has no interceptions yet. Very nice considering he had 16 last year.
Quarterback Second String
Just kidding. The new Broadway Joe is leading the league in interceptions with six. Also, he has a passer rating hovering around 40. Who would have expected this kind of season with such fantastic receivers?
Anyway, please continue.
REAL Second String Quarterback
Phillip Rivers has played very well so far considering his lack of Pro Bowlers Vincent Jackson (Wide receiver) and Marcus McNeill (starting left tackle).
He has played second best in the AFC so far this season and I think you can expect him to continue. The injury to Ryan Matthews hurts, but realistically, it is not a huge hit to the team.
As long as the receivers can keep their hands made of glue, and the defense can try and play stingy, the Chargers have a successful season.
Starting Running Back
Ray Rice, despite the Ravens mediocre offense, has been playing very well. He averaged 4.7 yards per carry against the Bengals and probably would have had a few touchdowns if they gave him the ball more than a handful of times.
He has great speed, quickness, and strength. He is a very good blocker and has a lot going his way.
With how badly Flacco has been playing, the Ravens will have to hand it off to Rice more, increasing his fantasy value and overall stats.
Also, let's not forget how great the offensive line is...
And he is looking at a great season to come.
Second String Running Back
Rashard Mendenhall has shown to be an excellent player throughout the last 14 games.
He has the speed to break away from the defense, the acceleration to hit the hole at full speed and the strength to just shake off who and whatever he wants. If not for the atrocious offensive line, he could be leading the league in rushing yards and touchdowns. He is fourth in the NFL in yards and has nearly 200 yards so far.
He has good hands as far as receiving the ball goes, he is a team play and a great blocker, and he just does everything you want. He is a legitimate back and you can expect a lot from him.
Running Back Honorable Mentions
Yes, I am aware that Chris Johnson was not there. It was not an accident. I am also not grading based off of the Pittsburgh game.
I think that the Steelers left a blue-print on how to stop Chris Johnson. Teams will stack the box against him and force Young/Collins to pass on them. odds are that they can, but Chris Johnson will not be the main cog of the team.
Also, LaDainian Tomlinson is very deserving of some respect. he had seven yards per carry against the Patriots and if he had more than 11 carries, he was destined for a 125+ yard game.
Starting Wide Receiver
DUH! Andre Johnson is easily the best wide receiver in the NFL and he juts had a game-tying catch on fourth down against the Redskins. That eventually led to the Texans winning the game.
He has the speed, strength and amazing hands you want from a receiver. He is the prototype NFL wide receiver without a doubt.
He has played great up to this point and you can expect him to continue. He isn't leading the league in yards yet or anything, but he missed a lot of the Redskins game and I think he would have undoubtedly gotten to 200 yards.
Second, Third, and Foruth Receiver
Reggie Wayne is without a doubt the safest wide receiver in the NFL. He is quiet, and makes big catches. He just doesn't have drops. He has arguably the best route-running in the NFL and as I mentioned...just...does not drop the ball. That is something that is a necessity in a wide receiver.
Wes Welker- I know. I know he usually is not lighting it up from a Yards Per Catch perspective, but he makes more than 100 every year. He too has extremely safe hands and he is extremely quick.
Chad Ochocinco. He will even out as far as his performance goes and won't average 100 yards per game forever. But, that being said, I don't see anyone else making it in the AFC. He has a lot of skill and Terrell Owens makes everything easier for him.
Starting Tight End
Normally, this spot is reserved for Antonio Gates, but this year is different.
I am not calling Mark Sanchez a great quarterback, but he has a 96 passer rating and lit up the Patriots. Also, who is his favorite target? This guy, right here.
He is a decent blocker and has fantastic hands, especially at tight end. I think he has an excellent future ahead of him and it is starting this year.
Second String Tight End
No, Dallas Clark is not on here. I am aware of this. Clark gets all of the yards, but Gates gets touchdowns.
So far this year, Antonio Gates has there touchdown and looks to expand on that number more. You can definitely count on him to do so.
He is known for his receiving, but has become a decent blocker.
But, obviously, his strength is on the plays where he makes catches. He holds the record (tied with Vernon Davis) for the most touchdowns in one season by a tight end, as 13!
He will definitely make the Pro Bowl.
Starting Offensive Linemen
You know a guy is underrated when he is 11 pages into Getty Images. Joe Thomas is the most underrated lineman in the NFL, but is in reality the best left tackle in the NFL. He has the great ability to stop players from getting through him with his strength, and has the speed to stop the Freeney's and Abraham's of the NFL.
Left Guard-Kris Dielman. His pass blocking ability is superb, and while he is less than unbelievable against the run, his pass blocking makes up for it. He allows very few sacks, and I know that Phillip Rivers can attest to that.
Center-Come on dude....obviously it is Nick Mangold. He is the best center in the league and arguably the best lineman outside of Joe Thomas and Jake Long. He is a fantastic player and a great locker influence. He has great leadership and works hard every play. He is arguably my favorite lineman.
Right Guard-Chris Kuper. He is one of the most under-appreciated players in the NFL and has great skill all around. He is very good with his pass blocking, run blocking, and is extremely athletic. Also, let's not forget that the NFC dominates the right side of the line. Three or four of the top five at both positions are NFC.
Right Tackle-D'Brickashaw Ferguson. The guy is a beast. The 6'6" 310 right tackle from the Jets is the best right tackle int he NFL. He has the speed and strength to outmatch every defensive end he faces, and the skill too.
Here is my first AFC offensive Pro Bowl roster.
Quarterback-Peyton Manning, Phillip Rivers
Running Back- Ray Rice, Rashard Mendenhall
Wide Receivers- Andre Johnson, Wes Welker, and Chad Ochocinco
Tight Ends- Dustin Keller, Antonio Gates
Offensive lineman from left to right- Joe Thomas, Kris Dielman, Nick Mangold, Chris Kuper, and D'Brickashaw Ferguso
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