The New York Giants have had a good run in terms of getting their team represented in the Pro Bowl over the last couple of seasons.
Unfortunately, it hasn't led to playoff appearances. But nonetheless, they still have several talented players who are very capable of making the Pro Bowl this season.
One of which seems painfully obvious, but Hakeem Nicks emerged as one of the NFC's elite receivers in 2010 before missing three games due to a minor injury. Not getting those stats ultimately led to him missing out on the Pro Bowl and if he stays healthy this year, I see no reason why he won't make it.
I expect a breakout year in 2011. Last year could be considered a breakthrough year as he had 1,052 yards and 11 touchdowns; he will improve on those numbers as he and Eli Manning's chemistry continues to get better.
Prior to his injury, Nicks was leading all wide receivers and tied for the league lead with Antonio Gates with nine touchdowns; he was also in the top 10 in receptions and yards. Those are All-Pro type numbers.
If only he didn't suffer the injury.
Chris Snee pretty much just has to stay healthy and he'll likely get his fourth Pro Bowl selection in a row. The Giants' best offensive lineman has been a staple on the right side for their dominant rushing attack; he even made the second-team All-Pro in 2010.
The former second-round pick has shown that it wasn't simply his marriage to Tom Coughlin's daughter that got him a spot on the team when Coughlin drafted him in his first draft in 2004. The guy is super talented.
Shaun O'Hara's 2010 Pro Bowl selection proves that if you get your name in the door with one selection as an offensive lineman, you're pretty much going to get multiple selections.
O'Hara made the Pro Bowl in 2008 and 2009 which was very much deserved, but he only played six games last year and wasn't effective even when he did play.
However, he is reportedly going to be fully healthy when camp starts and if he can put his foot injuries behind him, he will make the Pro Bowl in 2011.
Another player who has made multiple Pro Bowls, Antrel Rolle made it for the second straight season in 2010 and was the starter at free safety for the NFC side.
He proved to be a huge addition to the Giants secondary, as he led the team in tackles and was instrumental in improving the Giants from the historically bad 2009 season (in terms of defense anyways).
Seeing that he's now been there twice, it will be easier for him to get back there, but he may have to increase his number of big plays. He only had one interceptions and one forced fumble in 2010.
Osi Umenyiora had a fantastic season in 2010 and was rewarded with both a Pro Bowl spot and a second-team All-Pro selection.
He finished tied for seventh in the NFL with 11.5 sacks, but the more impressive number is that 10 of those sacks resulted in the quarterback fumbling the football. He tied Jason Taylor's record of sack/fumbles in a single season.
He played a major part in the Giants leading the NFL in turnovers forced.
Finally, we get to this slide.
I wanted to take this opportunity to chastise the entire NFL fanbase that was responsible for putting Julius Peppers on the NFC Pro Bowl roster ahead of Justin Tuck. Apparently it was only a popularity contest and the casual fan knows who Julius Peppers is from his days with the Panthers.
Even the idiot NFL writers put Julius Peppers on the All-Pro First Team ahead of both Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck. Did they even watch the season?
These are the stats:
Peppers: 54 tackles, eight sacks, three forced fumbles.
Umenyiora: 48 tackles, 11.5 sacks, 10 forced fumbles.
Tuck: 76 tackles, 11.5 sacks, six forced fumbles (five recoveries).
What the hell was everyone smoking when they made these selections? Tuck and Umenyiora clearly have the better stats, and they were on the same team! In what world was Peppers' season more impressive?
The NFL better get it right in 2011 if the stats are similar. It should be about the play on the field—not the name on the jersey.
His 2010 numbers were off the chart and he arguably could have made the Pro Bowl. He led all NFC defensive backs with 101 tackles, was second in pass deflections with 26 and tied for fifth with five interceptions.
I guess because he's not considered a shutdown corner he didn't deserve consideration in some people's eyes.
There is simply too much talent at QB in the NFC for Manning to make it now. Drew Brees, Aaron Rogers, Matt Ryan and Michael Vick all had great years last year.
He is weighed down by the fact that he is forced to split much of the duties with Brandon Jacobs. As long as the both of them are on the Giants, neither will make the Pro Bowl, though Bradshaw had to have come very close last season; he was leading the NFC in rushing for much of the year.