As usual, there a lot of questions that need to be answered when it comes to the pro bowl voting. It happens at every position, and there are always some players that just should not be there.
Many deserving players will not be in Hawaii, but in many cases there were too many great players at a position (NFC running back and wide receiver). The Pro Bowl does not seem to carry the importance of the NBA or MLB All-Star games, but the right players still deserve to go.
The New York Jets led all teams with 7 selections. The Jets? The New York Giants and Tennessee Titans get six a piece, and the Jets get seven?
I also have to question how the Minnesota Vikings getting six selections. They are a mediocre team at best, and I am fine with Adrian Peterson, Antoine Winfield, and Steve Hutchinson being chosen. Pat and Kevin Williams both should be suspended right now, and they are 2/3 of the NFC defensive tackles. I will go into Jared Allen later.
I have made my rankings based on the players I feel got the worst snub. A player that had a phenomenal season, but was left off because there was nowhere to put him will not rank as high as one who was left off for someone less deserving.
This is my first list I have done, and I welcome any feedback from people who agree or disagree. I'm sure not everyone will agree with my selections, and that is fine. I am just using my firsthand knowledge and statistical research to try and come up with as accurate a list as possible.
London Fletcher has been without question the quarterback of the Washington Redskins fourth ranked defense this season. He has 118 tackles, a forced fumble, and five passes defended.
Everywhere he has played has seen an improvement in the defense, and a decline when he leaves. But he has still never made a Pro Bowl. I cannot argue with either Jon Beason or Patrick Willis at ILB, but Fletcher needs to make a Pro Bowl soon.
Calvin Johnson is the odd man out amongst a strong group of NFC wide receivers.
His 1165 yards is fourth in the NFC, and he is second in touchdowns with 10, behind only Anquan Boldin. He is second in the NFC in yards per catch, at 17.9.
The fact that the Lions are 0-14 does not help his case, however. I cannot disagree with any of the players chosen in front of him, but given the Lions QB situations, his numbers are remarkable.
It is always hard to make the Pro Bowl as a rookie, but even more so at tackle. Ryan Clady should be there.
Jason Peters of Buffalo has used his Pro Bowl selection last year to cause a contract dispute with the Bills. He has been a distraction, and should not be a Pro Bowler. Clady has only allowed 1/2 sack all season.
He has faced some great pass rushers, and shut them down completely. He should be a reserve at least on the AFC squad.
Other than Antoine Winfield, I do not believe any NFC cornerback is having a better season that Corey Webster. He has been all over the field, with 43 tackles, 21 passes defended, and three interceptions.
He also has a sack and has forced two fumbles. He is a shut down corner, and has been better than Asante Samuel and Charles Woodson in my opinion. He is an underrated part of a stifling Giants defense, and he will be a key if they want to repeat as Super Bowl champions.
Matt Ryan was one of the toughest cases for me on this list. In order to put him on the NFC roster, I have to put him ahead of Eli Manning. Looking at the numbers, I am willing to do exactly that.
Ryan's QB rating of 90.0 is better than Manning's 86.4, and he has a solid 14-9 TD/INT ratio. His 8.09 yards per attempt definitely catches my eye, as it only trails Phillip Rivers and Tony Romo.
But I think the numbers do not completely tell the Matt Ryan story. He has taken a leadership role as a rookie, and helped turn the Atlanta Falcons into a legitimate contender. What he has done is amazing.
There are so many great running backs this season in NFC that some had to be excluded. DeAngelo Williams is the wrong one.
As a Redskins fan, it kills me to say this, but he should be ahead of Clinton Portis. Portis was my favorite for MVP at the halfway point, but injuries have slowed him and the O-line has fallen apart. Williams' 5.5 yards per carry is ridiculous, and his 14 TDs is second only to Michael Turner's 15.
His total doubles Portis' seven TDs. To top it off, he has not fumbled all year, and ball security is vastly underrated.
I cannot figure for the life of me how Phillip Rivers is not a Pro Bowler.
He leads the NFL in QB rating at 101.4, and in TDs with 28. Rivers has been nothing short of a superstar, and he gets passed over for Jay Cutler, who had a good year, and Brett Favre, who was selected on name alone.
Rivers leads the NFL in yards per attempt at 8.23, and it is not his fault the Chargers defense has broken down and LaDainian Tomlinson has had an off year. Despite San Diego's record, Phillip Rivers numbers simply cannot be overlooked.
Steve Slaton has been one of the biggest surprises in the NFL to many people this season.
Labeled as the product of West Virginia's system, he was thought to be too small to be an every down back. He has proved the critics wrong by getting stronger as the season has progressed.
His 1124 yards rushing is third in the AFC, and he has 40 catches for another 305 yards. He has nine total touchdowns. When you compare his numbers to Ronnie Brown, it is not even close.
Brown has 300 less yards, and a 4.2 yards per carry compared to 4.9 for Slaton. The numbers do not lie.
John Abraham's 15.5 sacks have been as important to the Atlanta Falcons defense as anyone or anything. He was beaten out, however, by the inexplicable Minnesota Vikings Pro Bowl bias and Jared Allen.
Allen is the dirtiest player in the NFL, hands down. He puts up the numbers he does because of the monsters the Vikings have at defensive tackle. John Abraham is far more important to his team than Allen is to Minnesota, and he deserved to be selected.
Chad Pennington has taken a team that went 1-15 last year and turned them into the favorite to win the AFC East.
He has the second highest QB rating behind Phillip Rivers, and he is arguably the smartest QB in the AFC (probably 2nd to Peyton Manning, but its close).
Miami is 7-1 in their last eight games, and Pennington has thrown eight TDs compared to one INT. After being dumped by the New York Jets, he has emerged as a legitimate MVP candidate out of nowhere.
It is terrible he was left out of the Pro Bowl for Brett Favre, who leads the NFL in interceptions with 17. If I had to choose right now, Pennington is in my top three MVP choices. He certainly should be a Pro Bowler.