2010 NFL Pro Bowl: Why You Should Vote For Darren McFadden Of The Raiders
(This slideshow includes all my picks for the 2010 Pro Bowl).
It's that time of year again.
No, not the day before Halloween, or another publicity stunt in Washington. Not the weekend before the 2010 US elections.
It's Pro Bowl votin' time. As Howard Dean would say, "Yeah!"
I must admit that I really should be more concerned with the election on Tuesday and reading up on the issues.
But as I have come to realize over the years, pro football is meant to inoculate people from caring about anything else, including government and future of the country.
Eventually, I concluded that politics is analogous to a baseball game. The maxim for winning in baseball is, "Pitching, defense, and timely hitting." In politics, the maxim for winning is, "Rhetoric, spin, and timely scandals."
Well, if some meaningless fun is all we get as the powers that be eff everything up, then I'll take it. I also vote for American Idol, because well, at least then I can affect change in the direction of pop-culture.
I used to care, but things have changed.
When I was 13, I couldn't wait to vote for president. I knew the Constitution by heart. I was upset that I would miss the 2000 election by only a few months. Nowadays, I don't really care about that or any election, even if I follow it simply because it's what I know.
Voting for government is like picking between butter and "I can't believe it's not butter."
It's like George Carlin used to say. We have all kinds of choices, like 31 flavors of ice cream. Yet, when it comes to voting on election day, we only have two choices.
I suppose you could say we have the choice between vanilla ice cream and, "vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry" ice cream.
I may be jaded by the political process, but if you're not, then by all means you should get out to vote.
Enough with my spiel.
I wanted to advocate tailback Darren McFadden of the Oakland Raiders for the 2010 Pro Bowl roster.
The AFC has a crowded group of running-backs to choose from, such as Arian Foster of the Texans, Chris Johnson of the Titans, LaDainian Tomlinson of the Jets, Peyton Hillis of the Browns and Rashard Mendenhall of the Steelers.
I would not pick Jamaal Charles or Thomas Jones of the Chiefs, because both have had nearly equal time, and both benefit from the offensive line.
You can only choose three. Foster would be an obvious No. 1, but I'm conflicted by the fact that he runs in offense where almost any running back could succeed. Johnson would be my second pick.
And here's where things get gray.
Darren McFadden: five games, 111.4 yards per game, six total touchdowns, 34 first downs, 750 yards running and receiving, seven plays of more than 20 yards, and one fumble.
LaDainian Tomlinson: six games, 81.7 yards per game, five total touchdowns, 32 first downs, 597 yards running and receiving, five plays of more than 20 yards, and one fumble.
Rashard Mendenhall: six games, 88.7 yards per game, five total touchdowns, 28 first downs, 580 yards running and receiving, four plays of more than 20 yards, and zero fumbles.
Peyton Hillis: seven games, 65.7 yards per game, six total touchdowns, 38 first downs, 653 total yards running and receiving, four plays of more than 20 yards, and three fumbles.
My immediate thoughts were that even though LT is flipping the bird at the critics that thought he was done (not me), he has a better offensive line with D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold, and Damien Woody. Hillis also runs behind Joe Thomas and Eric Steinbach.
Mendenhall basically carried the Steelers offense during the suspension of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. At the same time, I think this is a different era for running backs. A running back should be a dual threat. I also consider that Mendenhall had the Pittsburgh defense to protect leads.
In the case of McFadden, he's been an explosive dual threat without consistency at quarterback or the offensive line that has been hampered by injuries.
In that sense, I think McFadden has proved that between him and Mendenhall, McFadden is the better individual running back in 2010.
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers
Tom Brady, New England Patriots
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles
Mark Sanchez, Jets; Kyle Orton, Broncos; Matt Cassel, Chiefs; Matt Shaub, Texans, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills; Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers; Aaron Rodgers, Packers; Josh Freeman, Buccaneers; Sam Bradford, Rams
Arian Foster, Houston Texans
Chris Johnson, Tennessee Titans
Darren McFadden, Oakland Raiders
Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
Ahmad Bradshaw, New York Giants
Steven Jackson, St. Louis Rams
Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers; Peyton Hillis, Browns; LaDainian Tomlinson, Jets; Thomas Jones, Chiefs; Frank Gore, 49ers; LeSean McCoy, Eagles; Michael Turner, Falcons; Jahvid Best, Lions.
Mike Tolbert, San Diego Chargers
Madison Hedgecock, New York Giants
Tony Richardson, Jets; Marcel Reece, Raiders
Austin Collie, Indianapolis Colts
Kenny Britt, Tennessee Titans
Anquan Boldin, Baltimore Ravens
Terrell Owens, Cincinnati Bengals
Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons
Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions
Jeremy Maclin, Philadelphia Eagles
Santana Moss, Washington Redskins
Reggie Wayne, Colts; Brandon Lloyd, Broncos; Hakeem Nicks, Giants; Greg Jennings, Packers
Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers
Zach Miller, Oakland Raiders
Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars
Vernon Davis, San Francisco 49ers
Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons
Chris Cooley, Washington Redskins
Dustin Keller, Jets; Todd Heap, Ravens; Ben Watson, Browns; Visanthe Shiancoe, Vikings
Ryan Clady, Denver Broncos
Damien Woody, New York Jets
Michael Oher, Baltimore Ravens
Jason Peters, Philadelphia Eagles
Kareem McKenzie, New York Giants
Chad Clifton, Green Bay Packers
Matt Light, Patriots; Michael Roos, Titans; Russell Okung, Seahawks
Kris Dielman, San Diego Chargers
Brian Waters, Kansas City Chiefs
Eric Steinbach, Cleveland Browns
Steve Hutchinson, Minnesota Vikings
Jahri Evans, New Orleans Saints
Carl Nicks, New Orleans Saints
Ben Grubbs, Ravens; Chris Chester, Ravens; Ryan Lilja, Chiefs; Justin Smiley, Jaguars; Wade Smith, Dolphins; Chris Snee, Giants; Harvey Dahl, Falcons; Ben Hamilton, Seahawks; Mike Iupati, 49ers; Leonard Davis, Cowboys
Nick Mangold, New York Jets
Dan Koppen, New England Patriots
Andre Gurode, Dallas Cowboys
Jason Brown, St. Louis Rams
Jeff Saturday, Colts, Matt Birk, Ravens; Brad Meester, Jaguars; Chris Myers, Texans; Maurkice Pouncey, Steelers; Scott Wells, Packers, Chris Spencer, Seahawks
Richard Seymour, Oakland Raiders
Jason Jones, Tennessee Titans
Kelly Gregg, Baltimore Ravens
Nndamukong Suh, Detroit Lions
Colin Cole, Seattle Seahawks
BJ Raji, Green Bay Packers
Tommy Kelly, Raiders, Ahtyba Rubin, Browns; Vince Wilfork, Patriots; Kyle Williams, Bills, Sedrick Ellis, Saints, Barry Cofield, Giants
Mario Williams, Houston Texans
Robert Mathis, Indianapolis Colts
Jason Babin, Tennessee Titans
Trent Cole, Philadelphia Eagles
Osi Umenyiora, New York Giants
James Hall, St. Louis Rams
Matt Shaughnessy, Raiders; Dave Ball, Titans; Darnell Dockett, Cardinals; John Abraham, Falcons; Justin Smith, 49ers
James Harrison, Pittsburgh Steelers
Shaun Phillips, San Diego Chargers
Tamba Hali, Kansas City Chiefs
Clay Matthews, Green Bay Packers
Brian Orakpo, Washington Redskins
DeMarcus Ware, Dallas Cowboys
LaMarr Woodley, Steelers; Cameron Wake, Dolphins; DJ Williams, Broncos; Chad Greenway, Vikings; Michael Boley, Giants
Nnamdi Asomugha, Oakland Raiders
Darelle Revis, New York Jets
Leon Hall, Cincinnati Bengals
Charles Woodson, Green Bay Packers
DeAngelo Hall, Washington Redskins
Charles Tillman, Chicago Bears
Antonio Cromartie, Jets; Asante Samuel, Eagles; Aqib Talib, Buccaneers
Brian Dawkins, Denver Broncos
Michael Griffin, Tennessee Titans
Nate Allen, Philadelphia Eagles
Earl Thomas, Seattle Seahawks
Chris Crocker, Bengals; Antoine Bethea, Colts
Troy Polamalu, Pitssburgh Steelers
LaRon Landry, Washington Redskins
Eric Berry, Chiefs; TJ Ward, Browns; Donte Whitner, Bills; Tyvon Branch, Raiders
Ray Lewis, Baltimore Ravens
Lawrence Timmons, Pittsburgh Steelers
Patrick Willis, San Francisco 49ers
Curtis Lofton, Atlanta Falcons
Stephen Tulloch, Titans; Jerod Mayo, Patriots; Derrick Johnson, Chiefs; James Laurinaitis, Rams; AJ Hawk, Packers; Jonathan Goff, Giants
Sebastian Janikowski, kicker, Oakland Raiders
Shane Lechler, punter, Oakland Raiders
Marc Mariani, return specialist, Tennessee Titans
Danny Woodhead, special teams, New England Patriots
Jeremy Cain, long snapper, Jacksonville Jaguars
John Kasay, kicker, Carolina Panthers
Donnie Jones, punter, St. Louis Rams
Devin Hester, return specialist, Chicago Bears
Kerry Rhodes, special teams, Arizona Cardinals
Don Muhlbach, long snapper, Detroit Lions