A Closer Look at the Pro Bowl Selections Part I: NFC

OVERVIEW: I actually think the right people got in this year, for the most part.  I have virtually no problem with the offensive line selections, except I'd have given the nod to Jon Runyan over Chris Samuels.... barely.  Most selections were cut and dry.  Witten and Cooley were no brainers.  Brees and Warner were no-brainers.  Peterson and Turner were locks (1st and second in rushing yards and 9 and 15 TDs, respectively).  I'm glad to see Clifton Smith rewarded for his contributions in the kicking game.  He's played a big part in setting up a relatively weak offense with good field position.   

SURPRISE SELECTIONS:

  • Not really much of one here, but Eli Manning emerged from a group of QBs with more passing yards and higher QB ratings: McNabb, Matt Ryan, and Aaron Rodgers.  Hell, even Tony Romo sans 3 games threw for more yards and 4 more TDs with only 1 more INT and a vastly superior QB rating.  I guess being the defending Super Bowl Champion certainly gives you a leg up. 
  • MLB Patrick Willis had a nice year, but I'd have gone with Barrett Ruud for reasons listed below.
  • Asante Samuel, certainly an electric player, made the team with 4 INTs, but a mere 30 tackles.  Other players had comparable or arguably better numbers.
  • Even being the Bucs site this is, Derrick Brooks selection ahead of AZ OLB Karlos Dansby is a bit suprising to me.  Dansby put up monster numbers for an OLB... his stat line really looks closer to that of a MLB - 102 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 INTs, 1 FF.  He had a better stat line than Pro Bowl starter Lance Briggs!  Must've gotten punished for playing against that anemic NFC West schedule, I guess.

SNUBS:

  • Bucs fans were given a Ruud awakening by the absence of Barrett Ruud.  Ruud's 117 tackles were 4th in the league, only 4 behind Pro Bowl Selection Patrick Willis and 5 behind starter Jon Beason.  Beason is a clear cut choice with his 100 solo tackles and 3 INTs.  Ruud's 3 sacks and 2 INTs were better than Willis.  Willis registered 11 Passes Defended to Ruud's 8.  I'd give a slight nod to Ruud.
  • Darnell Dockett had a big coming out party this year, wreaking havoc against the interior of the Cowboys' offensive line in October.  Although it's hard to pick against one of the Vikings' Williams brothers, I would've given the nod to Dockett over Pat Williams, as Dockett had only 4 less tackles and 4 more sacks. 
  • Hard to call him a snub, because reserve selection Portis has had a very nice season as the workhorse and main cog of the now-struggling Washington offense, but DeAngelo Williams deserves a trip to Honolulu in most any other year.  He undoubtedly made more out of each touch than Portis.  1200+ RuYds while splitting carries with rookie stud Jonathan Stewart.  5.5 ypc.  4th in rushing yards, only 107 behind Portis.  14 friggin TDs compared to Portis' 7.  He's got a decent case. 
  • Player A: 70 rec, 1240 yds, 6 TDs, 17.7 ypc; Player B: 69 rec, 1153 yds, 8 TDs, 16.7 ypc.  One player is in, one's out.  Who?  If you took Player A, you picked Steve Smith, who got in over Player B, Greg Jennings. Smith's slight lead in yardage, receptions, and ypc carried the day over Jennings' TDs.  Very close.  Jennings would be in more often than not with those numbers.
  • Speaking of WRs, Lions weapon (yes, "weapon", as in their only one) Calvin Johnson missed the party despite his 10 TDs, 2nd in the NFC.  He grabbed 65 passes for 1153 yds despite receiving passes from some pretty awful QBs.  Poor guy.  If he had a QB with a pulse, he'd have passed other receivers in both those categories and be Hawaii bound.
  • Tramon Williams put up a nice stat line, with 53 tackles and 5 INTs.  Ultimately, the selection of Woodson and the stigma of Williams as the "other" CB in the Packers secondary (which ranked 7th in the NFC in passing ypg allowed) helped Samuel slip in. 

 

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