Home > NFL > Pro Bowl Snubs are Out!

Pro Bowl Snubs are Out!

SEATTLE - NOVEMBER 07: Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks  of the New York Giants runs a pass route against the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field on November 7, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. The Giants defeated the Seahawks 41-7. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

So are the rosters, which include at least a couple of players who actually deserved to make it.

The one completely inexcusable snub was Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, who was likely the best quarterback (at least the second best) in the NFC this year, and greatly improved from his pro bowl season in 2009.  Many QBs could have enjoyed the single season that Rodgers had in 2009, but few could have followed that up with an even better season in 2010.  There is no argument that either Matt Ryan or Michael Vick was more deserving.  Vick vs. Ryan for the final pro-bowl roster spot would have been a fantastic debate, obviously one that couldn’t be adequately decided by our primitive methods of QB evaluation, thusly, the much superior Rodgers had to give up his roster spot.

It’s inexcusable because we have so many different ways of evaluating quarterbacks that suggests Rodgers’ superiority to the rest of the NFC, but that wasn’t the only snub this year.  While the AFC side got it right with quarterbacks and running backs (it wasn’t that difficult…unless you’re a BenJarvus Green-Ellis fan, in which case, that’s some tough luck).  Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden had very close seasons production-wise, but the voters probably got it right to pick Jones-Drew.  As a starter though: we may have snubbed legit MVP candidates Jamaal Charles and Arian Foster, even though both made the pro-bowl.

The NFC voters screwed up badly by not finding a spot for LeSean McCoy, who was neck and neck all year with Adrian Peterson for the most dangerous weapon in the NFC.  The inclusion instead of Steven Jackson is most perplexing.  Jackson is a great player.  This, unquestionably, was the worst season of his career.  He missed the pro-bowl five other times while having better seasons than this one.  This was a fascinating legacy pick, for a guy who doesn’t have a particularly long history of making the pro bowl.

Reggie Wayne got a pro bowl nomination he didn’t really deserve, which ended up snubbing Mike Wallace and Steve Johnson, as well as Deion Branch.  Dwayne Bowe was also very borderline, and would have been better suited as a first alternate than a direct nomination.  At least that was not particularly undeserved.  Hakeem Nicks, pictured above, was arguably the Giants best offensive player this year.  He will not go to the pro bowl in deference to the fourth best offensive player on the Eagles, DeSean Jackson.  While neither conference was able to pick its four best receivers, the tight end selections were largely correct.  Vernon Davis probably got snubbed for Tony Gonzalez, but after going to the pro bowl last season, there’s not much to complain about for VD.

There are always terrible snubs on the offensive line, because at no other position in football can a pro bowler have such a horrible year and be completely below the radar.  All three of the AFC picks at tackle are great players having good but not exceptional years.  Better luck next year for Bengals LT Andrew Whitworth, who probably had the best year of any AFC LT, but there were no available spots for him despite his performance.  Same deal for Chiefs LT Branden Albert.  Patriots LG Logan Mankins and Giants C Shaun O’Hara did not combine for 16 games played this year, but they’ll both be heading to Hawai’i.  At least New Orleans’ OL is still playing at a very high level (2 pro bowlers), even if getting two probowlers is inexcusable.  Jeff Backus, Lions LT who is legitimately hated by his own fan base, has probably been the NFC’s best left tackle the last two seasons.  He should have gone instead of the struggling Chad Clifton.  Did Jordan Gross even play this season?

I would have loved to be in the meeting where someone decided the Cowboys OL needed to be represented in the pro bowl this year, sending Andre Gurode.  To their credit, the NFL season would not have been quite the same without the epic implosion of the Cowboys, and specifically their OL.  On the defensive end, Jay Ratliff returns to the pro bowl for a third straight year.  He had 3.5 sacks, which I suppose is good for a player on the Cowboys.  That’s something.  The pro bowl needs to find room for guys like Terrence Knighton, who have years this good for teams like Jacksonville.  Richard Seymour had a good year for Oakland, at least, but he is no longer a premier player.  Tamba Hali was excellent to Terrell Suggs’ very good, so I would have gone with Hali.

As a group, the secondary picks were the most egregious of all positions this year.  Champ Bailey was beaten out by Devin McCourty.  Ed Reed may have done enough in 10 games to deserve his pro bowl nomination, but Brandon Merriweather certainly did not in his 15 games.  Antrel Rolle, the human touchdown, getting selected over Malcolm Jenkins is beyond lunacy.  Quentin Mikell has been the best strong safety in football for two years, and if he wasn’t the obvious pro bowl pick for the NFC, it’s because LaRon Landry was so spectacular in 9 games this year (same # as Ed Reed, btw) that he earned his pro bowl bid.  I don’t have a huge problem with Adrian Wilson repping the Cards in a lost year, but Antrel Rolle is the third best safety on a pass defense that just gave up career days to Michael Vick and Aaron Rodgers in back to back weeks.

Asante Samuel wasn’t a good pro-bowl pick, but he’s a better player than DeAngelo Hall.  Hall is the only Redskin in the pro bowl, and one of the main culprits for the Redskins having the 32nd ranked defense.  But he’s also chiefly responsible for two of the Redskins six wins, so it’s probably the most justifiable of all three of Hall’s selections.  That’s right: you now live in a world where DeAngelo Hall is a three time pro-bowler.

Special teams-wise: the only odd pick here is Billy Cundiff over Rob Bironas for AFC kicker.  Devin Hester is having a spectacular return year, giving the Bears a well-deserved fourth pro bowler in 2010.

Or just one fewer than the Cowboys get.

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