Made it: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers/Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons/Robert Griffin III, Washington Redskins
Should have made it: Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks/Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
Rodgers' numbers have been a bit down this year, but between receiver injuries and an offensive line that needs serious help at four of five positions, he's still played very well. And this year's Pro Bowl would have seemed very odd without RG3. But we quibble a bit with Ryan. Yes, we understand that the Falcons have the best record in football at 13-2, and yes, Ryan has been mentioned as an MVP candidate. But that five-pick game against the Cardinals, and the three-pick game against the Raiders ... it makes us wonder. Ryan's been hot of late, but Romo and Wilson have been incandescent in December -- in fact, based purely on recent returns, Cam Newton would be an interesting choice. In any case, we're not sure Ryan is the kind of "team lifter" most Pro Bowl quarterbacks seem to be.
A note on Drew Brees: His five-pick game against the Falcons (and the nine-pick stretch in three games) does him no favors, but no quarterback has ever had to deal with more unadulterated crap from the NFL in a single season. It's hard to put that into meaningful stats, but if we're going on pure performance ... well, that's a tough one.
Made it: Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings/Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks/Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers
Should have made it: These guys.
No argument here, and in that order. The three best backs in the NFL this season. It's a shame that Tampa Bay rookie Doug Martin couldn't sneak his way on here, but we have a feeling he'll see quite a few trips to Hawaii (or wherever they hold this thing) in the future.
Made it: Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions/Brandon Marshall, Chicago Bears/Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons/Victor Cruz, New York Giants
Should have made it: Roddy White, Atlanta Falcons/James Jones, Green Bay Packers/Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys
A few issues here. Cruz is a great player, but this is a bit of a name pick -- perhaps Roddy White should do a few Chunky Soup commercials. Jones and Bryant are first and second in the NFL in touchdown receptions, and we're especially confused by Jones' omission.
Made it: Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta Falcons/Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
Should have made it: These guys.
We just have one request of Tony Gonzalez: Please do not retire after the 2012 season. You're simply too good.
Made it: Joe Staley, San Francisco 49ers/Russell Okung, Seattle Seahawks/Trent Williams, Washington Redskins
Should have made it: Matt Kalil, Minnesota Vikings
Per Pro Football Focus' metrics, Kalil has given up exactly one quarterback sack all season, and that's with a quarterback in Christian Ponder who rolls to Kalil's side a lot, and doesn't seem to know what he's doing some of the time. Nice that Vikings fullback Jerome Felton made the roster, but the fact that none of Adrian Peterson's linemen made the cut is really, really strange.
Made it: Mike Iupati, San Francisco 49ers/Jahri Evans, New Orleans Saints/Chris Snee, New York Giants
Should have made it: Josh Sitton, Green Bay Packers
No issue with Iupati and Evans. Sitton gets lost in the mess of the rest of Green Bay's offensive line, but he should have made it over Snee.
Made it: Max Unger, Seattle Seahawks/Jeff Saturday, Green Bay Packers
Should have made it: John Sullivan, Minnesota Vikings/Jonathan Goodwin, San Francisco 49ers
Saturday was just benched by the Packers. Enough said. The 49ers led the league in Pro Bowl selections with nine for the second straight season, but this franchise should have a 10th player in Goodwin. The 49ers have the most multiple offense in the NFL when it comes to the run game, and it takes an amazing amount of strength and football acumen to keep that all together. Goodwin has been a beast all season, and his omission is one of the most unfortunate. As for Sullivan, we'll repeat the complaint we made in stumping for Kalil: Adrian Peterson doesn't gain all those yards by himself -- it just seems that way.
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