QUOTE: “The worst pain a man can suffer: to have insight into much and power over nothing.” — Herodotus
The Pro Bowl votes are in, and from my viewpoint, there are a few players who get in on reputation and few who get overlooked. Here are some notes:
2010 Selection Breakdown
3 rookies (LB Brian Cushing, S Jarius Byrd, LB Brian Orakpo)
23 1st-time selections (8 AFC, 15 NFC)
24 2nd-time selections (17 AFC, 7 NFC)
9 3rd-time selections (3 AFC, 6 NFC)
8 4th-time selections (3 AFC, 5 NFC)
8 5th-time selections (4 AFC, 4 NFC)
4 6th-time selections (A. Gates, Ed Reed, J. Witten, C. Woodson)
1 7th-time selection (Steve Hutchinson)
1 8th-time selection (Brian Dawkins)
2 9th-time selections (Champ Bailey, Alan Faneca)
2 10th-time selection (Ray Lewis, Peyton Manning)
1 11th-time selection (Brett Favre)
Teams without selections
Do Not Belong
1. Jake Long, OT, Miami: Love Long, but this year was not a Pro Bowl year. He’s struggled to be consistent and never gives the appearance that he is a lockdown pass protector.
2. Ray Lewis, LB, Baltimore: I know Lewis was a great player, but he’s not one right now. This is a veteran vote, not a performance vote.
3. Jason Peters, OT, Philadelphia: He’s a good player, but from
watching tape, he was not the best left tackle in the NFC this season. Donald Penn of the Bucs might be better.
4. Jon Stinchcomb, OT, New Orleans: This was a surprise, although when a team wins 13 games, many players seem to go. But watch Stinchcomb in the playoffs – he’s not a lock down tackle.
Some who should have been considered
Here are some notes I jotted down from the weekend games, but because I was down and out, I was unable to post them. Enjoy.
1. Never judge Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb by his completion percentage. Judge him by his ability to make one or two plays in a game that ultimately results in helping his team win. Case in point: Facing a third-and-25, McNabb scrambled for a first down, outracing Broncos linebacker D.J. Williams for the yard marker. As the drive continued, the Eagles were forced to punt, but because of McNabb’s run, the Broncos were pinned back inside their own 10. The Broncos then failed to get a first down and punted back to the Eagles. With the ball at midfield and needing only a field goal to win the game, McNabb made a great throw to rookie Jeremy Maclin, who made an even better catch setting up the win.
2. Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart has always been one of my favorite runners, first in college at Oregon and now in the pros. His stocky build, combined with his balance and burst, makes him difficult to tackle. In fact, just ask the Giants defenders who gave up more than 200 yards to Stewart, the most yards rushing by a Giants defense since 1978. Well done, Mr. Stewart.
3. Break up the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after winning their second game in a row and beating the once-undefeated Saints in come-from-behind fashion. Trailing 17-0 at halftime, the Bucs held the Saints scoreless in the second half, which is a great achievement in itself. Bucs running back Cadillac Williams ran as well as I’ve seen him run in some time.
4. Panthers quarterback Matt Moore makes his second consecutive appearance in the Sunday Best, but this time it’s to anoint him the starter when the Panthers return to training camp next summer. I’m not sure whom the competition might be, but in my mind, his recent play has earned Moore the right to be the starter. Former starter Jake Delhomme can hold the clipboard.
5. The Chargers are hot, and quarterback Philip Rivers is even hotter. The Chargers are sneaky good, and like the Saints and Eagles in the NFC, they have some shortcomings on defense, but their offense can score points at will.
6. Panthers head coach John Fox is insisting that he’s either given an extension or is fired, but he doesn’t want to come back as a lame duck in 2010. Based on his team’s play the past three weeks, he might have a strong case for an extension.
7. In about two weeks, I’m certain that former Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan will have his furniture-matching drapes on display in his new office at Redskin Park as he tries to rebuild the Redskins. Then Albert Haynesworth will become his problem.
8. There was once a time when a game between the Ravens and Steelers meant many more punts than points, but no longer. Both teams are in steady decline in terms of their ability to dominate games with their defense.
Follow me on Twitter: michaelombardi
For a closer look at the NFC playoff picture, check out this article from Bleacher Report.