For the first time since 2007, the Packers have five Pro-Bowlers. Taking the trip to Hawaii in late January are S Nick Collins, LB Clay Matthews, CB Charles Woodson, WR Greg Jennings and LT Chad Clifton.
In addition to the five spots on the starting roster, QB Aaron Rodgers and CB Tramon Williams are first alternates. I’m not really sure what the voters were thinking because Rodgers and Williams should have been sure selections along with Matthews and Jennings.
Not that many people really care about the Pro Bowl, but here is my reaction to each Packers player selected or not selected.
By: Nick Grays
1.) QB Aaron Rodgers (293/447 for 3,693 YDS, 27 TDs and 10 INTs)
Yes, he missed an important game against the Patriots due to a concussion, but that shouldn’t knock him out of his Pro Bowl selection. The three quarterbacks selected ahead of him were the Eagles Michael Vick (understandable), Saints Drew Brees (alright) and Falcons Matt Ryan (come on now). The Falcons are having a great year, but Matt Ryan’s numbers are nowhere near those of Rodgers. Rodgers ranks second in the NFC with a 101.9 quarterback rating compared to Ryan’s mediocre 89.8.
2.) CB Tramon Williams (54 tackles, 6 INTs and a forced fumble)
Williams being left out was probably the biggest snub of them all because he’s been the Packers best defender against the pass this season (better than Collins and Woodson who were selected). His six interceptions are tied for second in the entire NFL. Should have been Williams instead of Collins or Woodson.
3.) S Nick Collins (67 tackles and 3 INTs)
Collins will be heading to his third-straight Pro Bowl, the first Green Bay safety since LeRoy Butler to do so from 1996-98. Collins has been a mainstay in the Packers improving defense while playing in every game during the last three years. No disrespect to Collins, I just thought Williams was more deserving of the selection.
4.) LB Clay Matthews (58 tackles, 12.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 1 INT)
Matthews locked up his second straight Pro Bowl selection when he racked up six sacks in weeks one and two of the season. Not only is he more than deserving of the bid, he will most likely be a top candidate for the NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award.
Make sure to check out an article from The Sports Bank’s CEO Paul M. Banks after catching up with the defensive stud at Nike’s Media Summit in Dallas, TX a few weeks ago.
5.) CB Charles Woodson (86 tackles, 5 forced fumbles and 2 INTs)
Woodson is the indisputable leader of Dom Capers defense in Green Bay. The savvy veteran received his seventh overall selection to the Pro Bowl and deservedly so as he has posted a career high 86 tackles. Moreover, the Michigan alum continues to be the best in the NFL at stripping the ball with five forced fumbles this season. My only problem is how his partner in crime (Tramon Williams) was left out of the game.
6.) WR Greg Jennings (72 REC for 1,168 YDS and 12 TD)
Hallelujah! Jennings will be making his first-ever Pro Bowl appearance after being snubbed from last season’s game in Hawaii. After a slow start to the season, Jennings has been arguably the best receiver in the game while averaging 98.5 yards per game since Week 6. He gives his team a lot of credit for the selection:
“It’s been a culmination of a lot of things. The O-line has been doing great, protecting and keeping ‘A-Rod’ upright. He’s been putting the ball on point, and then obviously, my comrades, the other receivers, they’ve been making plays, taking a lot of pressure off myself and themselves as well. When you get an individual accolade like this, everyone looks at the individual, but it definitely takes more than just myself,” said Jennings.
7.) LT Chad Clifton (Do you really want offensive line stats?)
The 11-year veteran out of Tennessee has had a great year blocking for Aaron Rodgers. Just ask the Vikings Jared Allen or Giants Osi Umenyiora, two of the league’s most dominating defensive ends, who were held to a single sack between the two in three games against Clifton. Quite crazy to think a Packers offensive lineman is making the Pro Bowl after the dismal year the unit had last season. This is Clifton’s second Pro Bowl selection in four years.
Even though the previously mentioned players would love to vacation to Hawaii in late January, I think they would much rather be playing for the Super Bowl in Dallas come early February. The Packers take on the Chicago Bears in week 17 with their playoff hopes on the line.
Did you think that Aaron Rodgers or Tramon Williams were snubbed? Or did they get it right? Maybe the Pro Bowl is a complete waste of time, let me know by commenting below!Follow paulmbanks