Ok...so the wonderful Pro Bowl voting can now begin. Let me be the first to say that voting for the Pro Bowl this early in the season is not only silly...it's down right unfair. I don't think i need to remind Saints fans about how Colston probably would have made 2 Pro Bowls already if most of the voting took place at week 15 and 16 as opposed to week 10. Now a lot of people don't take the Pro Bowl seriously. After all the game really doesn't mean much. However, i like to see it as a way i can try to reward the young players and old based on how truly well they represented their team throughout the year. Please keep that in mind and i urge people to hold off on voting until as late as possible. Also at least try to have a clear mind on this subject. So below would be my ballot if i had to vote today (again though, i won't be voting until later in the season).
Tom Brady NE Drew Brees NO
Philip Rivers SD Matt Ryan ATL
Peyton Manning IND Eli Manning
Now, AFC is easy...sorry but those three are pretty much primed on every single statistical category. Now i know what some of you are saying about the NFC....Ryan and Peyton's baby brother...really? Yes really. Out of the QBs that have played at least half of their team's games, Ryan and Eli are 1 and 2 in QB rating, 3 and 1 respectively in TD passes and 4 and 2 respectively in passing yards. Fact is...they've earned the spot. Now keep and eye on Aaron Rodgers who also is top 4 in these categories. Also a shout out to Mike Vick....sorry but he hasn't played enough. Keep playing like he is though, and he easily earns a nod. I want to see him finish the rest of the season healthy, however.
Chris Johnson Adrian Peterson
These were fairly easy for me. Every one of these backs are contributing and contributing big for their teams. Can you imagine Jamaal Charles if he wasn't sharing part time duty? I intentionally left Foster off the list...sorry but that huge game to open the season inflates his numbers still. He's been good since, but not great. Keep an eye on Mendenhall and him though the rest of the season. Hillis is pushing hard (again a reason to not vote early) and LT seems to be waning a bit. As for the NFC Turner can easily break through, and personally i want to see Jackson improve his YPC.
T.O. Hakeem Nicks
Now AFC is a cakewalk for me. Only real odd man out at this point is Brandon Marshall...but the boy needs to find the endzone before i start giving him more credit. In the NFC..I'm giving Fitz' a slight nod at the moment over Austin and Colston, he's been consistent and is frankly the only bit of offense on that team. Colston started slow and Austin started well but has been slipping. Should be a good race the rest of the way....go Colston, I'm hoping you'll eventually EARN your first nod.
Ahmard Hall TEN
Guy's a beast...sorry, no NFC fullback has stood out to me yet.
Zach Miller Jason Witten
Sorry, i like complete tight ends (no jokes please). It's because of that i give Zach Miller a nod over Keller and a bunch of rookies in the AFC who are more one dimensional. In the NFC, i see Pettigrew and Gonzales pushing these guys, although Gonzo's gone incredibly quiet for most of the year. Pettigrew, however, has been excellent for a struggling team.
Ok....no third vote for me yet for the NFC...someone needs to stand out. While it's true our Saints boys are anchoring an O-line that has given up less sacks than anyone but the Giants, i think we all agree they can play better than they have, especially the way the played early. Perhaps the best tackle in the AFC...Marcus McNeil's been sitting on the sidelines until a few weeks ago due to a holdout. Now that he's back...expect Rivers to keep on passing like mad.
Steve Neal Chris Snee
Eric Wood Cal Nicks
First off Neal's been solid and so has Grubbs....Eric Wood?....Buffalo? Yes peeps...he's that good and will be for years. Snee's anchored the line for the Giants inside along with Shaun Ohara...what have they done? Given up the fewest sacks in the NFC combined with leading the way for the 2nd leading rusher as well. Now Nicks and Evans...homer picks? At this point yes. But there's little doubt they're the best tandem in the league. The second half they better start playing like it.
Maurkice Pouncey Shaun O'hara
The rookie in Pitt gets a nod over Saturday and Hardwick...although if SD gets it's run game going...he'll easily be in the mix. Kalil?....wonderful offensive lineman with great intelligence who's unfortunately stuck on Stu's favorite team in a steep decline.
DEFENSE - (note i know some of these players are out of position...but it's how they're listed on the ballot)
Robert Mathis Chris Clemons
Mario Wiliams Trent Cole
Sorry Freeney Fans...Mathis has had a better year, and frankly Freeney needs to play the run better like his counter part. Now to the dirty bird fans....Abraham may be sacking like old...but see my comment on Freeney. Guy has less tackles than a 3/4 nose tackle.
Haloti Ngata Ndamakpmg Suh
Tommy Kelly Sed Ellis
Unfortunately some of the more worthy DEs get stuck down here...as they got put as a DT on the ballot. Hard to find a better set of 6 guys though in my opinion. Congrats on Ellis for hopefully making his first Pro Bowl...so far he's deserved it. Stay healthy big boy.
Tamba Hali Demarcus Ware
The two rooks from last year continue to impress. All six of these guys are complete players, not just pass-rush specialists.
This is a tough one for me. Frankly in the AFC, both those guys are tackling machines and Timmons is slowly becoming one of the best in the game, period. Willis is god like. Lofton...kid deserves props. I love Vilma as much as anyone, but i have to vote based on more than knowledge and running a D...Vilma has the know how, but he's lacking in the numbers department at the moment. Still...he can make the list. Although London Fletcher will be nipping at his heels.
I'm the first to call out that frankly CB is an incredibly hard position to pick. It combines tackling ability, cover ability, interceptions, passes defensed...everything. You'll never see Asomugha high on those lists outside cover ability...why?...cause nobody throws at him. Enough said. Hayden's had a solid, solid year and the rookie out of Rutgers is frankly very, very good. Talib, Samuel and Williams....well they're simply leaders in every single category...it's hard to argue with the production.
Eric Berry Laron Landry
The rookie is simply that good. He got beat early in 2 games....since....Pro Bowler, hands down. Landry...leader in tackles and passes defensed for strong safeties with a few pics to boot. He's starting to play like the player he was drafted to be. And to the Bell, Whitner and Pollard fans out there....sorry you have to do more than simply tackle to make my list. Learn to play out of the box.
Griffin has been the best safety in football so far this year. Earl Thomas...yea rookie's that good, look it up.
Qualifier for kicker...simple, make the damn kick. It's hard to argue against either of these guys production so far in the first half.
I know...no Morstead? Here's the sitch. Morstead is second in the NFC in both punting average and net average. Who's first....Mat McBriar.
Brandon Tate Larod Stephens Howling
These two guys have been electric all year. Howling gets the nod over Leon Washington because he's done it more consistently over every game of the season.
Now i didn't pick a special teamer.....sorry I admit i don't have the knowledge to be able to select a special team player to represent the AFC and NFC. Well those are my pics so far, again though I won't put in my vote until closer to year's end. Feel free to debate, tell me where I'm an idiot (though do it nicely please) and get on your own soap box for your favorite players. Enjoy the game...it's fun to watch, and remember, at least try and vote for those who are truly deserving and not just represent your favorite team.