Weíre at the three quarters pole for the season and that means itís time for Pro Bowl Ballots. Plus, my beloved Boilermakers stunk this year so I don't care about Bowl Season. Through the magic of Sunday Ticket and my DirecTv dvr, Iíve gotten to see every team at least twice which means that I can at least claim to be impartial and knowledgeable while still being incredibly biased towards the teams and player I like.
Quarterback: AFC: Peyton Manning, Carson Palmer, Drew Brees. The first two are no brainers. The third spot will be decided between Brees, Plummer, Green, and Brady in the last 4 weeks of the season but I like Brees and Iím wearing his jersey in powder blue while typing this so he gets the nod for right now.
NFC: Matt Hasselbeck, Jake Delhomme, Mark Brunell. Iím not particularly fond of any of these choices, but no one in the NFC has had a particularly good season. If Bulger wasnít hurt, Iíd probably vote for him over any of the other names on the list. If Brad Johnson had played more, Iíd vote for him ahead of any of the others as well.
Running Back AFC: LaDainian Tomlinson, Edgerrin James, Larry Johnson. The easiest picks on the whole ballot.
NFC: Shaun Alexander, Tiki Barber, Warrick Dunn. The second easiest picks on the ballot.
Wide Receiver AFC: Marvin Harrison, Chad Johnson, Hines Ward, Reggie Wayne. Another easy set of picks. I could see taking Rod Smith over Reggie Wayne, but Wayneís having a breakout season and Smith is just doing his usual excellent job so Reggie gets the nod from me.
NFC: Steve Smith, Larry Fitzgerald, Torry Holt, Joey Galloway. Considering the number of lousy quarterbacks in the NFC, itís amazing how many wideouts have really good numbers. I happen to like these 4 the best but I could easily see taking Santana Moss or Anquan Boldin rather than Holt or Galloway.
Fullback AFC: Lorenzo Neal. Thereís nobody better at being a traditional fullback than him, unless itís my pick for the NFC slot.
NFC: Mack Strong. Thereís nobody better at being a traditional fullback than him, unless itís my pick for the AFC slot.
Tight End AFC: Antonio Gates, Tony Gonzalez. Okay, maybe this was the easiest pick on the ballot.
NFC: Alge Crumpler, Jeremy Shockey. Much like the comment I made about the NFC wideouts, thereís an awful lot of NFC tight ends with good numbers, but itís awfully hard for me to argue against the numbers these two have put up so far in the season.
Kicker AFC: Mike Vanderjagt. Quietly demonstrating why heís the most accurate kicker in NFL history.
NFC: Neil Rackers. One of the few bright spots in an abysmal Arizona season, heís easily the best kicker in the NFC this season.
Punter AFC: Mike Scifres. The league leader in net average and among the leaders in gross average, heís been a real weapon for San Diego.
NFC: Brad Maynard. Considering how ineffectual the Chicago offense has been, Maynard and Robbie Gould should both be getting votes for offensive team MVP for the Bears.
Guard AFC: Kris Dielman, Alan Faneca, Ryan Lilja. All three have been dominant in the games Iíve seen this year.
NFC: Chris Snee, Steve Hutchinson, Kynan Forney. Much like their AFC counterparts, these three have been consistently dominant in the games Iíve seen.
Tackle AFC: Tarik Glenn, Ryan Diem, Shane Olivea. Indianapolisí offensive line is the best is the league this year and my ballot reflects that fact. Shane Olivea beats out the Pittsburgh duo and a badly deteriorated Jonathan Ogden for the third spot.
NFC: Luke Petitgout, Jordan Gross, Kenyatta Walker. Three teams that run the ball well and three tackles who get rewarded.
Center AFC: Jeff Saturday, Nick Hardwick. Jeff Saturday has quietly become the best center in the league and Nick Hardwick hasnít been far behind him this year.
NFC: Olin Kreutz, John Wade. The reasons why two young quarterbacks are still mostly healthy and leading their teams to the playoffs.
Cornerback AFC: Deltha OíNeal, Rashean Mathis, Ty Law. Despite being part of LaDainian Tomlinsonís personal highlight reel, Ty Law has been superb this year while Deltha OíNeal and Rashean Mathis have terrorized opposing quarterbacks.
NFC: Nathan Vasher, Charles Tillman, Ronde Barber. Ronde Barber has been his usual self while the Chicago pair have simply been dominant of late.
Strong Safety AFC: Troy Polamalu. I was wrong, this was the easiest pick on the whole ballot.
NFC: Roy Williams. Ball-hawking and mostly legal tackling, what more could you ask for in a strong safety.
Free Safety AFC: Bhawoh Jue. Narrowly beats out Chris Hope primarily due to not having as much help in the defensive backfield as Hope.
NFC: Darren Sharper. Do you think Green Bay might like to have him back?
Defensive End AFC: Dwight Freeney, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Derrick Burgess. 31 sacks and a whole lot of hurting quarterbacks.
NFC: Michael Strahan, Osi Umenyiora, Adewale Ogunleye. If you donít know why I picked these three, you shouldnít be reading this thread.
Inside Linebacker AFC: Donnie Edwards, Jonathan Vilma. Vilmaís been playing his heart out for a lousy team and Edwards is still the heart of the San Diego defense.
NFC: Brian Urlacher, Shelton Quarles. Urlacher has reasserted himself as one of the best linebackers in the business and Quarles is still taking care of business in the middle.
Outside Linebacker AFC: Keith Bulluck, Cato June. With some of the usual suspects injured, June should get a Pro Bowl nod while Bulluck is dominant for a really bad Tennessee team.
NFC: Lance Briggs, Demorrio Williams. Briggs and Urlacher may be the best pair of linebackers in the league while Williams is turning into an outstanding linebacker himself.
Interior Lineman AFC: Montae Raegor, Jamal Williams, Tommy Kelly. Raegor is a big reason why Indyís defense is so much better. Jamal Williams still stuffs the run about as well as anyone in the league while Tommy Kellyís play often gets overlooked because of his more famous linemates.
NFC: Rod Coleman, Tommie Harris, LaíRoi Glover. Rod Coleman has been a man playing with boys this year. Harris and Glover are having excellent seasons as well but nothing compares to Rod Colemanís play this year.
Kick Returner AFC:Dante Hall. Even with more teams kicking away from him, heís still the most dangerous return man in the game.
NFC: Steve Smith. Pro Bowler at 2 positions has a nice ring to it, doesnít it?
Special Teams AFC: Kassim Osgood.
NFC: Brendon Ayanbadejo.
Vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit. -- Erasmus
I'd take Trent Green behind Peyton and Palmer. His dad died.
I see no reason not to send FB Tony Richardson back to the Pro Bowl.
Lawrence Tynes leads all kickers in points, and perhaps more importantly he kicked some bouncer's ass in a barfight before the season. Let's see Vinatieri and these guys try that. Tynes would whoop Janikowski's butt, too.
Willie Roaf should not only go to the Pro Bowl, he should be the league MVP.
FS Greg Wesley has twice as many INTs as the FS's closest to him on the INT list.
Dante Hall should not go to the Pro Bowl, as I fear the trip may cause him to think that his recent strategy of "run in every direction except up the field and then fumble" is a winning formula.
One of the talk show hosts on ESPN Radio this morning noted that the 49'ers-Packers game hasn't sold out yet, which is unheard of. So, if you want to experience Lambeau, go for it. http://www.ticketmaster.com/artist/805947 I'll go with...