Posted Tue Dec 27th by Jon Heath
This January, at least three Denver Broncos will be playing for the AFC in the NFL’s Annual All-Star Game. The rosters for the 2012 NFL Pro Bowl have been announced and cornerback Champ Bailey, defensive end Elvis Dumervil and outside linebacker Von Miller have been voted in by their fans and peers.
Bailey and Miller will be starters and Dumervil will serve as a “reserve.” Two years ago, Dumervil recorded the only sack in the 2010 NFL Pro Bowl. This year, Bailey will be playing in an NFL cornerback record eleventh Pro Bowl, which is tied for the third most all-time by any player. Miller, a promising rookie, will be making his first Pro Bowl appearance.
Five Broncos have been announced as alternates. If a player that has been selected to the Pro Bowl cannot play in the game (because he is playing in the Super Bowl, injured or simply chooses not to participate), the first alternate at his respective position will replace him. If the first alternate cannot play, or if more than one starter at a certain position cannot play in the game, second and third alternates are called upon, and so forth.
Running back Willis McGahee, left tackle Ryan Clady and safety Brian Dawkins are first alternates; quarterback Tim Tebow, punter Britton Colquitt and kicker Matt Prater are second alternates. Up to eight Broncos could be headed to Honolulu if the right circumstances fall into place.
Snubs and Notes:
Broncos offensive guard Chris Kuper had a stellar season both run blocking and pass protecting, and should have received at least alternate consideration. According to his teammates, Kuper is the leader on Denver’s offense line. This season, he helped pave lanes for Broncos running backs on their way to 2,416 yards on the ground and allowed a team-low 1.5 sacks in pass protection on the year.
The three AFC quarterbacks are Tom Brady (deserving), Ben Roethlisberger (arguably deserving) and Phillip Rivers (not deserving in any shape or form). How Rivers managed to get on this list is a mystery to me. In fifteen games this season, Rivers scored 25 touchdowns against 24 interceptions. Compare that to Tebow’s 18 touchdowns against 10 turnovers in five fewer games, or Andy Dalton, who scored 21 touchdowns against 15 turnovers as a rookie.
Though Prater was clutch this season and Colquitt was one of the best punters in the NFL, not even I can argue that they had better seasons than Oakland’s Sebastian Janikowski and Shane Lechler. Perhaps next year Prater and Colquitt, like Miller this season, will be first-time Pro Bowlers.
You can view the full 2012 Pro Bowl rosters at NFL.com.