Pro Bowl Cheat Sheet: The AFC
Khaled Elsayed gives you the crib sheet for filling in your AFC Pro Bowl ballot
Pro Bowl Cheat Sheet: The AFC
We’re only sticking to guys the NFL lets you vote for, so it leads to me being somewhat handcuffed at certain positions, and just scratching my head at others.
But here’s the list.
Quarterbacks: Tom Brady (NE), Peyton Manning (DEN) and Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)
No change here. Brady and Manning are two of the easier choices I’ll get to make, while even the injury to Roethlisberger can’t convince me to go in another direction. Andrew Luck throws too many bad balls and Matt Schaub I find far from convincing under pressure.
Running Backs: C.J. Spiller (BUF), Ray Rice (BLT) and Stevan Ridley (NE)
Those crying out for Arian Foster and his 3.9 yards per carry average will be disappointed. Instead, I’ve gone for the explosive Spiller, dynamic Rice, and industrious Ridley. Similarly, as much as I like Jamaal Charles, the four fumbles were always going to hurt his chances of getting my nod.
Wide Receivers: Reggie Wayne (IND), A.J. Green (CIN), Andre Johnson (HST) and Demaryius Thomas (DEN)
This choice has become easier over the past two weeks. It just so happens that these guys top the charts in receiving yards for the AFC, and it’s well earned. Wayne has become the go-to guy for Andrew Luck, while A.J. Green has picked up an impressive 10 touchdowns. Johnson leads the conference in Yards Per Route Run with Thomas not far off. This is one year where Wes Welker, as good as he is, may need to take a back seat.
Fullback: Vonta Leach (BLT)
I am a fickle one. One week I allow myself to be won over by the ball carrying skills of Marcel Reece, the next I’m all about the lead blocking of Leach. Football purists, make Leach your man.
Tight Ends: Rob Gronkowski (NE) and Heath Miller (PIT)
Whether Gronkowski can continue to earn this vote could come down to whether he plays again this year. Are 10 games, dominant as they were, enough to give someone a Pro Bowl spot? Marcedes Lewis’ superior blocking earned him consideration, but Miller is doing enough in the passing game to look past that.
Offensive Tackles: Duane Brown (HST), Andre Smith (CIN) and D’Brickashaw Ferguson (NYJ)
Brown keeps his spot, but I’ve had a change of heart regarding the two others. Smith is coming off one of the best performances of his career on the same week Sebastian Vollmer had one of his worst. Meanwhile Ryan Clady is just missing out, with the difference in play between he and Ferguson being so marginal that something as small as having given up two penalties to five help me endorse the Jet. I wouldn’t begrudge the Bronco getting your vote.
Offensive Guards: Clint Boling (CIN), Marshal Yanda (BLT) and Kevin Zeitler (CIN)
It’s an All AFC North thing outside of Yanda, I’m looking at the NFC list of candidates and wondering why they couldn’t be in this conference to make things easier for me. As it is, Yanda is the best guard in the league, while the solid Cincinnati duo are better than anything else out there.
Centers: Mike Pouncey (MIA) and Chris Myers (HST)
No Nick Mangold? His inconsistency has got the better of me. That means Myers joins Pouncey as my two recommendations. I gave some serious consideration to Ryan Wendell, the Patriots’ center who has done an exceptional job in the run game. But you can’t give 19 quarterback disruptions up without it raising doubt in me.
Turn the page for the Defense