Pro Bowl Roster 2012: AFC

After watching every player on every play of every game, the PFF Team puts forth their official AFC Pro Bowl squad.

| 4 years ago

Pro Bowl Roster 2012: AFC

The Pro Bowl. Every year it happens, and every year deserving guys see their play go unrecognized.

It doesn’t help that the voting stops after Week 15 (because the final two weeks of the season don’t matter), but a bigger problem is you have fans voting for their favorite players while players and coaches aren’t in a position to watch enough of every player in the league to make an informed decision.

Step forward Pro Football Focus. Whether you love us or hate us you can’t deny that in grading every player on every play of every game we give every player our full attention. So don’t be angry when your guy is ignored in favor of a big name player, just read on to find out who really deserves to make the Pro Bowl with the Official PFF Pro Bowl Rosters.

(Starters come first)


Quarterbacks: Peyton Manning (DEN), Tom Brady (NE) and Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)

There was no doubting that Manning, our top ranked quarterback on the year, would get the start. He’s been tremendous and made all the doubts over whether he could come back as good as before seem foolish. His chief backup is Tom Brady who is having another brilliant year, with Big Ben an easy choice for the number three spot.

Running Backs: C.J. Spiller (BUF), Ray Rice (BAL) and Jamaal Charles (KC)

The only reason we don’t hear more about Spiller is his 161 rushing attempts, good for 25th in the NFL. Yet his 6.1 yards per carry and league leading 99.9 elusive rating show the kind of talent he is. Ray Rice is more of an every down back and while he’s not the dynamic threat of Spiller, his worth to the Ravens can’t be questioned. We went with Charles over Arian Foster and Stevan Ridley, and while we weren’t overly comfortable with any of them the Chief just did enough.

Wide Receivers: Andre Johnson (HST), A.J. Green (CIN), Reggie Wayne (IND) and Demaryius Thomas (DEN)

Some good competition for this spot with Wes Welker missing out. It’s easy to see why though with the talent out there. Andre Johnson leads all wide receivers in our yards per route run signature stat and is second only to Calvin Johnson in our receiver grades. Green is a touchdown machine who makes his quarterback look better than he is, while Wayne has provided a huge safety net for an at times erratic rookie quarterback. Thomas gets the last spot, even if he doesn’t always appear on the same page with his QB. He’s that much of a playmaker.

Fullback: Vonta Leach (BAL)

Still the best lead blocking fullback in the league even if we love what Marcel Reece is able to do with the ball in his hands.

Tight Ends: Rob Gronkowski (NE) and Dwayne Allen (IND)

Even missing time there was never any real doubt that Gronkowski, the most complete tight end out there, would earn the selection. It was harder picking the second choice with it ultimately coming down to Allen and Heath Miller. In the end, while the staff was split, the superior blocking of Allen won out.

Offensive Tackles: Duane Brown (HST), Andre Smith (CIN) and Joe Thomas (CLE)

While Brown has given up three sacks this year, with just 20 quarterback disruptions allowed in 2012 he’s one of the best pass blockers out there. What got him the start however was his run blocking, as there simply aren’t many tackles with his combination of agility and strength. The talent at right tackle was more than enough that we could pick Smith with some strong consideration for Sebastian Vollmer. That meant just picking one from three, with Thomas holding off the challenge of Ryan Clady and D’Bricksashaw Ferguson for the final spot. He does lead all tackles in pass blocking efficiency after all.

Offensive Guards: Marshal Yanda (BAL), Kevin Zeitler (CIN) and Brandon Moore (NYJ)

We’ve broken one of the unwritten rules here and decided that no left guard in the AFC warranted selection. Yep, that’s how uneven their play has been. Instead we’ve plumped for three right guards with Yanda, our top ranked right guard on the year, one of the easiest choices we had to make. His All Pro nod won’t be far away. Zeitler has been extremely consistent since day one, while in the second half of the year of Moore has been as good as any guard.

Centers: Chris Myers (HST) and Mike Pouncey (MIA)

The inconsistency of Nick Mangold meant that even after his worst performance of the year against the Jags, we still rewarded Mike Pouncey with the backup spot to Myers. The Texan center hasn’t been quite as good as he was last year but remains a huge part of the success Houston has running the ball.

Turn the page for the defense

  • Jplazak

    Punter should be d.colquitt. 2 punts inside the 20 away from nfl.record.

    • Arif Hasan

      I have to agree with this, as impressive as Donnie Jones has been. Of all punters in the AFC who have played 14 games, Colquitt is absolutely dominating in my favorite punter stat: TB:In20 ratio, at 1:7. Jones is alright at 5:27, or 1:5.4. I mean with only one more touchback, but 15 more inside the 20? That’s impressive.

      Jones’ punts have been returned 54.5% of the time and Colquitt’s 35.6% of the time.

      I say this as a fan of an NFC team.

      • william

         what about Brandon Fields?

  • Dan Berger

    really no levitre for guard? healthy 4 straight years and one of the best in the game. like you said. good players go unnoticed.

  • lol

    no foster? what a joke

    • Neil Hornsby

      Why? Because Foster is every fantasy players wet dream? He’s a good runner for sure but in the real world you need to account for how much help he gets from his O-Line (significant), his receiving (poor) and his pass blocking (poor). Our view is you put any of the three selected backs in his place and overall they do more. Don’t worry though, he’ll get the trip when all is said and done because these days most people can’t look beyond yards and TDs.

  • deg4

    Phil Dawson. He has missed one field goal this season, and that was blocked. I don’t care what else other kickers have done this year, Dawson has been doing it his entire career. It’s a disgrace that he still hasn’t made a Pro Bowl.

  • Matt

    Love Byrd and happy you recognized K. Williams and Spiller. I wish Stevie could get some consideration but because of a lack of QB and some other very talented WR, it’s tough. If the Bills could find a QB, we have some pieces in place who are very talented.

  • tnemmer

    If Eric Wood could stay healthy, I think he would deserve consideration at Center.

  • Barklpl

    Devin McCourty plays free safety

    • pbskids4000

      Read the description.

      • Barklpl

        I read the description, but to put McCourty in the pro bowl at corner when he has played the majority of the year at safety doesn’t fly with me. Yea he played good during the time he payed at corner this year but if you look at the numbers posted on the site in the corner rankings they do no account for his targets, receptions/yards/Td’s given up, when he played safety. Thus, they are misleading. The fact that the New England secondary is terrible also doesn’t sit well with me. This is the problem with putting/voting some position groups in the pro bowl based on statistics. They don’t account for who is defending who. Champ Bailey and Revis guard the opposing teams best receiver every game where as most corners do not. For instance, Casey Heyward was on the PFF NFC squad and he plays nickel. Did he have a good year? No doubt. However, he is usually matched up with a number 3 or 4 receiver. I wonder how well the numbers/metrics for great corners like Revis and Bailey would be if they defended a teams 3 or 4 receiver routinely. Pretty darn disgusting I bet.

  • Bnchomesllc

    No way – punter should be, hands down, Pat McAfee from the Colts! Having a wonderful year…

  • pbskids4000

    I’d take Flowers over McCourty. I’m not 100% certain on McCourty’s numbers but being targeted 65 times and still allowing less than 50% of the passes aimed at him. And I still don’t like the idea of Ryan Clady being snubbed because you wanted a right tackle.

    • Chadlund

      McCourty is posting Revis stats. Revis has been putting the same kind of stats, allowing around 50%. So you are against all right tackles ? It makes no sense. When a right tackle blocks like a brick wall, you’re saying “he does not deserve recognition because he’s a right and not left tackle ?” Vollmer is regarded as the best right tackle in the NFL by the AP. 

      • Matt Lauren

        its not obvious youre a new england homer or anything. lmao . better have the a/v department fired up come denver week in the playoffs. you stole a win at home during the season while running that gimmick ass offense no huddling all the way down the feild . that shit wont happen again when the home crowd gets fired up and brady has to call time out after time out . vollmer isnt good at RT no body on the new englad roster is good at blocking. your pussy quarterback just dinks and dunks the ball with his 3 yard passes all the way down the feild getting it out of his hands in 1 second they dont need to block. dumervillle and miller will feast and repeatedly knock brady on the ground. i cant wait

        • Chadlund

          Sorry, I don ‘t argue with eight year olds. This is just another proof that we swedes speak better english than half of NA’s residents ! 

      • Matt Lauren

        also your ass is so dum mccourty isnt even starting corner anymore. bellicheat had to trade for aqib talib and draft dennard in the 7th round to cover up his bust draft pick in mccourty. bellicheat is a terrible drafter whats up with that safety from illinois in the 2nd round this past year lmao? and drafting a rugby player to play special teams. GENIOUS. whens the last time he drafted anyone good on defense. probably mayo

        • Chadlund

          isn’t there a moderator on this website. What’s the matter kiddo ? Santa didn’t bring you any nice presents ? 

      • william

         pats defense gets too much credit for brady putting them up by 30 every game. Bad qb’s are forced to throw it to try and catch up.

      • pbskids4000

        I am not against right tackles at all. But generally speaking, they do go up against the 2nd best end on the opposing team. And Ryan Clady has obviously had a better season than Andre Smith. Nobody would consider Smith over Clady no matter what side they play on. My point is being the best RT should not get you in if you haven’t performed better than the LTs.

  • Matt18

    This is not correct. Steelers Pouncey is the AFC vote leader at the center position so I don’t believe anything on this story.

    • pbskids4000

      You’re joking right? I really hope you are. This is an article on who the analysts at profootballfocus think should make the Pro Bowl. This is not who was chosen to be in the Pro Bowl.

  • Ryan Goodspeed

    Yall are comical. Ike Taylor has shut down opponent’s top targets all year. Dont give me the excuse that he hasn’t played every game, because neither has Gronk. Keenan Lewis leads ALL defensive players in the NFL in pass deflections, despite being thrown at more then anyone. Shaun Suisham has missed one kick all year, and it was from 59 yards, a kick Coach Tomlin has admitted he shouldnt of been asked to attempt. Enough with the Steelers hate. Clearly your team here at PFF doesnt watch every snap of every team. #JOKES

    • pbskids4000

      1st, well it’s obvious that you are a Steelers homer because you think Keenan Lewis deserves to even be recognized as a Pro Bowl candidate. 2nd, Gronk put himself in such a giant lead in the games he played that no other tight end could catch up. Ike Taylor was no where near that mark. 3rd, Justin Tucker and Phil Dawson are just as deserving as Suisham but they had to choose between the three. YOU should watch every snap before you post stupid, ignorant comments.

      • Ryan Goodspeed

        Haha PBSkids4000, you sir, are a joke as well. If I was a “homer” do you really think Keenan Lewis is the name I would throw out there? Or one of our prolific WRs or QB, or pass rushers, or even Troy. But no, I went with the players who have been playing lights out all year. Please, find me a game this year where Ike Taylor gave up a TD. Better yet, please tell me a CB in the AFC that has given up less yards. You cant. Keenan Lewis took his play to a whole new level this year. He didnt give up any big plays and leads the league in knockdowns, while also excelling in run support. Is that not the job of a CB? I think it is….My reasoning for Suisham (prior to last week against CIN), was that he had made 3 game winning field goals and missed one kick all year, a kick he shouldnt of been asked to make. What game has Phil Dawson clutch kicked in this year? Did he make three game winners, while only missing one kick all year? Didnt think so. I wasnt bashing Gronk either, just stating that you couldnt say Ike doesnt deserve it because of injuries, because Gronk deserves it and has been injured. Clearly YOU dont watch any Steelers football because you would realize that Taylor and Lewis were a huge part in the fact we have the #1 defense. Jokes on you boss.

        • rhinox

          Admittedly, I haven’t watched every snap of every Steelers game.  However, I stay infomed on the AFC North, being a Bengals fan.

          I can tell you at least one game where Ike gave up a TD.  It was in the first Bengals game.  Do I get a prize?  And yeah, Ike has had a solid year, I can’t argue that.  But so have their nominees.  Just because your entire “vaunted Steelers defense” isn’t in the PFF pro-bowl doesnt mean they aren’t solid players.  Any fan could find stats to support 3 or 4 players on their team and say they were snubbed, whether it is true or not.

          Also, while you may have seen every snap of Taylor/Lewis, I guarantee you haven’t seen every play from their nominees.  They have seen both, and made their choice accordingly.  In short, chill out man, it’s football.

          • Ryan Goodspeed

            Lol I guarantee  Antonio Cromartie got beat more times then Ike Taylor did this year. Ike gave up 1 TD, just 1 this year, and it was to AJ Green. By the way, during that game, AJ Green had 1 catch for 6yards. Oh well, the pro bowl is a joke anyways. We had the number one defense, which 31 other teams cant say they had. And we still played well below our standards. I cant wait for next year when we play better and dont have as much injuries. 

        • pbskids4000

          Rhinox basically explained it perfectly. And didn’t Ike Taylor allow 2 TDs in 1 game this year? You don’t have to answer that rhetorical question. I already know the answer. And Keenan Lewis has so many passes defensed because of how many times he is targeted. Taylor and Lewis do not belong on anyone’s pro bowl vote.

  • Girth1975

    Rashad Jones was the your number one rated saftey for most of the year, but doesnt make your pro bowl list? kinda seems contradictary  

  • Izach

    if byd is a coverage safety then why did you guys pick 2 FS’s, clrak is better FS than weddle, and if weddle is indeed a SS, he isnt as good as ward or other SS canadates in the AFC

    • pbskids4000

      You should not be allowed to comment on any football website ever. I don’t know what you meant by Byrd being a coverage safety as if it were a position. Ryan Clark and TJ Ward are not better safties than Eric Weddle and they didn’t say Weddle was a SS.

      • Izach

        @pbskids4000—coverage meaning FS thats the FSs role usually, they picked 2 FSs for there probowl, meanign they think there either no good SSs or they think weddle is a SS (which is understandable becuase he average in coverage) both clrak and ward are better safties than weddle ward is a SS and very good one, were weddle is average when he is in the SS position, and weddle as a FS has at least 3 better FS ahead of him jones, clark and bryd at least 

  • Paris

    Lol you guys are ridiculous with how overlooked Champ Bailey is

    First off, you have his stats wrong (I know because I have rewind and watch every game from the coaches cam) and two you guys preach about numbers not telling the whole story, yet you completely hold it against Champ…slants and hook routes are all that’s ever completed on him and he shadows #1’s every week

    It is absolutely comical that you have those 3 selections ahead of him…and I’m as big a fan of Chris Harris as you’ll find but he’s not facing #1’s…

    The Champ Bailey hate on this site is comical at times…n you have his stats wrong I’ll repeat, check again

    • Paris5221

      And lmao at Karrem Jackson and Adam Jones being in the discussion before Bailey

      Just awful, awful

      However I will note I agree with almost all selections at other positions so again it must just be the Champ Bailey ignorance around here (incorrect stat tracking as perfect example) striking again

  • Chadlund

    Muhama Wilkerson ? Are you serious ? The Jets have the worst pass rush in the league and one of the worst run defense as well. They are miserable. That defense is laughable. To be honest, I didn’t even know who the guy was before you brought him up ! It’s ridiculous. No Wes Welker and Nate Solder ? Until I see those 6.4 ballerina receivers do what Welker does, I will give these guys credit, but they don’t. Welker is 5.9 and and an absolute rock – he takes passes over the middle ! Who does that nowadays ? I am not speaking with my heart, but prove me wrong: who can stop Welker ? And still no Phil Dawson is shame. 

  • TD3695

    Devin McCourty has been a train-wreck at corner for 2 years now, and has been shifted to safety as a result of it. While he was great as a run-playing CB , he was woeful in coverage and simply couldn’t be relied upon. And I’ve seen every game he’s played in New England.

    • Chadlund

      Woh ! Jets fan ? Bills fan ? D-Mac plays safety because NE’s starting safeties are incapable were unable to stay healthy the first part of the season. Consequently, there’s no way NE could of have started two rookie safeties. That is why they switched D-Mac to safety. Last year, same scenario, but the talent at the position was awful. D-Mac was playing corner but had to cover up for the rest of the other safeties who were terrible. Now, they brought Talib this year, which enables them to start a solid corner on the outside along with promising rookie Dennard. AND, it lets Arrington play the slot where he actually plays very well. 

  • Izach

    thats my point both byrd and weddle are both FSs so how can you not pick a SS, weddle plays more SS than FS and he is barley above average as SS and isnt as good as clark, bryd, or jones as a FS.