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Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Kicker's fans stuffing Pro Bowl ballot box


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

Apparently there's a campaign taking place in Big Sky Country to send Dan Carpenter to Honolulu.

Carpenter

Carpenter, the Miami Dolphins' undrafted rookie kicker from Montana, is having an impressive season, but not enough to skyrocket him to first place among all AFC kickers in fan balloting for the Pro Bowl on his own merit.

Carpenter wasn't in the top five two weeks ago. He made his debut last week with 50,793 votes. In one week, he generated 92,381 more votes to shoot past Tennessee Titans kicker Rob Bironas.

For comparison, Tennessee Titans defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, an MVP candidate who leads balloting among all defensive players, received 50,472 votes over the past week.

As of Tuesday, Carpenter has amassed 143,174 total votes in fan balloting, which continues until Dec. 9. Fan votes account for one-third of the process. Players and coaches will cast their votes from Dec. 9-12. The Pro Bowl teams will be announced Dec. 16.

New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski leads the AFC with 107 points, three more than Bironas. Carpenter is 12th in the AFC with 77 points, but he has made 11 consecutive field goals, a Dolphins rookie record and the most in the NFL since Gostkowski did it in 2006.

Here are the position-by-position results and how AFC East players rank within the conference:

Quarterback
1. Brett Favre, Jets (665,524 votes)
Comment: The most popular AFC player has about 240,000 more votes than second-place Peyton Manning, who has taken over Jay Cutler for second place.

Running back
1. Ronnie Brown, Dolphins (393,265)
4. Marshawn Lynch, Bills (208,478)
5. Thomas Jones, Jets (205,185)
Comment: Jones finally makes his debut in the top five. Tennessee Titans rookie Chris Johnson is behind Brown by about 11,500 votes.

Fullback
2. Tony Richardson, Jets (121,427)
5. Heath Evans, Patriots (61,973)
Comment: Richardson rises from third to second, but he's behind Le'Ron McClain by about 20,500 votes.

Wide receiver
3. Randy Moss, Patriots (307,183)
Comment: Moss is closing the gap on first-place Brandon Marshall by about 18,700 votes. Still no top-five appearance from Jerricho Cotchery or Laveranues Coles.

Tight end
None.
Comment: No AFC East tight end should be in the top five.

Center
3. Nick Mangold, Jets (161,356)
Comment: Mangold remains hopelessly behind Kevin Mawae and Jeff Saturday.

Guard
1. Alan Faneca, Jets (266,112)
5. Logan Mankins (92,258)
Comment: Faneca has almost twice as many votes as second-place Eugene Amano.

Tackle
1. Jake Long, Dolphins (160,931)
2. D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Jets (156,628)
3. Matt Light, Patriots (124,631)
Comment: Again, the only AFC East left tackle not in the top five is former Pro Bowler Jason Peters.

Defensive end
None.
Comment: Richard Seymour still can't crack the top five.

Defensive tackle
2. Kris Jenkins, Jets (139,195)
5. Marcus Stroud, Bills (104,566)
Comment: For the second straight week, Jenkins climbs up a spot. Haynesworth has more than twice as many votes with 313,536.

Outside linebacker
1. Joey Porter, Dolphins (240,238)
Comment: Porter remains ahead of second-place James Harrison by about 43,000 votes.

Inside linebacker
4. Tedy Bruschi, Patriots (71,967)
5. Jerod Mayo, Patriots (64,457)
Comment: Ray Lewis can't be caught with 247,312 votes.

Cornerback
None.
Comment: Darrelle Revis is being overlooked because of such big names as Champ Bailey and Cortland Finnegan.

Strong safety
4. Donte Whitner, Bills (25,784)
5. Yeremiah Bell, Dolphins (25,660)
Comment: Bell and Whitner flip-flop for second straight week. Troy Polamalu is in first by a large margin.

Free safety
4. Kerry Rhodes, Jets (56,397)
Comment: Ed Reed is way out in front with double the votes of second-place Michael Griffin.

Kicker
1. Dan Carpenter, Dolphins (143,174)
Comment:
Two weeks ago he wasn't in the top five. Now he's almost 37,000 votes ahead of second-place Bironas.

Punter
4. Brian Moorman, Bills (51,379)
Comment: Shane Lechler is pulling away with 80,796 votes

Kick returner
2. Leon Washington, Jets (84,992)
Comment: Washington is closing the gap on Darren Sproles, picking up roughly 5,000 votes on him since last week.

Special teamer
3. Larry Izzo, Patriots (65,249)
4. Patrick Cobbs, Dolphins (64,759)
Comment:
Cobbs falls out of second place, while Izzo remains in third, 12,500 votes behind first-place Anthony Madison.