Tuesday, December 29, 2009
NFC North Pro Bowl analysis
By Kevin Seifert
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Perfect sense: It’s only fitting that quarterbacks Brett Favre (Minnesota) and Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay) are paired once again on the same team. We all know about last season’s bitter transition in Green Bay. But the fact is the two battled for NFL statistical supremacy for most of this season. Likewise, Packers cornerback Charles Woodson has arguably been the best defensive player in the league this season.
Vikings defensive end Jared Allen ranks first in the NFC with 13.5 sacks, even if only one of have them have come in the past four games. Minnesota defensive tackle Kevin Williams has had a solid season with six sacks, tying him for first among NFC defensive tackles.
Made it on rep: Chicago linebacker Lance Briggs leads the Bears with 135 tackles but had an injury-slowed season while playing for a defense that took a nosedive this season. Word circulated early this that Minnesota left tackle Bryant McKinnie was having his best season, and that propelled him to the Pro Bowl despite some weak performances on national television over the past month. Vikings special teams ace Heath Farwell has had better years than this one, but he’s the best-known cover man for a group that has been one of the NFL’s best this season.
Got robbed: Packers linebacker Clay Matthews has 10 sacks and has been a better all-around player than Washington defensive end Brian Orakpo, who has 11 sacks and made the team. Matthews is a first alternate. Minnesota’s Percy Harvin led the league in kickoff returns for most of the season and had two touchdowns, but he lost out to Philadelphia’s DeSean Jackson. Green Bay running back Ryan Grant has more yards (1,202) and touchdowns (10) than Carolina’s DeAngelo Williams (1,117 and seven).