Discussion

A Pro Bowl vote for Rudi

Updated: December 12, 2006, 11:58 AM ET
The Pro Bowl will probably select three running backs from each conference to make the trip to Hawaii. In the AFC, LaDainian Tomlinson's and Larry Johnson's invitations might as well have been sent two months ago. That leaves one spot. Who does it go to?

Willie Parker, after his 223-yard outburst against the Browns in Week 13, is the third-leading rusher in the conference. Fred Taylor is fourth and Rudi Johnson is fifth, rounding out a group of five runners in the AFC players with over 1,000 yards on the ground.

Taylor has an argument worth listening to. He is averaging 4.9 yards per carry as opposed to Parker's 4.5 and Johnson's 3.9, and Taylor has also been a major contributor on a wild card caliber offense that has struggled throwing the ball. But while 4.9 yards per carry is an outstanding statistic, does it really put Taylor in the conversation with Parker and Johnson? Taylor has managed just five touchdowns this season compared to 10 each for Parker and Johnson, and he is not a short-yardage runner or the type of guy who can wear down a defense on his own.

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