Tag:AFC Pro Bowl roster
Posted on: January 30, 2011 10:20 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2011 11:04 pm

10 ways to improve the Pro Bowl

Posted by Will Brinson

The Pro Bowl is a little broken, in case you can't tell. The NFL will tout the awesomeness of its end-of-season all-star game, but come on: the score at halftime Sunday was 42-7. 'Nuff said. (The NFC eventually held on for a, um, slightly decisive victory.)

With that in mind, the NFL F&R braintrust (in Dallas for all the Super Bowl coverage you can handle) came up with a list of ways to fix this debacle.

1. Captains pick the teams

Okay, not "pick the teams," because there's no real need to delegitimize the Pro Bowl selections by putting them in the hands of people capable of selecting deserving candidates. But once everyone's in Honolulu and ready to rumble, the NFL should -- *gasp* -- follow the lead of the NHL and innovate the game by allowing captains to select the various teams.

First of all, it would make things spicier because the captains would have to "build" their team either offensively or defensively. It would crank up rivalries (like, if Jay Cutler ever makes a Pro Bowl, you think Philip Rivers is picking him?). It would make the game more intense, because whoever got snubbed in the selection process would be out to prove the opposing captain wrong.

And, most importantly, it would provide some entertaining filler for the NFL Network's already abundant coverage leading up to the game.

2. Winner take all

Did you realize that the Pro Bowl winners make more for this game ($45,000) than the losers of the Super Bowl ($42,000)?

Well, they do, and frankly, that seems unfair. Also unfair: that everyone on the AFC roster could get a $22,500 check for their effort on Sunday night.

Instead, make it winner-take-all so that each player's legitimately motivated to win the game and make the Pro Bowl competitive.

Bonus: in non-lockout years, the winning team can donate the money to charity!

3. "Advanced scoring"

There's a reason why people liked NBA Jam -- the crazy scoring. Alright, this is probably more accurate to "Rock N' Jock" softball games than the greatest video game of all-time, but still, people like crazy scoring.

What if field goals were worth fantasy points? Three points for 39 yard kicks or less, four points for 40-49 yards and five points for anything over 50.

The only opposition is that "it's not real football," and, um, well, it's not anyway.

4. Flags

Why not? Flag football's the greatest game on the planet, and infinitely amusing to watch, if only because there's more zaniness than you'd see in a normal football game.

Plus, this way there would actually be something that resembles "effort" or "tackling."

5. Mai-tai chugging

Pretty simple: Every time someone scores a touchdown, they have to chug a mai-tai in the endzone.

Worst case, we're all guaranteed a really funny speech from the MVP. And maybe someone doing something as dumb as Brian Moorman's fake punt.

6. Glazer punches Caliendo for every point scored

Everyone wins in this scenario, especially if the final score is 75-50.

7. Defense and offense swap sides

I'm not even sure how often this should happen, but it should -- who doesn't want to see Julius Peppers run the triple option with B.J. Raji and Brian Urlacher? Or Michael Vick intercept a pass and then watch people try to stop him on the way to the house? (Although, in that scenario, I suppose the "offense" already knows how to do that, but still.)

8. Steroids

What? It apparently worked for baseball, if you listen to all the MLB people whine about how awesome their All Star Game is.

9. A running clock

This is Josh's idea, and there's no freaking reason why this hasn't been implemented yet. Again: not real football, so it doesn't matter if the rules are precisely in-line with the regular season. Let's keep that clock moving, have some set TV timeouts in place and plow through this puppy so America can get to sleep before midnight.

10. Cancel it

We asked everyone on Twitter for their best suggestion and, in lieu of something amazing, this was the most popular answer.

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Posted on: December 28, 2010 7:36 pm
Edited on: December 28, 2010 7:38 pm

Dissecting the Pro Bowl snubs

Posted by Andy Benoit

The NFL has announced the AFC and NFC Pro Bowl rosters. Snubs are an inevitable part of the equation each year. Below are the key names left out, with an explanation for why.
A. Rodgers (US Presswire)

Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers

A simple case of too much talent at one position in the NFC. Vick, Ryan and Brees all play for teams with better records.

Chris Johnson, RB, Titans

Same story as Rodgers: MJD has been an MVP caliber contributor for the Jags, Arian Foster is the league’s leading rusher and Jamaal Charles is to the Chiefs what Johnson is to the Titans (the only difference is the Chiefs have won this year and the Titans haven’t).

Andrew Whitworth, OT, Bengals

Cincy’s left tackle was the surprise leader in fan voting at his position, but clearly players and coaches did not think as highly of the former guard/right tackle. No surprise – offensive linemen from bad teams generally don’t become first-time Pro Bowlers.

Ben Grubbs, G, Ravens

How in the world does Logan Mankins make it when he’s only played eight games? (Keep in mind, when fan voting closed last week, he had only played seven games). Mankins has been the best guard in football when he’s been on the field, but that hasn’t been often enough this season.

Olin Kreutz, C, Bears / Scott Wells, C, Packers

Kreutz has not been dynamic this season, but the man who got his Pro Bowl slot is Shaun O’Hara. O’Hara has played in just six games. SIX! And the last two weeks have indicated that the Giants are actually worse with him in the lineup New York’s rushing attack was rolling with Rich Seubert at center, but it stalled once O’Hara returned.

Kyle Williams, NT, Bills

A lot of people have been trumpeting the undersized but energetic fifth-year pro, but the harsh reality is you can’t honor any member of a Bills defense that ranks a distant 32nd against the run and 27th in total sacks. And there’s absolutely no arguing that Williams is better than Wilfork, Seymour or Ngata anyway.

Jonathan Babineaux, DT, Falcons

The defensive tackle position in the NFC was a case of a player from a high profile team (Jay Ratliff, Cowboys) getting recognized ahead of a more deserving player from a lower profile team. Babineaux has been a beast for a Falcons defense that relies heavily on big plays from its front four. Ratliff has had his worst season in three years. St. Louis’ Fred Robbins also got snubbed here.

Tamba Hali, OLB, Chiefs

LaMarr Woodley and Shaun Phillips got snubbed, too. But what are you going to do? We knew there would be this issue with the OLB position in the AFC – there are simply too many stars this year. The Pro Bowlers at this spot, Harrison, Wake and Suggs, are all deserving.

Lawrence Timmons, ILB, Steelers

Steeler coaches said he was the best linebacker on the team this season. The best linebacker in Pittsburgh rarely gets overlooked, especially when the team is a Super Bowl contender. But it’s hard to edge out Ray Lewis. And the AFC’s other ILB, Jerod Mayo, has been spectacular in New England.

Brent Grimes, CB, Falcons

DeAngelo Hall had one amazing second half earlier in the season against the Bears…and that was all it took to get him to Hawaii. Four of Hall’s six picks on the year came in that game. For the rest of the season, when he wasn’t making his two interceptions, Hall was missing tackles and giving up completions in man coverage. Grimes, on the other hand, has been a playmaker (five interceptions) AND a stopper. Heading into Week 16, opponents had completed just 47 percent of passes thrown against Grimes.

Roman Harper, SS, Saints

Harper is the key to many of Gregg Williams’ blitz packages. The NFC’s Pro Bowl strong safety, Adrian Wilson, is a big-name player but very limited cover artist.

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Posted on: December 28, 2010 6:45 pm
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