Let's quit calling them the Pro Bowl teams, and instead call them what they are: The Popularity Teams.
|Should safety John Lynch go to Hawaii ahead of the Jets' Kerry Rhodes? Ah, no. (AP)|
If a player has been selected to the game in the past, there will be a lot of sentiment for him to go back. Reputation means more than production.
Henderson is the best defensive tackle in the league, period. He is a force against the run and improved as a pass rusher. Yet he isn't on the AFC team, despite being second in the fan voting. That means the players and the coaches flat out blew it.
Anybody who watches tape should know what Henderson means to the second-ranked run defense in the NFL.
Then there's Lynch. He has no business being on the AFC team, especially ahead of Kerry Rhodes of the New York Jets. Ask scouts or personnel directors who they would take and most would take Rhodes.
Rhodes has 71 tackles, four sacks and four interceptions; Lynch has 48 tackles, no sacks and no interceptions. Yet Rhodes isn't even on the team. Why? Lynch is popular -- this will be his eighth Pro Bowl -- and Rhodes isn't as he waits for his first.
So once again we've been reminded that the Pro Bowl teams are a big, giant joke. The Pro Bowl rosters really aren't the best players in the NFL, and that's a shame.
Here are 10 more Pro Bowl caliber players who instead got stiffed by the Popularity Teams:
Tom Brady, QB, Patriots: This one makes no sense, especially since he's one of the popular guys. Philip Rivers has had a nice season, but Brady should go ahead of him. He has more yards and more touchdown passes. His passer rating is lower, but Brady doesn't have L.T. behind him or Antonio Gates in front of him.
Al Harris, CB, Packers: He has played a lot of man coverage, matched against the other team's best receivers. He and Charles Woodson form a heck of a corner duo. He should be going ahead of Ronde Barber and DeAngelo Hall.
Sean Taylor, FS, Redskins: Cowboys safety Roy Williams has no business on this team, even though he's a strong safety and Taylor a free safety. Williams can't cover at all. Taylor is not only a big hitter, but he has range. There should be one strong safety (Adrian Wilson) and two free safeties (Taylor and Brian Dawkins).