The NFL has officially announced their Pro Bowl selections for the game that will take place on January 29th in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Patriots are well represented on the initial roster, with 8 total selections.
Tom Brady, QB
Wes Welker, WR
Rob Gronkowski, TE
Brian Waters, G
Andre Carter, DE
Vince Wilfork, DT
Matthew Slater, ST
Since the Pro Bowl takes place the week before the Super Bowl, it means that of the players selected, those on Conference Championship winning teams will not have their players take part in the game. Essentially, that means that more spots will be opened which could go one of two ways for the Patriots. Either:
A) The Patriots make the Super Bowl, opening up 8 Pro Bowl spots for players on other teams.
B) The Patriots don't make the Super Bowl, and could potentially have their players fill spots that have been voided by other teams.
My initial thoughts on the Patriots' players represented in the Pro Bowl: Pretty fair and well represented group, although Aaron Hernandez was clearly snubbed at tight end. Also, Matthew Slater is a nice surprise as a special teams selection. The rest are pretty deserving, although it looks like Logan Mankins got in more on reputation more than anything else.
Feel free to discuss below.