The Pro Bowl teams are officially set. The Patriots, as we previously noted, have eight Pro Bowl selections. Here are some additional thoughts on the announcement:
- Aaron Hernandez got snubbed. While Antonio Gates is having a decent year, Hernandez' numbers are significantly better. I guess that's the harm in playing with Rob Gronkowski, who is having an All-Pro, record breaking year and received his first Pro Bowl selection tonight.
- Logan Mankins seemed to have gotten in on reputation alone. Of course, that happens in the NFL all the time, especially with the Pro Bowl. It's not that Mankins is having a bad year, he just isn't performing at the level that he usually does.
- Meanwhile, Brian Waters, in his first year with the Patriots, gets a very deserving Pro Bowl selection. Got to love what he's done for the Patriots at right guard after all those years on the left side with the Chiefs.
- Tom Brady, Wes Welker, and Rob Gronkowski were all the "guarantees" for the Pro Bowl roster as I discussed earlier. They've all had great, even historic seasons for the Patriots.
- I thought there was a chance that Kyle Arrington would get into the Pro Bowl because of his seven interceptions - that was not the case. Arrington, however, isn't what I would call a "snub." He's a good player, but not a Pro Bowler.
- Feel-good story for Matthew Slater. He hasn't really been a consistent performer at receiver or safety this year, but he has been really solid in kick coverage. It's a nice little surprise to see him get the Pro Bowl honors.
- Vince Wilfork gets his fourth Pro Bowl selection in the last five years. He hasn't had the greatest season, but has done a nice job adjusting to the 4-man line and increased playing time, and has come away with four takeaways and a career high 2.5 sacks.
- Andre Carter really deserved this Pro Bowl selection with his 10 sacks in 13 full games. Carter was a pass rushing phenom for the Patriots this year, but unfortunately will have to be replaced on the Pro Bowl roster due to the quadriceps injury that had him placed on Injured Reserve last week.
- Ultimately, while the Pro Bowl is really just a designation and doesn't represent any culmination of season-long goals, for us fans, it's a great way to see our favorite players honored, and it's nice to see New England get so many selections. The eight total selections is tied for most in the league with the San Fransisco 49ers, who led the NFC in selections.