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Monday, 29 December 2014

Old School Pro Bowl: The 2014 AFC Pro Bowl Team


QB: Andrew Luck Colts, Ben Roethlisberger Steelers, Peyton Manning Broncos

RB: Le'Veon Bell Steelers, Jamaal Charles Chiefs, Justin Forsett Ravens

FB: Marcel Reese Raiders

WR: Antonio Brown Steelers, Demaryius Thomas Broncos, TY Hilton Colts, Emmanuel Sanders Broncos, A.J. Green Bengals

TE: Rob Gronkowski Patriots, Antonio Gates Chargers, Travis Kelce Chiefs

OT: Joe Thomas Browns, Ryan Clady Broncos, Andrew Whitworth Bengals

OG: Marshal Yanda Ravens, Joel Bitonio Browns, Kevin Zeitler Bengals

C: Maurkice Pouncey Steelers, Nick Mangold Jets

Honorable Mentions: Tom Brady QB Patriots, Phillip Rivers QB Chargers, Arian Foster RB Texans, Jeremy Hill Bengals, Lamar Miller Dolphins, C.J. Anderson Broncos, DeAndre Hopkins WR Texans, Mike Wallace WR Dolphins, Steve Smith WR Ravens, Delanie Walker TE Titans, Julius Thomas TE Broncos, Coby Fleener TE Colts, Sebastian Vollmer OT Patriots, Brandon Albert OT Dolphins, Kelechi Osemele OG Ravens, Orlando Franklin OG Broncos, Mike Pouncey OG Dolphins, Rodney Hudson C Chiefs

Summary: It was very difficult choosing one of the four top quarterbacks as the starter as well as excluding one of the top four quarterbacks from the roster, based purely on numbers Brady was the odd man out, but a strong case could be made that he should be on the list and even be the starter especially considering the Patriots success in 2014... Le'Veon Bell is quickly emerging as one of the best all around backs in football, he's an outstanding receiver out of the backfield as well as an excellent runner with patience and vision that belies his lack of experience.  Jamaal Charles may be the most dynamic running back in football, but missed time due to injury costs him the starting nod.  Justin Forett finally got an opportunity to be the man in an NFL backfield thanks to the suspension of Ray Rice, and he made the most of it with a 1,000-plus yard season and a 5.4 yard average per carry...Antonio Brown has been one of the most consistent offensive performers in football over the past two seasons and he enjoyed a career season in 2014 with a league leading 129 catches for 1,698 yards and 13 touchdowns...Demaryius Thomas continued his success with Peyton Manning at quarterback and the addition of Emmanuel Sanders to replace Eric Decker may have actually been an improvement for Denver, his combination of sure hands and quickness made him one of the top performers at wide receiver in the NFL...After over a year and a half of inconsitency due mostly to injuries, Rob Gronkowski finally returned to full health and reminded the world just how dynamic a weapon he is at the tight end position, clearly outperforming every other player at the position this season with 82 receptions, 1,124 yards, 12 touchdowns and flashes of dominance as a run blocker...Joe Thomas continues to be among the top linemen in the game and may be close to entering Hall of Fame territory, he was joined on the Cleveland offensive line in 2014 by rookie Joel Bitonio at guard.  Bitonio's performance may have been somewhat overshadowed by the more highly publicized performance of first round Notre Dame product Zack Martin of the Cowboys, but he has the look of a longtime All Pro as an interior offensive lineman...



DE: J.J. Watt Texans, Mario Williams Bills, Cameron Wake Dolphins, Demarcus Ware Broncos

DT: Marcell Dareus Bills, Dontari Poe Chiefs, Sen'Derrick Marks Jaguars, Kyle Williams Bills

OLB: Justin Houston Chiefs, Von Miller Broncos, Elvis Dumervil Ravens, Terrell Suggs Ravens

ILB: C.J. Mosley Ravens, D'Qwell Jackson Colts, Jamie Collins Patriots, Lawrence Timmons Steelers

CB: Darrelle Revis Patriots, Vontae Davis Colts, Brent Grimes Dolphins, Aquib Talib Broncos

S: Tashaun Gipson Browns, Eric Weddle Chargers, Charles Woodson Raiders, Mike Adams Colts

K: Stephen Gostkowski Patriots

P: Sam Koch Ravens

RS: Adam Jones Bengals

ST: Matthew Slater Patriots

Honorable Mentions: Jerry Hughes DE Bills, Rob Ninkovich DE Patriots, Carlos Dunlap DE Bengals, Muhammed Wilkerson DL Jets, Sheldon Richardson DL Jets, Paul Kruger OLB Browns, Tamba Hali OLB Chiefs, Dont'a Hightower LB Patriots, Khalil Mack OLB Raiders, David Harris LB Jets, Jelani Jenkins LB Dolphins, Chris Harris CB Broncos, Joe Haden CB Browns, T.J. Ward S Broncos, Devin McCourty S Patriots, Da'Norris Searcy S Bills, Adam Vinatieri K Colts, Pat McAfee P Colts, Jacoby Jones RS Ravens, D'Anthony Thomas RS Chiefs

Summary: JJ Watt could wind up being the first defender to win MVP honors since Lawrence Taylor win the award in 1986, his combination of size strength, and athletic ability is staggering and clearly makes him the most dominant defensive force in the game, he's joined by another former Texan first round pick, current Buffalo Bill Mario Williams of the first team defensive line...Another Buffalo Bill joins them on the front line, 2011 first round choice Marcell Dareus who's fast becoming one of the top run stuffers and all around defensive tackles in the NFL...In almost any other season, the 22 sack peformance of Kansas City outside linebacker Justin Houston would make him a shoo-in for Defensive Player of the Year honors, he teamed up with Tamba Hali to form one of the top 3-4 outside linebacker duos in football...The 2011 draft has proven to be a bounty for defensive stars in today's NFL, Dareus, Watt, Houston, as well as Broncos linebacker Von Miller and undrafted cornerback Chris Harris all came from that draft...Filling th shoes of Ray Lewis at inside linebacker in Baltimore is an unenviable task, but first round rookie C.J. Mosley is off to an outstanding start, garnering a Pro Bowl birth in his very first NFL season...The cornerback position was filled with excellent performances in the the 2014 AFC, Darrelle Revis returned to form as arguably the top shutdown corner in football for the Patriots, two years after a devestating knee injury effectively ended his New York Jets career...Vontae Davis enjoyed a breakout season in Indianapolis a year after being traded there by the Dolphins, had they not traded him away, Miami would have a pair of Pro Bowl caliber corners as Davis would join Brent Grimes who continued to shine in Miami since joining them a season ago from Atlanta...The safety position wasn't quite as strong in 2014, but one performance worth noting is that of veteran Charles Woodson.  Woodson was cast off by Green Bay and thought to be finished after the 2012 season, but he continued to perform at a Pro Bowl level under the radar for the struggling Raiders and now seems assured of his status as a first ballot Hall of Famer five years after whenever he does decide to call it quits.  Based on his effort in 2014 however, that time doesnt seem to be too imminent despite the fact that at 38 years of age he's the oldest defensive back in football.  Woodson collected 112 tackles and four interceptions, he may not have the world calss athletic ability that made him the first primarily defensive player to ever win the Heisman Trophy way back in 1997, but Woodson's football IQ and off the charts instincts allowed him to constantly be around the football and his leadership has been vital in the development of young defenders in Oakland such as 2014 first round pick Khalil Mack, who himself seems on the cusp of Pro Bowl status after an outstanding rookie campaign.






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