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Weekend Primer: The Pro Bowl Is Better Than Nothing (Maybe)

There's no doubt that this weekend's Pro Bowl holds little interest with regular football folk. If they're not going to play hard and take it seriously, why should we? And aside from the occasional "idiot kicker" being called out by the team's quarterback, there's really nothing to keep us tuned in. Yet, it's football. What else are we going to do? Clean the bathroom? As if.

Now that the Pro Bowl has moved up to fill the void between the Conference Championship games and the Super Bowl, players that could have played the Pro Bowl after the Super Bowl, won't play due to risking an injury.

As is the case this year, ten players that earned a spot on the Pro Bowl won't be participating this year because of the Super Bowl.

Packers Steelers
Nick Collins James Harrison
Chad Clifton Brett Keisel
Greg Jennings Troy Polamalu
Clay Matthews Maurkice Pouncey
Tramon Williams  
Charles Woodson  

Here are some notes heading into this weekend for the 2011 Pro Bowl.

  • The AFC Pro Bowl roster will feature two of the league's top passers with Phillip Rivers (4,710 yards passing) and Peyton Manning (4,700 yards passing).
  • Michael Vick, who is starting for the NFC, is the first quarterback in NFL history to record at least 600 yards rushing while posting a passer rating of 100.0 or better.
  • Tony Gonzalez's five touchdowns is tied for most all-time in the Pro Bowl. With a touchdown, Gonzalez would surpass Jimmy Smith and Marvin Harrison.
  • Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has three rushing touchdowns. With one rushing touchdown this weekend, he would surpass Earl Campbell, Chuck Muncie and Mike Alstott for most rushing touchdowns in Pro Bowl history.

Seven of the highest combined scores in Pro Bowl history have all occurred since 2000.

2004 NFC (55) AFC (52) 107
2000 NFC (51) AFC (31) 82
2010 AFC (41) NFC (34) 75
2008 NFC (42) AFC (30) 72
2002 AFC (38) NFC (30) 68
2003 AFC (45) NFC (20) 65
2005 AFC (38) NFC (27) 65

Breakdown of schools with at least three players named to the 2011 Pro Bowl.

Miami S Ed Reed, S Brandon Meriweather, LB Ray Lewis, DT Vince Wilfork, WR Andre Johnson, WR Reggie Wayne, KR Devin Hester, LB Jonathan Vilma, S Antrel Rolle, LB Jon Beason 10
Tennessee QB Peyton Manning, RB Arian Foster, LB Jerod Mayo, TE Jason Witten, T Chad Clifton, S Eric Berry
USC S Troy Polamalu, C Ryan Kalil, LB Clay Matthews, QB Matt Cassel
Michigan QB Tom Brady, T Jake Long, CB Charles Woodson