Chicago Sun-Times

A closer look at fan voting for the Pro Bowl, so far

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The Green Bay Packers are the league's only undefeated team, and NFL fans apparently believe most of its players deserve a free trip to Hawaii.

The Packers have dominated Pro Bowl voting so far, with 10 players ranked No. 1 at their respective positions in the NFC and 20 players ranked in the top five in overall votes.

Aaron Rodgers, the league's top-rated quarterback, leads all NFL players with 589,801 fan votes.

The only Bears player to lead his position is Devin Hester, as a kickoff returner, while seven other teammates are ranked in the top five in total votes at their respective positions.

Bears running back Matt Forte has the 10th most votes in the entire league, although he trails Minnesota's Adrian Peterson at the position in the NFC.

The other Bears ranked in the top five: fullback Tyler Clutts (fifth), defensive end Julius Peppers (third), outside linebacker Lance Briggs (fourth), inside linebacker Brian Urlacher (third), cornerback Charles Tillman (fifth) and special teamer Corey Graham (fourth).

The fans' vote accounts for a third of the total, along with coaches and players.

Here are some of my thoughts:

* It's ridiculous that the entire Packers offensive line would start in the Pro Bowl, as Chad Clifton, Bryan Bulaga, T.J. Lang, Josh Sitton and Scott Wells have more votes than any other NFC offensive linemen.

* It's also ridiculous that Charles Tillman is fifth in the NFC among cornerbacks, behind Charles Woodson, Chris Houston, Nnamdi Asomugha and Carlos Rogers. That Asomugha has nearly twice as many votes as Tillman is absurd. Tillman has shined this season, particularly in the last two games single covering Jeremy Maclin and Calvin Johnson.

* Also seems odd that Briggs and Urlacher are ranked fourth and third respectively. Briggs is behind DeMarcus Ware, Clay Matthews and Brian Orapko while Urlacher is behind Desmond Bishop and Patrick Willis.

* And while you can't argue against Mason Crosby and Andy Lee leading all kickers and punters in the NFC, how do neither Robbie Gould nor Adam Podlesh even crack the top five?

* Voters seem to have done well at the receiver position, though. Johnson, Greg Jennings, Steve Smith, Larry Fitzgerald and Jordy Nelson.

* At defensive end, Jared Allen has the most votes in the NFC, followed by Jason Babin, Peppers and Charles Johnson.

Disagree? Well, you can vote by clicking here.

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I personally think this isgreat: feed the "no respect" mantra" of the Bears. Let the Packers get complacent once they see themselves as Pro-Bowlers. Wish any luck the timing will be ripe for an upset when the Bears head to Green Bay.

Take the vote away from the fans.

I really see some parallels between the Packers of this season, and the Patriots of a few years ago. they were playing lights out, and were just blowing teams out of the water, and when they ran into a team that was extremely physical, especially with their All-Pro QB, things fell apart quickly. Since that Super Bowl game against the Giants, when Tom Brady gets hit early, he plays with one eye on the rush the rest of the game.

The Packers are feeling invincible, just like the Pats did. Eventually, they are going to run into someone (don't laugh, but I think it will be the Eagles) that is able to cover their receivers long enough to let the pass rush get to Rodgers. A few solid hits on him, and he won't be as comfortable in the pocket, and that will impact his 72% completion percentage. All you need as a team is one chink in the armor, one creep of doubt, and it becomes that much harder to win a football game. They are still a young team, and when their confidence gets shaken, things tend to unravel in a hurry.

That being said, they are absolutely dominant on offense. There is no team in the league that is capable of keeping up in a shootout. So the only way you win is to force them into a mistake or two, and play ball-control...Gee, that sounds like the Bears strategy every week. So far, we haven't looked like a team that can hang with the Pack, but there's a long way to go until Christmas...

I thought of that, Sean, and agree with you.

Aaron Rodgers, I think, showed real fear after Peppers hit him last year.It was an eye-opener. He is definitely one who can be intimidated. His nervousness showed even against the Vikings Monday night. Don't overrate this guy's toughness. Wait and see.

Perhaps it is time for a ranking system (wait, not like the BCS uses!!) that gives weight to performance of players. Pts for tackles, INT's, sacks, yards, receptions, etc and then give a performance rating to a player for his position--not unlike what QB's enjoy today. make a cutoff date--end of the regular season maybe??--and then announce them as the playoffs begin. This would give incentive to a player to "play through" the end of the season, plus provide metrics the player could use for salary negotiations.

That said, I imagine certain players (and owners--like the Bears in their current Forte situation) would not like these metrics. It could end up being sort of an "auto-arbitrator" of sorts...

Ummm you can put 4 of those packers O-Line players in the pro bowl no problem, but Clifton, really?

At corner Rodgers deserves to be there, I wish the Bears had signed him, he is having a great year. Asomugha, Woodson, and Houston don't deserve to be there this year. Asomugha can't play zone and Tilman may be the leagues most well rounded corner behind Woodson, although Woodson has had an off year by his standards. Brent Grimes should be up there as well. But it's Bears fans who are not voting Tillman in, Bears fans could put any player they want in the Pro Bowl, just look at Clutts PFF's lowest rated Fullback. Considering what Tillman is asked to do, he should get the nod. He can play zone and man, plays the run and is better at FF than any player in the league.

3-4 players LB's should not be in the Mix with 4-3 players it's a different position. I think Urlacher is ranked about right, he is having a good year not a great year, he has had some good games and some bad games. Same can be said for Peppers, the last few games he has been really good but he started out really slow.

Joe, Rodgers has taken some hits. Rodgers has been sacked 23 times, and a lot of that is on him. People talk about how quickly he gets the football out. Well thats bull, watch a damn Packers game, a lot of times they do quick little dump off passes, so the ball is gonna come out quick, but when they go for big pass plays Rodgers is holding onto the ball for 6-7 seconds He also is not breaking a lot of tackles or making a lot of guys miss, he rolls out to the left rolls out ot the right, Rodgers has a lot of time to throw the ball, and he uses it, and so do his recievers who you will see coming back for the ball all game long. The Packers are good at moving Rodgers away from the pressure.

Packers are really good right now, and their defense is playing better, the secondary is off but that is where they have injuries. Raji is not having a good year either, but I thik a lot of that is depth, he is on the field to much and the Packers let their line get thing in the off season.

Hopefully Charles Tillman makes his first Pro-Bowl, I think most of the other corners are getting votes solely based on past achievements, especially Nnamdi Asomugha, who has been a major let down for the Eagles since they went to the bank to sign him. No way Asomugha deserves to make it this season. Your starting NFC corners should be Charles & Charles, as in Green Bay's Charles Woodson and our own Charles Tillman.

Now, as a Bears fan my opinion toward Tillman is bias, but, if Calvin Johnson is considered the leagues best receiver, and Tillman basically took him out of the game not allowing him to reach the end zone, thats gotta count for something? In the last 2 games vs Philly and Detroit I've felt Charles Tillman has been the Bears player of the game, and overall Tillman is having a great season, he's also 3rd on the team in tackles.

I look for Hester, Urlacher, Briggs, and Peppers to make it along with Matt Forte. Again, hopefully the players will see the light and give Tillman his due GO BEARS!!

I don't think Woodson deserves it at this point, he has made a lot of mistakes this year, plus he does not play a pure corner role for the Packers, he plays a hybrid position, he's like a corner/safety. I am all for Tillman and Carlos Rodgers, Woodson should be the thrid corner.

Tillman is playing the best football of his career, I hope it continues the rest of the season.

I've generally thought the pro-bowl selections were too much of a beauty contest and have not been surprized that many who are selected have better things to do come game time.I liked your comments, Creighton, but I am not sure I agree about Aaron Rodgers' time to throw. I have watched with increasing annoyance as he stands backthere assaying the field, maybe taking a side-step or two, seeming to have all the tme in the world to let a receiver get open.Someone has to be doing something right. Then I see Cutler barely getting the snap before he is besieged on all sides. Perhaps it's my biased perspective seeing things that are not there, but I guess I would like to see Cutler able to have the time rodgers seems to have.

Tillman is finally starting to get the recognition he deserves, he has played at pro bowl level in a number of times in past years but not acknowledged for his fine play.
Tillman also creates turnovers better than most in the NFL.

Forte, Peppers and Urlacher, Hester all pro bowl with Briggs coming on strong lately.

If Cutler keeps progressing maybe next year he will be recognized, he is playing at a higher level of late with very few poor decisions which has plagued him in the past.

Paul you must have misread my post about Rodgers having time to throw, I did say he had a lot of time. The last game on his deep drops I was actually counting the seconds and your talking about 6-7 seconds to thrwo the ball or better on a lot of those.

wow no offense to cutler, but even as a bears fan I have to admit i have never seen a quarterback play as well as rodgers is. cutler is a lot more of a risk taker, rodgers isn't. If cutler had more time he would be better, a lot better, but not even close to rodgers.

Watching yesterday's game, Tillman did not impress me as much. How is it he can handle Megatron one week and then consistently get smoked by Vincent Jackson? While I think Tillman is without equal when it comes to stripping the ball, his coverage seems spotty and inconsistent.

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This page contains a single entry by Sean Jensen published on November 16, 2011 5:40 PM.

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