The NFC has a strong crop of quarterbacks this season, but Aaron Rodgers was good enough to earn a Pro Bowl invitation. (Jim Prisching/Associated Press) )
The NFL announced the AFC and NFC Pro Bowl rosters Tuesday, and with every player that makes the team there's another that thinks he should have made it.
There were certainly some deserving players left out, so here are my top snubs:
1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers, QB
Rodgers is having a terrific season and leads the NFC with a 101.9 passer rating. He's thrown for 3,693 yards with 27 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 14 games. The NFC crop of quarterbacks is good with Michael Vick as the starter and Matt Ryan and Drew Brees serving as the backups. But Rodgers should have made it over Brees, who is second in the league with 21 interceptions.
2. Chris Johnson, Titans, RB
Apparently, 2,000-yard rushing seasons are the gold standard for Johnson now. He's the league's third-leading rusher (1,325 yards) and has scored 11 touchdowns. Johnson was passed over for Jacksonville's Maurice Jones-Drew, who in more attempts, has fewer yards, six fewer touchdowns and averages fewer yards per attempt.
3. Matt Cassel, Chiefs, QB
Cassel is unfortunate to be in the same conference with Tom Brady, Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning. He's the AFC's third-highest-rated passer (98.8) and has 27 touchdowns to five interceptions. More importantly, he helped lead the Chiefs out of the doldrums and into the playoffs. By comparison, Manning has 31 touchdowns and 17 interceptions with a 91.4 rating.
4. Vernon Davis, 49ers, TE
Davis was snubbed in favor of Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, who is a nice player but earned this nod on reputation and the fact he plays for a winning team. Davis had a better year in terms of yards (818 to 603), touchdowns (six to five) and yards per catch (15.4 to 9.4).
5. Kyle Williams, Bills, DT Williams has been the one good constant in a bad Bills defense. That the Bills have one of the league's worst defenses didn't help. Williams leads defensive tackles with 75 tackles. He also has 51/2 sacks. Williams has been unstoppable at times and had 10 tackles and two sacks in a game against the Steelers a few weeks ago.
6. Trent Cole, Eagles, DE
Sacks are the sexy stat for a defensive end and Cole has fewer than the three DE's taken ahead of him; Julius Peppers (Bears), John Abraham (Falcons) and Justin Tuck (Giants). Cole has 10 sacks and his quarterback disruptions (74) are more than any other defensive end. He's also one of the best ends in the league against the run.
7. Lawrence Timmons, Steelers, LB
He doesn't have the tackle totals of Jarod Mayo (Patriots) or the reputation of Ray Lewis (Ravens) — the players chosen over Timmons — but is having just as good a season, if not better. Timmons, 24, leads the Steelers with 126 tackles and has three sacks, two interceptions, a forced fumble and nine passes defended.
8. Brent Grimes, Falcons, CB
One record-setting game got DeAngelo Hall (Redskins) into the Pro Bowl over Grimes, who is more consistent and physical. Hall has one more interception than Grimes, but four of his six takeaways were against Jay Cutler and the Bears in one game. Grimes has seven more passes defended and 10 more solo tackles than Hall.
9. Shaun Phillips, Chargers, OLB
Phillips has 11 sacks, same as the Ravens' Terrell Suggs, who was selected. But Phillips is a more complete player with better cover skills. He has seven passes defended and an interception return for a touchdown. Suggs had two passes defended and no picks.
10. Jacoby Ford, Raiders, RS
Ford has been a game-breaker, taking three kickoffs to the house. Titans returner Marc Mariani got the nod with one kickoff return and one punt return touchdown. Ford is a far more electrifying player.
By the numbers
14 -- First-time Pro Bowlers in the AFC this season.
10 -- Rookie starters for the Buccaneers this season. They are the first team since the 1970 merger (excluding the 1987 strike season) to start at least 10 rookies in a season and have a winning record.
16 -- Heading into the final week of the regular season, there are 16 teams in contention for the playoffs.
Tim's top 5
1. New England (1): They've outscored opponents by 174 points and have the league's likely MVP under center.
2. Atlanta (2): Tough loss to the Saints on Monday but they still look good in a playoff matchup at home against anyone in the NFC.
3. Pittsburgh (4): The fact that they went into Baltimore and beat the Ravens a few weeks ago is tells how good they can be.
4. Bears (NR): They can't be ignored any longer. The Bears simply win and Jay Cutler has been brilliant the last month.
5. Baltimore (5): The Ravens have all the components (defense, run game and quarterback) to be dangerous in the playoffs.
Tim's bottom 5
28. Miami (NR): They might have seven wins but only one of those was at home and both their quarterback and coach are hanging by a thread.
29. Buffalo (29): The Patriots can make a lot of teams look stupid but the Bills looked woefully amateurish on Sunday.
30. Denver (30): They might have something in QB Tim Tebow. Now they only need 10-12 more players to become competitive again.
31. Cincinnati (31): The Bengals played the role of spoiler against the Chargers last week. But they are about to blow that thing up in Cincinnati.
32. Carolina (32): One more week, Panthers fans, and the draft talk gets hot and heavy. We feel your pain.
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*With one game left to play
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"Our new training program on workplace conduct will help all of us to promote the right kind of environment for all employees and I intend to dedicate the fine I have imposed on Favre to help fund that training program."
-- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on the $50,000 fine he handed out to Vikings quarterback Brett Favre on Wednesday.