New York, NY (Sports Network) - The rosters for the 2013 Pro Bowl were
announced Wednesday and Denver's Peyton Manning and Green Bay's Aaron
Rodgers were named the starting quarterbacks for their respective conferences.
Manning will start for the AFC, while Rodgers will get the start for the NFC
when the two sides meet at Honolulu's Aloha Stadium a week before the Super
Bowl on Jan. 27.
The San Francisco 49ers led all teams with nine selections apiece, followed by
the Houston Texans with eight.
One of Houston's eight selections was quarterback Matt Schaub, who will join
New England's Tom Brady as the other signal-callers for the AFC, while
Atlanta's Matt Ryan and rookie sensation Robert Griffin III of Washington will
serve as backups on the NFC side.
Manning's 12th Pro Bowl selection seemed unlikely this time last year, as his
career was put into question after numerous neck surgeries to alleviate pain
and arm weakness forced the Tennessee product to miss the entire 2011
Indianapolis, where Manning spent his first 14 seasons, parted ways with
Manning last offseason before the 39-year-old signed with the Denver Broncos
before the start of this season.
Manning has thrived in the Mile High City, throwing for 4,355 yards and 34
touchdowns with just 11 interceptions to help the Broncos claim the AFC West
as they carry a 10-game winning streak into their season-finale against Kansas
Rodgers, the 2011 NFL MVP, is bound for his third Pro Bowl after throwing for
3,930 yards and 35 touchdowns with just eight interceptions.
Houston's Arian Foster will start at running back for the AFC, while Kansas
City's Jamaal Charles and Baltimore's Ray Rice were also chosen for the
backfield. In the NFC, MVP-hopeful Adrian Peterson, who bounced back admirably
from a torn ACL in the final game of last season, will start at running back
as he chases Eric Dickerson's single-season rushing record of 2,105 yards.
Peterson is just 207 yards shy of Dickerson's mark heading into Sunday's
season finale against Green Bay.
The 27-year-old Oklahoma product will be joined in the backfield by Seattle's
Marshawn Lynch and San Francisco's Frank Gore.
Detroit's Calvin Johnson, who broke Jerry Rice's mark for most receiving yards
in a season with 1,982 yards this past weekend, will start at wide receiver in
the NFC with Chicago's Brandon Marshall. Atlanta's Julio Jones and Victor Cruz
of the Giants will serve as backups.
In the AFC, second-year sensation A.J. Green of the Bengals will start
alongside Houston's Andre Johnson, while Indianapolis' Reggie Wayne and New
England's Wes Welker were named backups.
New England's Rob Gronkowski will start at tight end, while Pittsburgh's
Heath Miller serves as the backup for the AFC. Tony Gonzalez of the Falcons
was chosen for his 13th Pro Bowl and will start for the NFC, while Dallas'
Jason Witten serves as the backup.
Houston defensive end J.J. Watt is headed for his first Pro Bowl and will be
joined by Miami defensive end Cameron Wake as the starting ends. On the
interior, Cincinnati's Geno Atkins and New England veteran Vince Wilfork get
the starting nod in the AFC.
Wilfork's teammate, linebacker Jerrod Mayo, will start in the middle, while
fellow linebackers Von Miller of the Broncos and Tamba Hali of the Chiefs will
join Mayo for the AFC.
Perennial Pro Bowler Ed Reed was named to his ninth Pro Bowl and will start
at free safety. Kansas City strong safety Eric Berry will join Reed in the
starting lineup, while cornerbacks Champ Bailey of the Broncos and Johnathan
Joseph of the Texans will also start in the secondary for the AFC.
Baltimore's Vonta Leach will start at fullback for the AFC, while the tackles
will be Cleveland's Joe Thomas and Houston's Duane Brown. Pittsburgh's
Maurkice Pouncey will start at center, and the Patriots' Logan Mankins and
Baltimore's Marshal Yanda start at guard.
The special teamers for the AFC are Kansas City's Dustin Colquitt at punter
and the Browns' Phil Dawson at kicker. Baltimore's Jacoby Jones was named to
return kicks, while New England's Matthew Slater will also be on the special
For the NFC, Minnesota's Jerome Felton starts at fullback, while the
offensive line starters include a pair of teammates, as San Francisco tackle
Joe Staley and 49ers' guard Mike Iupati join Seattle tackle Russell Okung and
Seahawks' center Max Unger on the offensive line. New Orleans guard Jahri
Evans fills out the starting offensive line.
Jason Pierre-Paul of the Giants joins Chicago's Julius Peppers as the starting
defensive ends, while San Francisco defensive lineman Justin Smith and
Chicago's Henry Melton will man the middle of the defensive line.
Aldon Smith (49ers) and DeMarcus Ware (Cowboys) are the starting outside
linebackers, while Smith's teammate, Patrick Willis will start at middle
A pair of Bears will start at cornerback, with Charles Tillman on one side and
Tim Jennings on the other, while two 49ers will man the back of the secondary,
as Dashon Goldson gets the start at free safety and Donte Whitner will start
at strong safety.
The special teamers for the NFC are Saints punter Thomas Morstead and
Minnesota's Blair Walsh at placekicker. Leon Washington (Seahawks) will
return kicks, and Lorenzo Washington (Redskins) was also chosen on special
Some of the noted players who were not voted in by players, coaches or fans
include Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman, who is currently appealing a
suspension for PED use, wide receivers Roddy White (Falcons) and Vincent
Jackson (Buccaneers) and rookie quarterback Andrew Luck of the Colts.
The Sports Network