Ricky P writes:
There any explanation you could give as to why Osi Umenyiora is not in the Pro Bowl and starting opposite Justin Tuck after putting up the NFL's first double digit forced fumble season?
Osi: 48 tackles, 11.5 sacks, 10 Forced Fumbles (NFL RECORD)
Tuck: 76 tackles (He's a defensive end not a linebacker), 11.5 sacks, 6 FF's
Julius Peppers: 54 tackles, 8.0 sacks, 3 FF's, 2 INT's (returned for 1 total yard)
John Abraham: 40 tackles, 13 sacks, 2 FF's, INT.
I can see how any one of these guys starts, and one had to be snubbed - but a guy who in any other year besides this one (Vick) wins Comeback Player of the Year, and sets an NFL record, should not only be on the roster but should definitely be starting, IMO.
Serious answer: The NFC DE class this year was really deep. Osi, Tuck, Peppers, Abraham, and even James Hall could have been justified selections.
I would add to your stats above that Peppers and Abraham play on the teams that finished 1st and 2nd in the NFC and had the 2nd and 3rd best defenses in the conference, respectively. (That also means there's a 50% chance Tuck will be added to the NFC roster to replace one of these two while they play in the Super Bowl.)
Peppers was the biggest name free agent last offseason which goes a long way. He also defended / knocked down nine passes on the season. Nnamdi Asomugha, the starting AFC cornerback, had six.
Abraham led the league in sacks for the second time in the last three years. He was the unquestioned leader of a defense that allowed the 5th fewest points in the league (Giants were 17th).
The real problem I have is that Lance Briggs made the Pro Bowl over any of these four. If Tuck were a linebacker, he would be a shoo in.
Not so serious answer: I understand it's the principle, but come on, it's the Pro Bowl. When was the last time you watched one of these?