The Denver Broncos will be well represented at the Pro Bowl the week prior to this year’s Super Bowl. While the list isn’t surprising in its inclusions, it is full of potential snubs. We’ll tackle those who have been left behind in a moment. For now, here are the Pro Bowl representatives for the 2012 Denver Broncos.
*Peyton Manning – (12th Pro Bowl, 4,355 yards, 34 touchdowns, 11 interceptions): Manning has not only come back from incredibly invasive neck surgery, he has played in an entirely new home. All the while he’s only put up career numbers, led the team on an 11-game winning streak, and has the Broncos poised for a first-round bye in the playoffs.
Ryan Clady – (3rd Pro Bowl, 1 sack allowed): After an offseason knee injury left him with diminished stats and concerns over his long-term health, Clady has responded with allowing all of one sack from the offensive line’s most key position.
*Von Miller – (1st Pro Bowl, 17.5 sacks, 65 tackles (25 for a loss), 1 interception): Pro Bowl? Try defensive MVP. Miller has wreaked havoc on quarterbacks all year. He’s had plenty of time to practice his choreographed (and delicious) dance moves with his team-record amount of sacks.
*Champ Bailey – (12th Pro Bowl, 63 tackles, 2 interceptions): The perennial Pro Bowler is going back to Hawaii. With another solid year of coverage and two more picks for 52 in his career, Bailey will be back for his 12th consecutive Pro Bowl.
Elvis Dumervil – (3rd Pro Bowl, 11 sacks, 53 tackles, and 6 forced fumbles): If his tumultuous offseason was of any concern, he’s made up for it with his play on the field, particularly during the second half. Between Miller and himself, no other combination of pass-rushers have been as dangerous to opposing quarterbacks.
Despite the celebration of five different Pro Bowlers, Broncos fans everywhere have the same question, “Just five?!?” Somehow the Kansas City Chiefs have as many representatives at this year’s game in Hawaii. Here is a list of legitimate snubs:
Demaryius Thomas (87 catches, 1,312 yards, and 483 yards after catch), Wesley Woodyard (113 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 3 interceptions, and 1 forced fumble), Chris Harris: (59 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 3 interceptions, 2 for touchdowns),Zane Beadles.
Even though there is as much cause for celebration as there is consternation, the Broncos have a goal of making this point mute – those who play in the Super Bowl are ineligible to play in the Pro Bowl. I’m sure Broncos fans wouldn’t mind too badly if their favorite players aren’t a part of the league’s biggest consolation prize.
*-Denotes Pro Bowl starter.