Mannings first QB brothers to make Pro Bowl; Jets lead way with 7
Pro Bowl Fast Facts
• Four teams have zero Pro Bowlers in the Bengals, Lions, Jaguars and Rams.
• There are 31 first-time selections (17 in AFC, 14 in NFC).
• The Jets lead the NFL with seven selections. That's also the most in the team's 49-year history.
• The Chargers are sending just two players after having nine named in '07 and 11 in '06.
• The Ravens have five selections, which is the eighth time in 11 years Baltimore has sent at least five players to the Pro Bowl (1998-01, 2003-04, 2006, 2008).
• Eli Manning is the first Giants' quarterback named to the Pro Bowl since Phil Simms made the cut in '93.
• At 44, Giants kicker John Carney is the oldest Pro Bowler ever.
-- ESPN research and The Associated Press
The Indianapolis Colts' Peyton will make his ninth appearance in 11 seasons and will start for the AFC. It will be the first appearance for Eli, who was the MVP for the New York Giants in last February's Super Bowl. He will be on the NFC team.
The Giants also landed the oldest Pro Bowler ever, 44-year-old kicker John Carney, who was signed at the start of the season as a short-term fill-in for the injured Lawrence Tynes. He has made 27 of 29 field goals -- the two he missed were blocked -- and has kept the now-recovered Tynes inactive for all but two games.
The New York Jets led all teams with seven Pro Bowlers, including quarterback Brett Favre, who will be in his 10th Pro Bowl, but his first representing the AFC. There will be six each from the Giants, Minnesota Vikings and Tennessee Titans in the game, to be played on Feb. 8 in Honolulu.
The Titans have the NFL's best record at 12-2 and won their first 10 games before losing to the Jets.
"If we were the Dallas Cowboys, it would easily be 12 of us going to the Pro Bowl," said one of Tennessee's Pro Bowlers, safety Chris Hope. "A lot of people say it's a small market or we haven't been around long enough to gain the recognition like the other teams.
"Where a team like the Dallas Cowboys has a great season, they send half their team," Hope said. "We have the best record in the league. Only a few of us get recognized and only a few of us get to go. It's just a blessing to be one of the ones to have the opportunity, but I still think there's some guys that didn't get a chance to go."
On the other hand, Pittsburgh had only three: linebackers James Farrior and James Harrison and safety Troy Polamalu. The Steelers (11-3) are just a game behind the Titans and can take the lead for home-field advantage in the AFC with a win in Tennessee on Sunday.
While Peyton Manning will start for the AFC, the starting quarterback for the NFC will be Kurt Warner, who led the Arizona Cardinals to the NFC West title. It will be the 37-year-old Warner's fourth Pro Bowl but his first since 2001, when he was with St. Louis and made it for the third straight season.
"What I felt coming in was that I could play the quarterback position for this team as well as anybody in the league," said Warner, who came to camp as the backup to third-year man Matt Leinart. "Whether that means going to a Pro Bowl or having certain stats, I never really had that perspective. I just had the perspective that I felt like I could really play this game as well as I ever have. And I felt like I've done that this year."
Warner and the 39-year-old Favre, who leads the NFL in interceptions with 17, are far from the oldest Pro Bowlers this year.
Those honors go to Carney and 42-year-old Giants punter Jeff Feagles. Carney is 2 years older than another former Pro Bowl kicker, Jan Stenerud, who was 42 when he made it in 1984. Stenerud is the only kicker in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Carney and Feagles also set records for the longest gap ever between Pro Bowl selections: Carney made it in 1994 with San Diego and Feagles in 1995 with Arizona.
The AFC roster contains 17 first-time all-stars and the NFC roster contains 14. One of the AFC's first-timers was Texans defensive end Mario Williams, the first overall pick in the 2006 draft ahead of Reggie Bush and Vince Young, a choice criticized both in Houston and around the NFL.
"It feels great to finally get in there and see what it's like. It's just an honor," Williams said.
Tight end Tony Gonzalez of Kansas City made his 10th straight Pro Bowl and Tampa Bay linebacker Derrick Brooks made it for the 11th time. He had 10 straight, missed last season and returned this year.
"I'm appreciative of the respect by my teammates as well as my peers," Brooks said. "I feel like I really worked hard this offseason to take my game back to the upper level in which I thought I could play. I also thank my defensive teammates for keeping our defense at the top of the league all season."
Seattle's only representative is offensive tackle Walter Jones, but he will miss the game after undergoing season-ending knee surgery last week.
Pennington was released by the Jets after Favre was obtained in a trade and has led the Dolphins, 1-15 last season, to a 9-5 record and a three-way tie for the lead in the AFC East. Abraham, primarily a defensive end, is third in the NFL in sacks with 15.
Titans running back Chris Johnson was the only rookie to make the Pro Bowl.
Four teams had no representatives: Cincinnati and Jacksonville in the AFC, St. Louis and winless Detroit in the NFC. Those teams have nine wins among them.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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