Patriots, 49ers Rack Up Most Pro Bowlers
The NFL announced the rosters for the 2012 edition of the Pro Bowl, with New England's Tom Brady and Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers receiving starting nods at quarterback.
The Patriots and San Francisco 49ers led all teams with eight selections apiece, followed by the Baltimore Ravens and Packers with seven players each.
Brady, who will make his seventh Pro Bowl appearance, is one of seven starters from New England. The other Patriots who got starting nods were receiver Wes Welker, tight end Rob Gronkowski, defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, defensive end Andre Carter, and guards Brian Waters and Logan Mankins.
The other player from New England is special teamer Matthew Slater.
The other quarterbacks for the AFC are San Diego's Philip Rivers and Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger.
Baltimore's Ray Rice will start at running back for the AFC. Also picked for the backfield were Jacksonville's Maurice Jones-Drew and Houston's Arian Foster.
Apart from Welker, Pittsburgh's Mike Wallace was also named as starting receivers for the AFC, while Cincinnati's A.J. Green and Brandon Marshall of Miami will be backups.
Green is one of three rookies chosen for the 2012 Pro Bowl, which will also mark the debut appearance for Denver linebacker Von Miller and Arizona cornerback Patrick Peterson, selected as a kick return specialist.
Serving backup to Gronkowski at tight end is San Diego's Antonio Gates.
Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis, who was named to the 13th Pro Bowl of his 16-year career, will start for the AFC, while fellow Raven teammate Haloti Ngata was also named starter along the defensive line.
Other defensive starters for the AFC are Indianapolis' Dwight Freeney and New England's Andre Carter at the end positions, while Darrelle Revis of the Jets and Denver's Champ Bailey will start at cornerback.
Pittsburgh's Troy Polamalu will start at free safety.
Starting at fullback for the AFC is Baltimore's Vonta Leach.
In the AFC, tackles Joe Thomas of Cleveland and Miami's Jake Long will also start, while Pittsburgh's Maurkice Pouncey was named to start at center, and the Patriots' Logan Mankins and Brian Waters start at guard.
Rodgers of the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay earned his second Pro-Bowl selection. He will direct the offense for the NFC.
Rodgers will be backed by New Orleans' Drew Brees, who set the mark for most passing yards in a single season Monday. Giants' Eli Manning is the other signal-caller for the NFC.
Four of the eight 49er players chosen to start for the NFC are linebacker Patrick Willis, DE Justin Smith, cornerback Carlos Rogers and tackle Joe Staley.
Philadelphia running back LeSean McCoy will start for the NFC. He is joined in the backfield by Chicago's Matt Forte and San Francisco's Frank Gore.
The starting wideouts for the NFC are Detroit's Calvin Johnson and Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald, while Steve Smith of Carolina and Green Bay's Greg Jennings were named as backups.
Jimmy Graham of the Saints will start at tight end for the NFC, while Atlanta's Tony Gonzalez serves as the backup.
For the AFC, Baltimore's Terrell Suggs and Denver's Miller start at outside linebacker, while Raven's Ed Reed will start at free safety.
Starting at fullback will be Green Bay's John Kuhn, while San Francisco tackle Staley will be joined by Philadelphia's Jason Peters in starting for the NFC offensive line, along with guards Jahri Evans and Carl Nicks of the Saints, and Carolina center Ryan Kalil.
The 2012 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl will take place on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012, in Honolulu, one week prior to Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis.
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