The National Football League has released their Pro Bowl rosters for this year's edition of the game in Hawai'i. The Minnesota Vikings managed to land four players on the team. . .and, yet, it seems strangely unfulfilling given who made it and who missed it.
Let's start with who made it first. Congratulations to the following four players:
RB Adrian Peterson - If I need to explain why it is he made it, I'd like to welcome you to planet Earth.
FB Jerome Felton - The fullback acquired in the off-season on a one-year deal has been crushing opposing defenders to help pave the way for Adrian Peterson this season. If the Vikings aren't working on a contract extension for him, they should be.
DE Jared Allen - A bit of a surprise, considering that he isn't really having a "Jared Allen" type of season. In fact, he's on pace for his lowest sack total since his rookie season. As strange as it is to say, I don't feel he was as deserving as some of his teammates. . .then again, since he's been playing with a torn labrum all year and will likely need surgery after the season, the odds of him playing in this one are slim.
K Blair Walsh - He may already be the best kicker in the NFL, going 32-for-35 on field goals and hitting 9-of-9 from 50 yards and beyond. No surprise that he's here.
So, those are the four guys that made it. Now. . .who didn't make it from the Vikings that has a solid argument?
The most obvious one, in my opinion, is center John Sullivan. Sullivan has had folks like Pro Football Focus raving about him for the past couple of years, and is one of the NFL's best centers. It's particularly hilarious to see this in light of the fact that Green Bay Packers center Jeff Saturday did make the Pro Bowl. You know, the same Jeff Saturday that was benched by the Packers before last week's game against Tennessee? Yeah, that Jeff Saturday. Real screw job by the folks putting together the rosters there. Guy apparently isn't even the best center on his own roster, but he's one of the three best in the conference? Not sure how that works.
EDIT: Tom Pelissero states that Sullivan is the "first alternate" at the center spot. This does nothing to change the fact that Jeff Saturday is awful and shouldn't be on the team.
Chad Greenway has a pretty good case at an outside linebacker spot, one would think. The outside linebackers that were named to the team were San Francisco's Aldon Smith, Dallas' DeMarcus Ware, and Green Bay's Clay Matthews.
Rookie left tackle Matt Kalil also didn't make the squad, despite leading the NFC in votes at the tackle position. The three tackles that wound up on the roster were San Francisco's Joe Staley, Seattle's Russell Okung, and Washington's Trent Williams. All very good choices. . .not sure how many of them are better than Kalil, but I'm obviously biased in my assessment on that front.
So, congratulations to the four Minnesota Vikings Pro Bowlers. It could easily have been more. . .then again, I'm guessing that most folks didn't expect that many going into the season, so it's hard not to be happy with it.