NEW YORK – Sensational comebacks have Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson headed for the Pro Bowl.
Also selected Wednesday to the NFL’s all-star game was Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Manning missed all of the 2011 season with neck and back problems that required several operations. He then signed with Denver as a free agent and has led the Broncos on a 10-game winning streak to take the AFC West.
“I know there’s great players out there in the NFL, but there’s some great players on this team this year that deserve to go,” said Manning, who ranks fourth in league passing, has thrown 34 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Four other Broncos made the AFC roster: DE Elvis Dumervil, linebacker Von Miller, CB Champ Bailey and tackle Ryan Clady.
The Steelers had two selections among the starting group released last night: tight end Heath Miller and center Maurkice Pouncey.
Minnesota’s Peterson tore up his left knee on Christmas Eve last year, underwent major surgery, then was back for the season opener. He’s gone from uncertain to unstoppable, running away with the rushing title with a career-high 1,898 yards and lifting the Vikings toward an NFC wild card.
Griffin is one of three rookie QBs who had superb debut seasons, along with Andrew Luck of Indianapolis and Russell Wilson of Seattle. Luck and Wilson weren’t voted to the Pro Bowl by players coaches and fans, although their teams are in the playoffs; Griffin can get to the postseason if Washington beats Dallas on Sunday.
“You can’t play down those kind of things,” Griffin said. “I’ve always said my whole football career that you don’t play for awards. They just come. You don’t say you’re going to win the Heisman. You don’t say you’re going to win MVP. You go out and you prove it on the field, and if everyone feels that way then they’ll give you that award.”
San Francisco had the most players selected, nine, including six from its second-ranked defense. Houston was next with eight, six on offense.
Kansas City, despite its 2-13 record that is tied with Jacksonville for worst in the league, had five Pro Bowlers, including RB Jamaal Charles, who like Peterson is coming back from a torn ACL.
One other rookie, Minnesota kicker Blair Walsh, was chosen. Walsh has nine field goals of at least 50 yards, an NFL mark.
Another record setter will be heading to Honolulu for the Jan. 27 Pro Bowl: Detroit WR Calvin Johnson.
Johnson broke Jerry Rice’s single-season yards receiving record and has 1,892 yards with a game left.
Cowboys’ Brent indicted in crash killing teammate: A grand jury in Texas has formally indicted Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent on one count of intoxication manslaughter.
Brent is charged in connection with a Dec. 8 crash that killed his friend and Cowboys practice squad member Jerry Brown. He is out of jail on $100,000 bond.
Dallas County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Debbie Denmon says the indictment was returned Wednesday.
Police in the Dallas suburb of Irving say Brent was speeding when his vehicle struck a curb and flipped. Brown was pronounced dead at an area hospital.
Intoxication manslaughter carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Brent could be eligible for probation.
Denmon says no court dates have been scheduled.
Browns’ Cribbs apologizes for profane tweet: Josh Cribbs has apologized for his profane tweet following the Cleveland Browns’ latest loss.
Cribbs said Wednesday he was mad at himself for muffing a punt, angry that it contributed to a 34-12 setback in Denver, then enraged when he got several derogatory messages.
He responded Sunday by sending out:
“See all the negativity on twitter after I gave my life to this … . So 2 all u who are against me … all y’all! I’m still gonna do me!”
Cribbs said he won’t get caught doing it again, realizes true Browns fans would not try to tweak him, and the best way to make amends is to play well in the final game in Pittsburgh.
Ravens offensive line shaping up nicely
The Baltimore Ravens can only hope the performance they received from their offensive line last weekend is an indication of what lies ahead for a unit that relies heavily on youth.
Baltimore amassed a season-high 533 yards Sunday in a 33-14 rout of the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants. Joe Flacco had enough time in the pocket to throw for 309 yards and two touchdowns, the Ravens converted 11 of 18 third downs and Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce each topped 100 yards rushing.
Flacco, Rice and wide receivers Torrey Smith and Anquan Boldin are the big names on Baltimore’s offense, but the team’s success in the playoffs could depend on what happens up front.
Baltimore (10-5) concludes the regular season Sunday at Cincinnati (9-6).
RG3 exudes maturity
Robert Griffin III sounds like the coach. Mike Shanahan sounds like a player.
As the Washington Redskins prepare for the winner-takes-the-division regular season finale vs. the Dallas Cowboys, rookie quarterback Griffin spoke Wednesday about treating the game like any other. He said he’ll tell his teammates to not make the moment “so big that you can’t grab ahold of it.”
Shanahan then took to the podium and took the other approach. He said Sunday’s matchup is not a “normal game.” He said it’s a time when players can’t make mistakes and that it’s the type of game that can make a career.
The Redskins are 9-6. The Cowboys are 8-7. Sunday’s winner takes the NFC East, although Washington could still get a wild card berth with a loss.