Brown, Polamalu make Pro Bowl for Steelers
HONOLULU –Kansas City and San Francisco will have plenty of clout in Honolulu if they can’t make it to New Jersey for the Super Bowl.
The NFL revealed Friday that the Chiefs and 49ers each had eight players voted into the Pro Bowl, including running backs Jamaal Charles of Kansas City and Frank Gore of San Francisco.
The Steelers, at 7-8, got two players, wide receiver Antonio Brown and strong safety Troy Polamalu.
Brown, who was voted the Steelers’ MVP on Thursday, was named to his second Pro Bowl. He enters Sunday’s regular season finale against Cleveland with an opportunity to become the first player in NFL history to record at least five receptions in every game this season. Washington’s Pierre Garcon also could reach that achievement.
Polamalu was named to his eighth Pro Bowl. The former NFL Defensive Player of the Year has forced five fumbles this season to go along with two interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown.
Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was among the notable snubs for the game. Roethlisberger ranks seventh in the NFL in passing yards for 4,082, seventh in touchdown passes with 27 and sixth in passer rating among players with at least 200 attempts at 93.7.
Denver quarterback Peyton Manning was selected to his 13th Pro Bowl after garnering the most votes among fans, 1.43 million. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees was second among fans with 1.2 million votes. The other quarterbacks chosen were Carolina’s Cam Newton, Seattle’s Russell Wilson, San Diego’s Philip Rivers and New England’s Tom Brady.
The NFL combines votes from fans, players and coaches to determine 86 of 88 Pro Bowl players; the other two players are long-snappers selected by Pro Bowl coaches. Voting ended Thursday.
Under a new format this year, NFL greats Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders will divvy up the players in a two-day draft before the Jan. 26 game. Offensive and defensive players with the most votes who don’t make it past the divisional playoff round will serve as active player captains.
Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman received 552,600 votes by fans, the most for any defensive player. Houston defensive end J.J. Watt had just under 410,000 fan votes.
San Francisco is planning to send eight players to the all-star game for the second year in a row, though its players missed the game earlier this year because they made the Super Bowl, losing to Baltimore.
Kansas City’s eight selections are up from six last year. The Chiefs are 11-4 this year – up from 2-14 last year – and the No. 5 seed in the AFC playoffs heading into a largely meaningless game for them against San Diego on Sunday.
Manning was one of five players selected from Denver, which has a shot at putting up the most points of any team in NFL history.
Cleveland, which is last in the AFC North at 4-11, placed five players on the roster, more than any other team in the division. Defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore had four, while Cincinnati, which clinched the division title last week, matched the Steelers with two.