The 2011 NFL Pro Bowl rosters were announced Tuesday night, and the New England Patriots have six representatives on the AFC team: QB Tom Brady, OG Logan Mankins, DL Vince Wilfork, LB Jerod Mayo, CB Devin McCourty and FS Brandon Meriweather.
Brady, Mankins and Wilfork were selected as starters for the AFC side.
New England's six players is the most from any one team in the AFC (Baltimore placed five Pro Bowlers on the squad). The Atlanta Falcons led the NFL with seven players, including for Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan.
Brady is the starting QB for the AFC, while the NFC's representative will be the Eagles' Michael Vick. Assuming that neither player is in the Super Bowl, of course -- the 2011 Pro Bowl is scheduled for Dec. 30, in Honolulu, the Sunday before Super Bowl XLV.
Tom Brady is the quarterback of the NFL's highest-scoring offense (32 ppg) and leads the league with 34 touchdowns and a 109.8 QB Rating. The Patriots' only other offensive player to make the Pro Bowl, Logan Mankins, sat out the first two months of the season and did not report to the team until the week of the Nov. 7 game in Cleveland.
Devin McCourty, who is tied for second in the NFL with six interceptions and is third on the team with 81 tackles, is one of just four rookies to make the Pro Bowl (along with with DT Ndamukong Suh of Detroit, kick returner Marc Mariani of Tennessee and center Maurkice Pouncey of Pittsburgh).
Jerod Mayo, one of the NFL's best young linebackers, leads the league with 168 total tackles, while Vince Wilfork anchors the Patriots' defensive line. Brandon Meriweather, in his fourth season, has recorded 67 tackles and three interceptions thus far -- and is the most surprising selection from New England, says Pats Pulpit.
The biggest surprise to get a Pro Bowl nod is safety Brandon Meriweather. While Meriweather hasn't had a bad season, he hasn't been nearly as effective as he was last season, when he recorded five interceptions and got his first Pro Bowl nod.
Going along with Meriweather's selection, the biggest Pro Bowl snub is clearly Pat Chung. Chung and Meriweather both finished second in Pro Bowl votes, yet Meriweather, who hasn't played as well as Chung this season, got the nod. Other notables excluded from the game include Brandon Tate and Rob Gronkowski.