2010 Pro Bowl voting is off and running, believe it or not. Yes, we haven't even completed half of the season yet, and teams have played various numbers of games, and few of the contenders at each position have played common opponents, and half these guys are going to be hurt by the end of the year anyway. But you're going to vote anyway, because this is America. #america
Here's who I checked to rep the NFC:
Matt Ryan, Falcons: THIS ENTIRE WEBSITE IS A HOMER SHAM! Eighth in yards and completions per game, fifth in touchdowns and interception rate, and tied for first in wins, a terrible metric for judging individual players but one that a lot of people really like. Plus look at the defenses Atlanta has faced: the Pittsburgh Steelers, New Orleans Saints, and Philadelphia Eagles are all top-nine D's, while the Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals have both made Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees look like a rookie. Even the San Francisco 49ers are ranked 13th.
Eli Manning, Giants: You don't get the starting spot if you lead the NFL in interceptions, with four multi-pick games already. There's no clear standout in the NFC, as cases could be made for ten-interception Drew Brees or even a pre-injury Tony Romo, despite his team's terrible record. Still, Manning's team has only lost to the Colts and Titans, he leads the league in touchdowns, and his mistakes haven't given away multiple games a la Brett Favre or Brees.
Josh Freeman, Bucs: Aaron Rodgers will be the popular choice here. But look at Freeman's interception rate -- he's thrown only three in 199 attempts, best in the NFC and an astounding improvement over last year. His completion percentage is less impressive than Rodgers', but he's improved by four points since last year. Plus you have to account for teammates. Rodgers has Greg Jennings, Brandon Jackson, Jermichael Finley, and Donald Driver, while Freeman's led his team to a winning record with Kellen Winslow, a fourth-round rookie named Mike Williams, and no running game. Actually, Freeman pretty much is Tampa's running game: he's only 48 yards shy of the team rushing lead.