Kris Dielman, AFC Falter in Hawaii

Kris Dielman was the lone representative for the San Diego Chargers in Sunday's Pro Bowl, which the AFC lost, 30-21. Dielman, making his second consecutive Pro Bowl appearance, started the game at right guard and played the majority of the snaps at that position.

OG Kris Dielman, a left guard in San Diego, moved to the right side for the Pro Bowl. He manned the spot from start to finish, taking only a few series off to make way for fellow AFC West representative Brian Waters, who played on both sides of the line.

Dielman got the chance to block for Denver Broncos QB Jay Cutler on the final meaningful drive of the game, as the AFC took over with a six-point deficit and 2:06 left to play. Cutler threw four incomplete passes as the AFC turned the ball over on downs. It should be noted that Dielman provided solid protection on the drive, rather than letting the NFC tee-off on San Diego's nemesis.

Dielman was the lone Charger in Sunday's contest, although two others earned invites. TE Antonio Gates was invited to his fifth straight Pro Bowl but pulled out with an ankle injury that dogged him during the playoffs. QB Philip Rivers, a first-alternate for the game, was invited after New York Jets QB Brett Favre declined to play because of a shoulder injury. Rivers opted not to go, however, citing a sore knee.

The men who replaced Gates and Rivers -- Houston Texans TE Owen Daniels and Tennessee Titans QB Kerry Collins, respectively -- made the most of the opportunity. Collins founds Daniels for a 9-yard TD in the final minute of the first half.

For Chargers fans, the Pro Bowl was a stern reminder of a middling season in which the Chargers posted their first non-winning record since 2003. Although San Diego rallied to make the playoffs after a 4-8 start, the team's late surge came after the Pro Bowl voting had already taken place.

Bolts backers are used to seeing their team far better represented in Hawaii. Last season, nine Chargers players earned Pro Bowl invitations. The year prior, 11 Bolts were asked to Honolulu. All in all, the Chargers have 14 players on their roster who have been to at least one Pro Bowl.

If the Chargers are more successful in the win-loss column next season, several of those former Pro Bowlers will be given strong consideration for an invite back to the all-star game. Of course, if Norv Turner has his way, none of his players will partake in the Pro Bowl next season.

The 2010 Pro Bowl will take place in Miami the week before the Super Bowl, meaning no players for the Super Bowl squads cannot participate in the game.

Michael Lombardo is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a long-time contributor to the network. His analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports. He has followed the Chargers for more than 15 years and covered the team since 2003.

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