Honolulu dreamin'

The Giants have boasted at least one Pro Bowler in each of the last nine seasons, a streak dating all the way back to Dan Reeves' disastrous final season at the helm. With five players named last year, Big Blue had its most since the Super Bowl year of 1990 when seven Giants were rewarded with Pro Bowl honors.

Last year's quintet was RB Tiki Barber, TE Jeremy Shockey, DE Michael Strahan, DE Osi Umenyiora and STs ace David Tyree. A host of injuries and the club's mid-season slump is going to prevent the Giants from repeating their showing of a year ago. However, there are a handful of Giants with legitimate opportunities to be named to this year's Pro Bowl, which will be played on Feb. 10.

Once again, fans can vote for their favorite players at NFL.com, with balloting concluding on Dec. 12. The NFL uses a combination of votes from fans, players and coaches in deciding the rosters. The selections will be announced on Dec. 19.

We thought we'd take a minute to look at some Giants that should be in this year's Pro Bowl, others that could make it, and some that may be on the outside looking in. Below is TGI's Pro Bowl analysis.

On their way

RB Tiki Barber: Despite lower than usual numbers the last couple weeks, Barber is no doubt headed back to Hawaii for a third consecutive season, in this his final NFL campaign. Having topped 1,000 yards for the fifth consecutive campaign, Barber is certainly a lock once again. He's ranked third overall in the entire league with 552,577 votes and leads all NFC running backs. While Barber recently lost his edge in the battle for the league's rushing title, there's no question he'll be recognized as one of the game's best backs at the end of the year.

TE Jeremy Shockey: With last year's starter (in place of an injured Shockey) Atlanta's Alge Crumpler (381,264) leading the voting with 37 catches and 6 TDs, it looks like a three-man race here for the NFC's second spot, between Shockey, who was voted in during three of his four professional seasons, Dallas' Jason Witten and Philadelphia's L.J. Smith. With the numbers between the trio all basically in the same ballpark, it's going to come down to a popularity contest. Unfortunately for Smith (41 catches, 4 touchdowns) and Witten (42, 1), Shockey (44, 5) is going to get the nod again.

DT Fred Robbins: We're going out on a limb a little here, but there's no question that Robbins has put together a Pro Bowl type season. He's played consistently above average all season long and should make it, at worst as a reserve. He's leading all NFC DTs with 5.5 sacks and has also posted two INTs. At this point in the voting, the league only announces the top vote-getter at each position in each conference. Right now, Chicago's Tommie Harris (182,608) is leading, and deservedly so. He's the NFC's best interior linemen and will likely be rewarded with a starting spot. However, the NFC needs at least one more DT and we're hopeful that Robbins will at least be given serious consideration.

Could go either way

MLB Antonio Pierce: He's had his best season as a Giant and has single-handedly held the defense together through all its various injuries. With 86 tackles heading into the Dallas game, Pierce was tied for fifth in the entire conference. Brian Urlacher, last year's starter in the middle, will likely return, provided his health holds up. He's atop the voting charts for inside linebackers with 333,139. Pierce's other main competition is likely to come from Lofa Tatupu, who had 84 tackles entering last weekend.

DE Michael Strahan: Despite being voted into the Pro Bowl in seven of the last nine seasons, it appears Michael Strahan is going to need quite a strong push during the next couple weeks to earn yet another return trip to Hawaii. Strahan was shelved for close to a month with a sprained foot. Yet during the eight games he did play, he didn't exactly put up Strahan-esque numbers, notching 45 tackles but only three sacks. Carolina's Julius Peppers, the leading vote-getter with 244,474, sets the bar here. Green Bay's Aaron Kampman, St. Louis' Leonard Little, New Orleans' Will Smith and Dallas' DeMarcus Ware all have the numbers over Strahan, if not the reputation.

There's work to do

DE Osi Umenyiora: See Michael Strahan. Getting voted to his first Pro Bowl last year won't possess nearly enough of a carryover effect for Umenyiora to go back this season. He missed five games with a mysterious hip injury and posted only 25 tackles when he did play. Obviously the five sacks he put up during his six games is impressive, but the voters aren't going to just pretend like he didn't miss any games, like moronic Albert Pujols suggested they should have done for him after losing the NL MVP vote to the Phillies' Ryan Howard. Those five sacks place Umenyiora only 12th in the NFC in that category.

WR Plaxico Burress: As important as he is to the Giants, Burress has only 44 catches, trailing countless other receivers at this point in the season. Want our guess what four are going? Arizona's Anquan Boldin, St. Louis' Torry Holt (the leading vote-getter with 375,494), Carolina's Steve Smith and Dallas' Terrell Owens.

Honorable mention

RG Chris Snee: We all touted Snee as a future Pro Bowler and that very well could be the case. However, we're not all that certain that it's going to happen this season. Snee has played well but he's going to need the vote from his peers to have a legitimate shot. Minnesota's Steve Hutchinson (119,007) leads here.

ST David Tyree: We kind of felt like we have to put Tyree here, even though it's highly unlikely he's going back. He hasn't had a poor season by any stretch, but he certainly has not made nearly the impact of Chicago's Brendon Ayanbadejo (111,453), the leader in STs voting.

QB Eli Manning: Even with leading vote-getter Donovan McNabb (469,510) out for the season, it would take several more quarterback injuries before Manning would get the nod. He's played like a Pro Bowler at times this season, but just not nearly enough. It looks like the starting nod is headed to New Orleans' Drew Brees.

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