A Pro Bowl Fab Five

Aaron Rodgers, Jordy Nelson, John Kuhn, Josh Sitton and Clay Matthews were selected to the Pro Bowl. "It is fun to be a part of a great organization and a team that has a chance to do some special things in the playoffs," Rodgers said. (Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

The Green Bay Packers, who are in the thick of the Super Bowl derby, were rewarded with five Pro Bowl selections.

MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers was joined by fullback John Kuhn, linebacker Clay Matthews, wide receiver Jordy Nelson and guard Josh Sitton, the NFL announced on Tuesday.

Rodgers was selected to the Pro Bowl team for the fourth time in six years (2009, 2011 and 2012; he wasn’t selected in 2010, when the team won the Super Bowl, and 2013, when he missed half the season with a broken collarbone). Rodgers joined Bart Starr and Cecil Isbell as four-time all-star quarterbacks, trailing only Brett Favre’s nine in franchise history.

Rodgers ranks second in the league with a 111.0 passer rating, third with 36 touchdown passes and first with five interceptions. He was the overall leader in fan balloting.

“It is always good being voted in by your peers and the fans,” Rodgers said in quotes distributed by the team. “I really appreciate the fan voting this year. Being the top vote-getter, it is really quite an honor. I would say I am very proud to be voted in, but I am even happier for guys like John Kuhn, who has been such a steady contributor for us for so long, and Jordy getting in, because he definitely deserves the recognition.”

Matthews was selected to the Pro Bowl for the fifth time in his six seasons — tops among Packers linebackers. He has a team-high 10 sacks, including 7.5 since moving into a part-time role at inside linebacker following the bye. He’s had at least 10 sacks four times, tying Reggie White and Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila for tops in team history.

"I think that playing inside and outside linebacker has allowed my abilities to be showcased a little bit more,” he said. “It's required for me to not only play from a stack backer, but to also be matched up against some of the best running backs and tight ends in the league. I take pride in my abilities out there, whether it's rushing the passer, stopping the run or playing man-to-man. I am happy to do whatever they ask of me. Our defense has responded well from the switch and we're continuing to improve. I think it's been fun for me to learn a new position and really allow my football acumen to kind of build a little more. I think it will only help me out later on in my career."

For Kuhn and Sitton, it was their second Pro Bowl selections.

Sitton is the third-ranked guard in the league by ProFootballFocus.com and one of only four full-time starting guards to have not allowed a sack, according to PFF. Sitton also was selected in 2012, though he originally was an alternate; last season, he was voted second-team All-Pro.

“It means a lot,” Sitton said. “You have certain goals in this league and that has always been one of them for me. To be honored with the best in the league, it's important to me and it means a lot."

Kuhn, who also was selected in 2011, has seen his role diminish as Eddie Lacy and James Starks have proven their worth in third-down roles. He’s played in 172 snaps this season compared to about 307 over the previous six seasons. Still he’s carried 21 times for 79 yards; the yardage total is the second-best of his career and his 3.8-yard average matches his best since joining the Packers in 2007. He led the fan balloting at the position.

"It really means a lot,” he said. “There are a lot of different people that put their votes in to do this. To be seen that way in the eyes of your peers and the coaches and the fans, it means a lot to have this honor."

For Nelson, he finally earned his first Pro Bowl nod. He is tied for seventh with 92 receptions, fourth with 1,433 yards and second with 13 touchdowns. He’s 65 yards from breaking Robert Brooks’ single-season franchise record. He’s had four games of at least nine receptions.

"To be honored with a Pro Bowl selection, I don't know how to explain it,” Nelson said. “It's just great to be recognized by your peers, coaches and fans for what you are able to do on the field and what our team has been able to do on the field. The recognition comes with the team's success."

Alternates include left tackle David Bakhtiari, receiver Randall Cobb, running back Eddie Lacy, guard T.J. Lang, linebacker Julius Peppers and cornerbacks Sam Shields and Tramon Williams.

Denver had a league-high nine Pro Bowlers. Dallas had six. Green Bay and Seattle were among six teams with five selections.

"I think we always talk about anytime the team has success, individuals off of that are going to get success, as well," Rodgers said. "It is fun to be a part of a great organization and a team that has a chance to do some special things in the playoffs, and individual recognition always feels good."

Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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