Why Packers are shut out of Pro Bowl

The AFC-NFC Pro Bowl squads were announced today and, for the first time since 1999, the Green Bay Packers were shut out of the all-star game to be played Feb. 12 in Honolulu. Surprised? Don't be. Managing editor Todd Korth explains why:

Players who are named to a Pro Bowl roster by their peers, fans and coaches generally come from teams with winning records. The players with the best numbers usually come out with an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii.

At 3-11, the Packers have a few players deserving of a Pro Bowl honor, but they simply lack the numbers and are part of a 3-11 disaster.

Wide receiver Donald Driver, 11th in the league in receiving (74 catches), linebacker Nick Barnett (176 tackles, four shy of the team single-season record), and cornerback Al Harris (16 passes defensed) are worthy Pro Bowl candidates. All three may be named as alternates and have a chance to play in the Pro Bowl if a player ahead of them is injured an unable to play. But that's as close as the Packers will come this season.

Offensive tackles Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher have been underrated and overlooked for the past couple of seasons. They are two of the best tackles in the NFL. But if they didn't make the Pro Bowl last year when Green Bay set offensive records running and passing the ball, there is no way that they'll be going after this season, despite the fact that the Packers have only allowed 19 sacks. Again, the 3-11 record is their biggest obstacle.

William Henderson, who was named to his first Pro Bowl last season, along with Ahman Green, Marco Rivera and Javon Walker, also is deserving to return to Honolulu. Henderson is a prototypical fullback, but Seattle's Mack Strong is on a division-winning team.

The numbers simply are not there this season for the Packers, especially in the win column. That's why they will not be represented in the 2006 Pro Bowl.

Todd Korth

Todd Korth is managing editor of Packer Report and PackerReport.com. E-mail your thoughts to him at packrepted@aol.com.

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