In what came as something of a surprise, Vikings defensive end Jared Allen was the only Viking named to the 2011 Pro Bowl team, announced this evening. Allen was named as the starting defensive end for the NFC, along with Philadelphia's Jason Babin.
It is the fourth time Allen has been named to the Pro Bowl and the third time in his four seasons with the Vikings (he didn't make the team last year). While there was no questioning that Allen deserved a Pro Bowl nod, there was a pretty significant surprise that Adrian Peterson was left off the squad.
Peterson had been named to the Pro Bowl team in each of his first four seasons and led the fan balloting for NFC running backs. But, when the team was announced tonight, he was left off. Instead, LeSean McCoy of the Eagles was deservedly named as the starter, along with injured Bears RB Matt Forte and Frank Gore of the 49ers.
As what happened in 2009 when the Vikings had a team-record 10 players named to the Pro Bowl team, the San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots – two of the most successful teams in 2011 – led the way with eight players selected. They were followed up by Baltimore and Green Bay with seven players each and New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Chicago with five each.
Four teams had no players selected – Buffalo, St. Louis, Tennesee and Washington. Seven other teams had just one player selected, including playoff-bound Detroit (Calvin Johnson), Atlanta (Tony Gonzalez) and potential playoff team Cincinnati (A.J. Green).
Last year the Vikings had four players selected – Peterson, Kevin Williams, E.J. Henderson and Antoine Winfield. None of them were named this year.
The omission of Williams, who was playing extremely well this season, snapped a streak of five straight seasons with a Pro Bowl nod. Steve Hutchinson, who was recently placed on injured reserve for the second straight season, has seven Pro Bowl appearances to his credit, but wasn't named for the second straight year.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.
Allen lone Vikings Pro Bowler
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