Four Dolphins Named to Pro Bowl

We’re in the midst of that boring two-week stretch before anyone can bet on the Super Bowl, so we may as well talk about every football fan’s favorite game of the year – the Pro Bowl. Sure, plenty of undeserving players such as Derek Anderson, David Garrard, and Gus Frerotte have been selected in recent years and made the honor less prestigious, but it’s still a rare opportunity to highlight a few positives from the Dolphins’ season.

Dan Carpenter was a Pro Bowler in 2009. This year? Not so much.

Four Fins in all have been selected to the 2011 Pro Bowl – the most for the team since 2003 – offensive tackle Jake Long (who will not play due to injury), linebacker Cameron Wake, defensive end Randy Starks (replacement for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Brett Keisel), and long snapper John Denney.

It’s hardly a surprise that two Dolphins defensive linemen are making the trip to Honolulu, since Miami ranked sixth in total yards allowed per game (309.3) and 10th in sacks (39.0), while the long snapper is the only representative from the 30th–ranked offense.

Wake, the NFL’s sack leader (14.0) through 16 weeks, was dominant all year long , and should get some consideration for the Defensive Player of the Year.  NFL.com, however, list him on its “Which AFC player are you most surprised to see make the Pro Bowl?” poll, along with the league’s leading rusher (Arian Foster) and receiver (Brandon Lloyd).

Starks recorded 30 total tackles and to go along with 3.0 sacks, which was good for third on the team behind Wake and Koa Misi. For what it’s worth, Starks had 56 tackles and 7.0 sacks in 2009 and failed to make the Pro Bowl roster, so it appears that the NFL has gotten progressively worse.

With Denney as the long snapper, kicker Dan Carpenter has made 102 out of 103 extra point attempts and 76 of 94 field goals over the last three seasons (which would be higher if Carpenter wasn’t forced to attempt a ridiculous eight FGs over 50 yards last season).  I’m surprised team MVP, punter Brandon Fields, didn’t get any consideration while we’re at it.

The Pro Bowl will air on Sunday, January 30 at 7 p.m. EST on FOX.  Pretend that you’ll be watching.

The Super Bowl just can’t get here fast enough. Go Packers?

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