Update: According to MiamiDolphins.com, Ronnie Brown finished second in RB fan voting.
The first of 3 rounds of Pro-Bowl election process is now closed. The first 3rd belongs to the fans and so far it appears that the Dolphins will have a few names that potentially could be headed to Hawaii, for Chad Pennington, it’s not likely to be his.
For now, Ronnie Brown is leading the AFC running backs in fans votes and that is not really a big surprise when you consider what he has meant to the Dolphins. When you compare him statistically to the other AFC runners, he is 10th in rushing yards. A very mediocre showing at 760 yards until you factor in he splits time and carries with Ricky Williams. Sort the stats by TD and he moves to 4th.
It will be interesting to see if Brown will gain entry to his first post-season vacation game with Thomas Jones, Tennessee RB’s Lendale White and Chris Johnson right there with him. Oddly enough though, it is Marshawn Lynch who garnered the 2nd place final tally from the fans. He was quite a ways off the Ronnie Brown pace. With coaches and players voting this week and the team announced next Tuesday, Brown won’t have to wait long to find out.
3 others also have a shot at the Pro-Bowl this season. Dan Carpenter, Joey Porter, and Jake Long.
The other issue of debate is Chad Pennington. Is he worthy of a Pro-Bowl nomination? Yes. Will he get it? No.
Chad Pennington is the MVP of the Miami Dolphins and while some local media guys will have you thinking that CP “could” be a candidate for the NFL MVP award, the fact is that while he has meant everything to the Phins franchise, the league doesn’t exactly care. The Pro-Bowl is a popularity contest and while the fans voting is slanted pretty heavily to their “favorite” teams, the players voting is just as bad.
Often times a player, who can not vote for a teammate, will vote for a second or third rate player in the hopes that their own teammates may take the lead in votes. Other players will vote for former college buddies and friends. There is no formula to insure that the best will go and the others won’t. The Washington Redskins have seen to that with their ballot stuffing formula that has 15 Redskins leading NFC fan voting.
The NFL is a stat keeping giant that basically keeps them for everything. From tackles to half-sacks to incompletions to completion percentages. Need it? They got it. Chad Pennington doesn’t fit the mold this season of what the league wants in their 2008/9 coverboy. They need a stat machine. They want a stat machine. While CP is very methodical, he is not the former.
He has the yards. Over 3,000 and ranking 2nd in the AFC behind San Diego QB Phillip Rivers and just ahead of Houston’s Matt Schaub. Sort the touchdowns and it’s a completely different story. Pennington drops to 9th with 12 on the season. Compared to Rivers at 26, Cutler at 23, and Manning at 22. If those 3 weren’t enough, there is the Brett Favre factor.
This is the first time that Favre has ever played in the AFC and the NFL is not likely going to want see the star new New Yorker sit at home in February…although he might anyways. The truth is that can you honestly imagine Brett Favre not being on the Pro-Bowl list? For all the arguments of why Chad Pennington should be on for what he has done for this team, the same argument can be made about what Favre has done for the Jets, and in reality, what Favre has done for Miami by coming out of retirement.
Either way, the fact is that Chad Pennington would be a deserving addition to the Pro-Bowl roster but he doesn’t have the stats or more importantly the face recognition to gain the needed player and coaches votes to get in. With Peyton Manning having a pedestrian season, his name alone puts him in Hawaii. Brett Favre has similar stats as CP with a much bigger name. That leaves one vacancy.
Phillip Rivers leads in yardage and he leads in touchdowns and he has the highest passer rating and the only AFC rating over 100. Sorry, Chad Pennington may be having a great season for the Dolphins, but it won’t be enough to send him to Hawaii and it surely will not be enough…barring a Super Bowl victory, from being named League MVP.