Apparently making the playoffs for the first time since 1999 is not enough to send more than one Lion to the Pro Bowl this coming January in Hawaii. Calvin Johnson was the lone Lions representative in the annual game leaving Cliff Avril, Ndamukong Suh and Matt Stafford with all with beefs because they were not chosen.
The Biggest snub would have to be Stafford considering he threw for more yards, more touchdowns and had a better QB rating then Eli Manning, the Giant who was voted to the game over Stafford. In fact the 23 year old third year Detroit QB isn’t even the first alternate in the game, Cam Newton is. Meaning that two of the top three NFC quarterbacks would have to back out of the game for Stafford to be able to attend. Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers were the other QB’s voted in which is no surprise. Of course if any player makes the Super Bowl then they are not eligible to play in the Pro Bowl.
As for Suh, he made it last year and is just an alternate this season. Suh said himself at practice on Wednesday that “this is just not my year.” No doubt Suh’s 2 game suspension for stomping Evan Dietrich-Smith could have played into the reason as to why the Nebraska alum was not voted in. Another reason could be that Suh did not have statically a better season then he did in his rookie season. The 2nd year defensive end was asked about it at practice and said “I think the biggest thing is that I helped my team get to a great position and we were not in the playoffs last year and we are in this year.”
Suh also fielded questions about having to play the Packers again which means seeing Dietrich-Smith again. When asked about the reunion of sorts Suh said “as far as I know he’s on the left side and I’m on the right side going against the right guard. If I happen to switch there is no hard feelings over there.” Suh also commented on if he will have any sort of conversation with Dietrich-Smith during the game in Green Bay saying “haven’t thought about it, my main focus is the guy that is front of me so if he is in front of me, obviously chat with him, go against him, beat him and hopefully get some sacks.”
Cliff Avril is another Lion who has a case that he should have been voted in. Avril has 6 forced fumbles and 11 sacks with still one game remaining in 2011. Avril will no doubt get rewarded with a huge contract after the season considering he is free agent, however he wasn’t even an alternate as far as the pro bowl is concerned.
Watch the Suh and Stafford videos below for more of their response on getting snubbed in the Pro Bowl.