Tight quarterback competition for NFC Pro Bowl

November 18th, 2008 - 12:04 pm

It may be a moot point now that Kyle Orton got injured and may take some time to regain his form, but if he had continued playing the way he did in the first half of the season, would he have made the Pro Bowl?

He certainly was playing well enough and putting up solid statistics, but he definitely was up against steep odds.

This year’s NFC crop of quarterbacks is so talented and performing well that it’s almost inevitable that a few Pro Bowl-worthy signal-callers will miss the trip to Hawaii.

There are two players who seem to be locks to make the NFC roster, both of whom are averaging more than 300 yards per game and are in the Top 4 in the league in touchdown passes. In fact, New Orleans’ Drew Brees and Arizona’s Kurt Warner are among the frontrunners for the NFL’s MVP award.

After the top two guarantees, that leaves a deep second tier of players all vying for one spot.

It’s a foregone conclusion that several players are selected to the Pro Bowl each year based on name recognition alone.

That means Tony Romo, despite all the time he’s missed with an injury, is a top candidate. It also includes reigning Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning, whose team is 9-1. Donovan McNabb, who is third in the NFC in passing yards, also has name recognition.

Others who will contend for a spot include Orton, whose chances appear to be fading, rookie Matt Ryan, who’s taken the Falcons to a 6-4 record, Aaron Rodgers, who has replaced Brett Favre admirably, and Jason Campbell, whose Redskins are 6-4 and he’s 6th in the NFC in passing yards.

Like I said, it may be irrelevant if Orton’s ankle hinders his performance for the next few weeks — or the rest of the season — but his solid performance over the first half of the season may be all for naught when it comes to competing for the Pro Bowl.