FOXBORO - Four members of the New England Patriots have been selected to the 2014 NFL Pro Bowl.
Quarterback Tom Brady, offensive guard Logan Mankins, specials teamer Matthew Slater and cornerback Aqib Talib have been selected to represent the New England Patriots in the 2014 NFL Pro Bowl on Jan. 26, 2014 at Aloha Stadium in Hawaii.
Brady was named to the Pro Bowl for the ninth time, tying John Hannah (9) for the most Pro Bowls in Patriots history. It is his fifth consecutive selection to the all-star game. He was voted to the Pro Bowl after each of the following seasons: 2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Brady heads into the final week of the season with 4,221 yards and 24 touchdown passes. He joined Dan Marino (6), Brett Favre (6), Drew Brees (8) and Peyton Manning (13) as the only NFL players to have at least six seasons with 4,000 passing yards. Brady also guided the Patriots to their 11th division title in 2013, the most division titles among any NFL quarterback.
Mankins was voted to his fifth consecutive Pro Bowl, as well, and his sixth overall. He went to his first Pro Bowl in 2007 when he became the first Patriots guard to earn a Pro Bowl selection since 1985 when Hannah went to his ninth career Pro Bowl. The Fresno State product is in his ninth season with the Patriots since being selected in the first round (32nd overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft. Since entering the starting lineup in 2005, Mankins has helped New England finish in the top 10 on offense seven times. That mark will improve to eight, as the Patriots enter the final week ranked seventh in offense.
Slater earned his third consecutive Pro Bowl selection. A productive member of the Patriots special teams units since joining the squad as a fifth-round draft pick out of UCLA in 2008, Slater has become a leader after being voted special teams captain each of the last three years. He led the Patriots in special teams tackles for the past three seasons with 21 in 2010, 17 in 2011 and 20 in 2012. He enters the final week of the 2013 season ranked second on the team with 13 special teams tackles, despite missing four games due to injury.
Talib earned his first Pro Bowl selection this year. Talib forced three turnovers, including a pair of fourth-quarter interceptions, to help seal the Patriots 13-10 win over the AFC East rival New York Jets on Sept. 12. He defended a pass in the end zone on a fourth-down attempt in the final minute to secure the Patriots 30-23 win at Atlanta on Sept. 29. Talib also played a major role in holding New Orleans TE Jimmy Graham without a catch in the Patriots 30-27 win on Oct. 13. Graham entered that game averaging 118.6 receiving yards per game.
Chiefs, 49ers place 8 players each
Kansas City and San Francisco will have plenty of clout in Honolulu if they can't make it to New Jersey for the Super Bowl.
The NFL revealed Friday that the Chiefs and 49ers each had eight players voted into the Pro Bowl, including running backs Jamaal Charles of Kansas City and Frank Gore of San Francisco.
Denver quarterback Peyton Manning was selected to his 13th Pro Bowl after garnering the most votes among fans, 1.43 million. New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees was second among fans with 1.2 million votes.
The NFL combines votes from fans, players and coaches to determine 86 of 88 Pro Bowl players; the other two players are long-snappers selected by Pro Bowl coaches. Voting ended Thursday.
Under a new format this year, NFL greats Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders will divvy up the players in a two-day draft before the Jan. 26 game. Offensive and defensive players with the most votes who don't make it past the divisional playoff round will serve as active player captains.
Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman received 552,600 votes by fans, the most for any defensive player. Houston defensive end J.J. Watt had just under 410,000 fan votes.
San Francisco is planning to send eight players to the all-star game for the second year in a row, though its players missed the game earlier this year because they made the Super Bowl, losing to Baltimore.
Kansas City's eight selections are up from six last year. The Chiefs are 11-4 this year - up from 2-14 last year - and the No. 5 seed in the AFC playoffs heading into a largely meaningless game for them against San Diego on Sunday.
Manning was one of five players selected from Denver, which has a shot at putting up the most points of any team in NFL history.