Wednesday, December 26, 2012
It's one more trip to Hawaii for Tony Gonzalez. The Falcons' record setting tight end has claimed all season that this is his last year in the NFL, and he ends the regular season with a familiar honor---his thirteenth Pro Bowl selection in the past fourteen years.
Gonzalez is the lone starter for the Falcons, but quarterback Matt Ryan and second year wide receiver Julio Jones join him from Atlanta's high octane offense.
For Gonzalez, it's been another banner year in a surefire Hall of Fame career. He's claimed three records in 2012, becoming the career leader among tight ends in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.
Gonzalez is already the Pro Bowl record holder for receptions (48) and touchdowns (6).
Ryan makes his second Pro Bowl appearance and first since 2010. The Falcons' signal caller is in the NFL's top five in passing yards (4,481), touchdown passes (31), completion percentage (69.0%) and passer rating (100.2).
He's in line to be the first back-up behind starter Aaron Rodgers of Green Bay.
Jones is a Pro Bowl rookie in 2012 in just his second season in the NFL. He's made a name for himself as a big play wide receiver who can out run defenders and come down with catches just inside the boundary lines.
He has 76 receptions (17th in the NFL), 1,142 yards (11th), ten touchdowns (6th) and 461 yards after catch (10th).
The Carolina Panthers, after seeing two players selected a year ago, have no representatives this year unless someone makes it as an alternate.
San Francisco led all teams with nine selections, just ahead of Houston's eight and New England's seven.
The 2013 Pro Bowl will be played January 27, 2013 at University of Hawaii's Aloha Stadium. Players from Super Bowl qualifying teams won't be eligible for the game.