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NFL Pro Bowl Preview – Detroit Lions Style

Pro Bowl party plans are being finalized, and the moment that football fans around the world have been waiting for is nearly here.  This Sunday, the NFL Pro Bowl will be played in what is sure to be a game that will not soon be forgotten, as the greatest players in the league will suit up to find out who is the best of the best. This years Pro Bowl game itself will be played at the the home of the Arizona Cardinals, University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  Kickoff is at 6:15 pm, and is sure to bring the excitement of watching two 10-year-olds battle in a game of John Madden Football for Playstation. So, get your pop and chips ready!

Ok, so after reading the first paragraph, you are probably thinking, 1) This moron is obviously being paid by the NFL to write this crap about a game that nobody cares about, or 2) Here is yet another reason why drugs are bad.  Am I right?  Obviously everything I said was a load of garbage, but like it or not, the game will be played, so I figured why not have a little fun with it while previewing it at the same time.

The main reason to tune in and watch the Pro Bowl is because of the Detroit Lions flavor that it will have this year.  As you may know by now, 3 players from the Lions, QB – Matthew Stafford, WR – Golden Tate, and S- Glover Quin will be representing Detroit, though not all of them will be on the same team. I’ll explain that in a minute.  Lions, Ndamukong Suh and Calvin Johnson were also originally voted to play in the game but have withdrawn.

Remember, the Pro Bowl is no longer a match-up between the AFC and the NFC like it was for years. Instead the game will be played between two teams, which were picked fantasy style by 2 NFL Hall of Fame players.  The first team, a roster picked by former Dallas Cowboys receiver, Michael Irvin (Team Irvin), includes Matthew Stafford and Golden Tate while the second team, a roster picked by former Minnesota Vikings receiver Chris Carter (Team Carter), includes Glover Quin.

Though it may have taken 3 quarterbacks to withdraw due to injury, and another 2 to be replaced because they are playing in the Super Bowl, Stafford will be playing in his first Pro Bowl. He will be suiting up as an alternate, despite being ranked 21st in the league in quarterback rating with an 85.7.  Fortunately for Stafford, players for the Pro Bowl are not picked based on statistics but on a combination of fan, player and coaches voting results. Whether or not you agree that Stafford should be playing in the game this year, everyone can agree that he was snubbed following the 2011 season; a season in which he threw for over 5,000 yards and 41 touchdowns, so look at this as a make-up call.

Joining Stafford on Team Irvin, also as an alternate, is wide receiver Golden Tate.  The 26-year-old Tate is also playing in his first Pro Bowl and is well deserving of the honor.  Following a season in which he racked up 99 receptions for 1,286 yards, it was very disappointing when Tate was not voted to play in the game originally.  Thanks to injuries to some of the other receivers voted to play, including teammate Calvin Johnson, Tate is getting what he earned.  Let’s just hope that Glover Quin is nice when Tate decides to run a route over the middle of the field!

The third player that will represent the Lions, and also playing in his first Pro Bowl, is safety Glover Quin. Quin was selected to play for Team Carter and will be starting at the safety position along side Cleveland Brown safety, Donte Whitner.  Unlike Stafford and Tate, Quin was voted to play in the game originally by the fans, players, and coaches.  Quin was one of the leaders on the Lions defense this year and being selected to play in the Pro Bowl is a reward that he deserves.

What’s a preview without a prediction you may ask? The answer to that question is, a crappy preview! So, after hours and hours of research, here is what I came up with. 1) Thousands upon thousands of points will be scored. 2) First time players will give 100% for exactly 1 series before they realize that they look silly. 3) Veteran players will fall asleep at least once during each half of the game. 4) The NFL Pro Bowl will still get ratings that end up being higher than most MLB, NBA, and NHL playoff games.  Ok, you want a score right? Fine, whatever, since this is not considered a big game, I will pick Matthew Stafford to throw a last second touchdown to Golden Tate rallying Team Irvin from 17 points down in the 2nd half for the victory. Final Score: Team Irvin 55   Team Carter 52

If you are interested in checking out the Pro Bowl Fantasy Draft results, along with the complete roster, go to http://probowl.fantasy.nfl.com/#/

Enjoy the game!

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