The Packers will be represented in this year’s Pro Bowl by five players — their highest total since 2007, when five Green Bay players were also picked to the team. The five players are OLT Chad Clifton, FS Nick Collins, WR Greg Jennings, LOLB Clay Matthews and CB Charles Woodson. The three defensive starters selected (Matthews, Woodson and Collins) are the most for Green Bay since 1967. In addition, CB Tramon Williams and Aaron Rodgers were named first alternates.
Clifton, who earned the second Pro Bowl selection of his career (2007), has started all 15 games at left tackle as part of a Green Bay offense that ranks eighth overall and fifth in passing.
It is the third consecutive and third career Pro Bowl selection for Collins, who is tied for second on the team with three interceptions and is second with 14 passes defensed.
Jennings, who was named to the Pro Bowl for the first time in his career, ranks second in the NFC and fifth in the NFL with 1,168 yards on 72 receptions (16.2 avg.), and his 12 TD catches match his career high. Jennings’ 16.2-yard receiving average ranks No. 1 in the NFC among players with 60 catches.
Matthews, who becomes the first Packer since RB John Brockington (1971-72) to earn Pro Bowl recognition in each of his first two seasons, is tied for third in the NFL with 12½ sacks and has recorded a career-high 79 tackles, two forced fumbles, an interception for a touchdown, and four passes defensed.
Woodson, who earned his seventh career Pro Bowl bid and third in a row as a member of the Packers, has registered career highs in tackles (97) and forced fumbles (five). His five forced fumbles are the most by a Packers defender since LB-DE Keith McKenzie posted five in 1999. Woodson also has two interceptions, one for a touchdown, a sack and 10 passes defensed.
Four other Green Bay players were selected as alternates — WR Donald Driver, ILB A.J. Hawk, NT B.J. Raji and OG Josh Sitton.
The way we see it
Only two of the five players selected — Matthews and Jennings — are no-brainers. Clifton has been up and down the past month, and Woodson and Collins have had their share of breakdowns, particularly Woodson, who did not deserve to be selected ahead of Williams, who has played better overall. In fact, strong cases can be made for Williams, Rodgers and Raji as selections rather than alternates.