The NFL will announce the AFC and NFC Pro Bowl teams tonight and there are a few Detroit Lions who warrant consideration.
Calvin Johnson is a no-brainer having already broken the NFL’s single-season receiving yards record. Jerry Rice set the record in a year in which two others joined him in accumulating three of the top six receiving yardage totals in league history. Calvin Johnson broke the record last week and is a staggering 426 yards ahead of the second-highest receiving yards total held by Brandon Marshall. Megatron is clearly the best wide receiver in the game and, with longevity, could supplant Jerry Rice as the best wide receiver in league history. For Johnson, a Pro Bowl appearance is on the level of a participation ribbon for the rest of us.
The big question is, will Calvin Johnson be joined by any of his teammates on the NFC Pro Bowl roster?
It isn’t a certainty but it is a possibility.
The most likely is defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh who was able to put together a season that looked more like his dominating rookie season than his tumultuous second year. He leads all NFC defensive tackles in sacks with seven despite seeing a heavy dose of double teams.
Nick Fairley didn’t enter the starting lineup until midway through the season but he also has a shot at making the Pro Bowl roster. He is out for the rest of the season but his 5.5 sacks through 13 games still ranks well, even when compared to defensive lineman that have played a full season. 35 tackles, two forced fumbles and a deflected pass all look good on his resume, especially considering much of it came during the second half of the season. Fairley should be considered a less likely candidate to make the Pro Bowl than Suh.
The 2013 Pro Bowl selections will be announced on NFL Network at 7 p.m. ET.