It is the time of year to vote for the NFL's Pro Bowl players (you can vote over at NFL.com). Without further ado, here are my early selections for the offensive skill positions:
AFC QB: Tom Brady (Patriots), Peyton Manning (Colts), Matt Schaub (Texans)
The first two are no-brainers. After that, it comes down to David Garrard or Schaub. I took Schaub because he's been sacked less even though he's thrown it more. With Houston's history, it's hard to say Schaub's been sacked less because of better blocking.
AFC RB: Joseph Addai (Colts), Willie Parker (Steelers), LaDainian Tomlinson (Chargers)
Addai and Parker are obvious choices. LT is off to a slow start, but coming on strong. I fully expect LT will not finish the season behind Travis Henry (who will probably be suspended soon) and Lamont Jordan (who is being slowed by back problems).
I have to give an honorable mention to Ronnie Brown. But I have to see him continue to put up good performances before I give him my Pro Bowl vote.
AFC WR: Randy Moss (Pats), T.J. Houshmandzadeh (Bengals), Chad Johnson (Bengals), Braylon Edwards (Browns)
The first three are obvious.
Why Braylon Edwards? 552 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns.
AFC Fullback: Justin Griffith (Raiders)
Griffith is THE primary reason for the resurrection of the Raiders running game.
AFC TE: Antonio Gates (Chargers), Tony Gonzalez (Chiefs)
This almost doesn't require any explanation. The two most dominant tight ends in the last ten years in the NFL. They are still the two best.
NFC QB: Tony Romo (Cowboys), Jeff Garcia (Bucs), Brett Favre (Packers)
Romo is a no-brainer.
As for Garcia, I am not sure he will still be on my ballot a month from now (I predict an injury before the end of the season), but I cannot argue with how good he has been so far.
Favre is there because he has carried the Packers on his back, and looked fairly decent doing it.
NFC RB: Adrian Peterson (Vikings), Brian Westbrook (Eagles), Edgerrin James (Cards)
If you want to know why the AFC is stronger than the NFC, look no further than the running back position.
Peterson is clearly the best of the bunch, and he is a rookie splitting carries with Chester Taylor. Peterson earned most of this consideration in one game, last week against the Bears. But that one game was enough to give him the lead among all NFL rushers.
After Peterson is where you see the major fall-off. Westbrook is invaluable to the Eagles, but he's already missed one game this year and I fully expect him to miss more.
James is having a decent year, but I can think of five AFC running backs having a better year.
NFC WR: Larry Fitzgerald (Cards), Steve Smith (Panthers), Plaxico Burress (Giants), Donald Driver (Packers)
This is the other area where the AFC clearly dominates. I would take Braylon Edwards over ANY of these guys.
NFC Fullback: none
Frankly, there are no fullbacks worthy of a Pro Bowl vote in this group.
NFC TE: Jason Witten (Cowboys)
The only tight end worthy of acknowledgment in the NFC.