This looks to be a pretty short topic, although you could put down all the stats necessary to back it up. However, I'll leave that to you guys, who seem to find them better and faster than I do or care to. The Ravens have four starters this evening on the AFC's squad, but we all know of a couple of more that probably should have been there as well.
First and foremost, there's no excuse for leaving DT Haloti Ngata off the team. He is without a doubt one of the top three in the AFC, behind Tennessee's Albert Haynesworth, but better than Cleveland's Shaun Rogers. I doubt that Ozzie would even consider trading him for Haynesworth because of Haloti's age and ever increasing abilities. Two interceptions for a defensive tackle! Are you kidding me? Rogers made the game today based on reputation and a solid season, but certainly not one anywhere as dominating as Ngata's was on the league's #2 ranked defense. Heck, Ngata even put one of the best blocks on a player after the Ed Reed playoff interception against the Dolphins when he de-cleated Miami's Teddy Ginn! Sure, there are a bunch of good defensive tackles but to skip over the one on this defense was ridiculous.
How about Ravens punter Sam Koch? He was part of the reason our defense was so opportunistic. So many times he put the ball deep in enemy territory, with their backs against their own goal line, that our defense was able to come up with the big turnover or stop to allow our offense to get the ball back in great field position. Winning the field position battle all starts with punting and there was nobody better than Koch in my mind at pinning them inside their 20 yard line and dropping the ball like a brick on the goal line over and over again. Furthermore, when we needed it, he could let loose with a 60 yarder to change the all important field position battle and get us out of trouble. His contributions this season were under rated and invaluable.
Jason Brown was as good a center as any this season, although since it was his first full season over the ball, I'd give him the pass over for the Pro Bowl this year, but not next. He is a beast of a man, and it is a pleasure now not to see our center getting pushed into our own backfield on every play. Placekicker Matt Stover had a rocky start and looks to be feeling his age. Despite his lack of distance on FG's and kickoffs, no one is any more accurate inside the 40 yard line than Matt "It's Not Over Til It's" Stover. Unfortunately, in this style of NFL and with our sometimes challenged offense, you need a kicker who can regularly hit from 50 and even beyond and Stover just doesn't have that kind of leg anymore. However, it would have been nice to see him make the game tonight on accuracy alone, but hey, I understand. Besides, the Titans Rob Bironas is a free agent and I'd take him in the Pro Bowl andon my team over Stover in a second. Sorry, Matt, it's been nice and you'll be up on the Ravens Ring of Honor one day, but for now, tah tah.
That's pretty much it for my thoughts on who else on our team should have possibly been in Hawaii to play today. Keep an eye out for our coaching staff and root for the possible last time of seeing Ray Lewis in a Ravens helmet! Ouch!