HIGH SCORE: It has been a banner year for offenses across the National Football League, thanks in part to high-flying passing attacks led by some of the game’s best quarterbacks. The 2011 AFC Pro Bowl roster will feature the top two passing yardage leaders – San Diego’s PHILIP RIVERS (4,710), who will start for the AFC, and Indianapolis’ PEYTON MANNING (4,700).
The NFC will counter with Philadelphia’s MICHAEL VICK, who became the first quarterback in NFL history to rush for at least 600 yards (676) and post a passer rating of 100.0 or better (100.2), as the starter, with New Orleans’ DREW BREES, the NFL’s third-leading passer with 4,620 yards, also in the fold. Other quarterbacks taking part in the game include MATT CASSEL of Kansas City (AFC) and MATT RYAN of Atlanta (NFC).
High scores have been a recent trend at the Pro Bowl. In fact, the seven highest combined scores in Pro Bowl history have all occurred since 2000, including 75 points last year, the third-highest in Pro Bowl history
PRO BOWL TD SCORERS: Several of the most prolific touchdown scorers in Pro Bowl history will look to add to their career totals on Sunday, including NFC All-Star tight end TONY GONZALEZ of Atlanta, who is tied for the all-time record with five.
With a touchdown on Sunday, Gonzalez would surpass JIMMY SMITH and MARVIN HARRISON, who also scored five career Pro Bowl TDs, for sole possession of first place.
Two other 2011 Pro Bowl participants – running back ADRIAN PETERSON of Minnesota and wide receiver LARRY FITZGERALD of Arizona – have three career Pro Bowl TDs and can move up the chart this weekend.
Peterson is also on the cusp of setting a Pro Bowl record for career rushing touchdowns. Peterson is currently tied for first all-time with RB's Earl Campbell, Chuck Muncie and Mike Alstott.
ELDER STATESMEN: There will be no shortage of leadership on the field for both conferences during Sunday’s Pro Bowl, with three 11-time selections – Indianapolis quarterback PEYTON MANNING, Atlanta tight end TONY GONZALEZ and Baltimore linebacker RAY LEWIS.
Manning not only owns several career and single-game Pro Bowl records, he’s significantly ahead in many of those categories. Manning owns the following Pro Bowl records (next closest player in parentheses):
· Attempts, Career: 179 (Dan Fouts, 120)
· Completions, Career: 107 (Dan Fouts, 63)
· Completions, Game: 22 (Joe Theismann, 21)
· Passing Yards, Career: 1,496 (Dan Fouts, 890)
· Passing Yards, Game: 342 (Dan Fouts, 274)
· Highest Average Gain, Career: 8.36 yards per attempt (Rich Gannon, 8.19)
· Passing Touchdowns, Career: 14 (Rich Gannon, 7)
ALL HAIL THE "U": Ten players named to the 2011 Pro Bowl roster played collegiately at the University of Miami, more than any other college program.