Three Atlanta Falcons named to NFC Pro Bowl team


Dec 16, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) runs off the field after the game against the New York Giants at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons won 34-0. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Three Atlanta Falcons, through voting by the fans, along with voting from the coaches and players, have been selected to the 2012 NFC Pro Bowl team.

Those players are quarterback Matt Ryan, tight end Tony Gonzalez, and wide receiver Julio Jones.

It’s a great honor for those players, and is a really big deal for Atlanta Falcons fans. Each of these players deserve to be on this team. Matt Ryan has been, by far, the NFC South’s best quarterback, and one could certainly make the argument that he has been the best in the conference. He has a passer rating over 100 (100.2), has thrown 31 touchdowns to only 15 interceptions, and has thrown for 4481 yards, a franchise record. This is, almost without argument, the best season ever by an Atlanta Falcons quarterback. Subtract two poor outings against Oakland and Arizona, and Ryan’s stat line would look even better.

Tony Gonzalez, with this selection, has now been named to 13 Pro Bowl teams in his Hall of Fame career. I know that one more appearance in Hawaii isn’t important to Gonzalez, but he’s having a very solid season. He would have easily made this team on reputation even if he was playing poorly, but the addition of good play (88 catches for 889 yards a 8 touchdowns) on top of that reputation makes his selection a no-brainer.

The third selection is Julio Jones. This is his first ever Pro Bowl selection. He’s a fantastic receiver, and his presence really changes the complexion of football games, but I’ll be frank. I was a little surprised to see that he was the Atlanta receiver listed. I fully expected Roddy White to be named. However, I’m not going to complain one bit, it’s great having Jones named a Pro Bowler; he definitely deserves it. 76 catches for 1142 yards and 10 touchdowns will do that for you.

Congrats, once again, to the Falcons named to the NFC Pro Bowl team, and GO FALCONS!