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Five Ravens Elected to Pro Bowl

Five Ravens, including two first-timers, were named to the AFC team during the NFL Network’s Pro Bowl show Tuesday night. Leading the way – as usual – were linebacker Ray Lewis and safety Ed Reed. Also selected in a vote of players, coaches and fans were defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and running back Ray Rice, both for the first time, and fullback Le’Ron McClain, for the second straight season.

Lewis, Reed, McClain and Ngata all will go as starters. A sixth Raven, guard Ben Grubbs, was named first alternate and would go if the player in front of him cannot play because of injury.

The Pro Bowl will be played Jan. 31 – a week before the Super Bowl – at Dolphin Stadium in South Florida. If the Ravens were to make the Super Bowl, none of their players would play in the game.

Looking at the selections, Ngata has been deserving the past few years and often occupies two blockers on the line. Ray Rice was an easy choice as a multiple threat on offense with a break out season. Lewis has lost a step but still is among the top tacklers in the AFC. McClain made it last year based on lopsided stats when he was used as a runner but this season with his reduced role he has blocked well as a more traditional fullback. I’m not so sure Reed deserved the nod this season. He’s been injured for the past four games and he hasn’t had the number of interceptions as in the past. He still has great ability when healthy. I’d also question the choice of Grubbs, even though he’s an alternate. He had a very strong start during the first half of the season but seemed to struggle with larger defenders.

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