Predicting the Pro Bowl bound Tennessee Titans

Folks, it’s that time of year again. Pro Bowl voting ends today and within the next week, we’ll find out how many Tennessee Titans have a trip to Hawaii in their futures.

Sitting at 12-1, the Titans are currently in sole possession of the NFL’s best record. Usually, that type of success equates to heavy representation at the league’s annual all-star game. Just ask the 13-3, 2007 Dallas Cowboys, who sent a record 13 players to Honolulu last year.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, the last Titans’ squad to win the AFC South (2002) was shut out as none of their players were selected to make the trip to the Aloha State.

Which Tennessee Titans are Pro Bowl bound in 2008? Here’s one man’s take.

Sure bets

Albert Haynesworth DT

Perhaps the league’s most dominant interior defender, Haynesworth is equally adept at stopping the run and wreaking havoc on helpless, opposing quarterbacks.

He’s virtually destroyed all of his contract incentives, so he’s probably looking at a huge pay-day in free agency. Hopefully, his new long-term deal will be courtesy of Bud Adams and the Tennessee Titans.

Cortland Finnegan CB

The anti-Pacman, Finny has continued his emergence into one of the league’s best corners. The diminutive demon is often Chihuahua-like as he pesters frustrated opposing receivers. Finny’s a great tackler and is also a playmaker, as evidenced by his five interceptions in 2008.

This should be the first of many Pro Bowl appearances to come for Finnegan.

Chris Johnson RB

In his rookie season, Johnson has dashed his way to success. His 1,094 rushing yards are second to only Thomas Jones (1,144) in the AFC.

CJ has been the missing link for an offense that was bereft of a premier playmaker just a year ago.

The rest of the bunch

Michael Roos OT

Roos should be a sure bet, but their’s a ton of competition (Long, Ferguson, Clady, etc.) for a limited amount of tackle spots (3) on the AFC Pro Bowl team.

Michael does have an impressive, 2008 resume. In addition to allowing zero sacks, Roos has only been called for two penalties in 2008.

I agree with Tom’s belief that locking up Roos for the long-term was a great investment by the Titans.

Kevin Mawae C

Mawae’s no stranger to Honolulu, as indicated by his six previous Pro Bowl appearances (1999-2004).

IMO, he should edge out Jeff Saturday (whose ability to play on Sundays has been limited by a nagging knee injury) and youngsters Nick Mangold and Jason Brown for the C spot on this year’s AFC squad.

Close but no cigar

Kerry Collins QB

Collins has been an excellent game manager for the 12-1 Titans. On a few occasions, when the running game was stagnant, Collins bailed the Titans out with his throwing arm.

However, I think Collins will come up short in his bid to make the Pro Bowl.

He’ll probably finish behind the likes of Philip Rivers (102 QB rating, 26 TD passes), a resurgent Peyton Manning, the up-and-coming Jay Cutler (23 TD passes) or the ancient but extremely popular Brett Favre.

Rob Bironas K 

As usual, Bironas has been stellar this year. However, I think he’ll get beat out by New England’s Stephen Gostkowski (30-33 FG, 117 points).

David Stewart OT

Despite “Big Country’s” solid year, I have a hard time believing that two of the AFC’s three tackle spots will go to the small-market Titans.

Ahmard Hall FB

“Sarge” is a great blocker and also a threat in the passing game. However, I think he’ll come up short with either HB/FB Le’Ron McClain or veteran Tony Richardson getting the nod at FB.

They play the wrong position

Keith Bulluck OLB

The steady Bulluck has always been one of the league’s most underappreciated performers.

Despite his great leadership skills and significance on the Titans’ 3rd-ranked defense, he’ll probably get passed over for OLB’s with gaudier stats such as born-again Joey Porter (16.5 sacks), James Harrison (15 sacks, 7 FF’s) LaMarr Woodley (11.5 sacks) and Terrell Suggs (6.5 sacks, 2 interception).

Michael Griffin FS

Two words: Ed Reed

Chris Hope SS

Two words: Troy Polamalu

LenDale White RB

He’s tied for the league lead in touchdowns (14) but only has 674 rushing yards. The AFC only has three RB spots, so Smash probably won’t join Dash in Hawaii.

Bo Scaife TE

Bo’s having his best year as a pro. Unfortunately, he’ll likely be overshadowed by guys with better stats (Tony Gonzalez, Owen Daniels) or better name recognition (Dallas Clark, Antonio Gates).

Now it’s your turn. Who are your Titan Pro Bowl picks?

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