The Pro Bowl rosters were announced tonight and seven Falcons have made the NFC's all-star roster. Matt Ryan, Roddy White, Michael Turner, Ovie Mughelli, Eric Weems, Tony Gonzalez and John Abraham will all represent the Falcons in Hawaii for the 2011 Pro Bowl
The National Football League announced today that seven Atlanta Falcons have been named to the 2011 NFC Pro Bowl roster. DE John Abraham, TE Tony Gonzalez, FB Ovie Mughelli, QB Matt Ryan, RB Michael Turner, WR/ST Eric Weems, and WR Roddy White will all represent the Falcons as members of the 2011 NFC Pro Bowl team.
The seven-man contingent is the highest number of players the Falcons have sent to the Pro Bowl in franchise history. The seven players equal the number of representatives the team sent to the AFC-NFC All-Star games in 1981 and in 1969.
Abraham returns to a Pro Bowl roster for the first time since 2004 after leading the NFC with 13.0 sacks through 15 games. Abraham became the 25th player in NFL history to record 100-or-more sacks in Atlanta's Week 14 win at Carolina. Abraham's 102.5 career sacks are the second most among active players. He ranks fifth in Falcons franchise history with 50.0 sacks in just five seasons with the club. Abraham also earned three Pro Bowl selections as a member of the New York Jets in 2001, 2002 and 2004.
Gonzalez was selected to the Pro Bowl for the 11th time in his 14-year NFL career after posting 603 yards on 64 catches with five touchdowns this season. Gonzalez passed Hall of Fame WR Jerry Rice, who posted 11 straight seasons of 60-plus catches with a two-yard catch in the second quarter against the Seahawks in Week 15 to become the NFL record holder in consecutive 60-plus catch seasons with 12. In 2010, Gonzalez moved into sixth place on the NFL's all-time receptions list, 15th on the NFL's all-time receiving yardage list, and tied for 11th on the NFL's all-time receiving touchdowns list. The Pro Bowl selection is Gonzalez's first as a member of the Falcons.
Mughelli is the first fullback in Falcons history to earn a Pro Bowl selection. He earned his first career selection while establishing himself as one of the League's premier blocking fullbacks. Mughelli has paved the way for a Falcon rushing attack that ranks fifth in the conference averaging 119.5 yards per game on the ground. The eighth-year pro scored his lone touchdown of the season on a 17-yard catch and run in a Week 13 win at Tampa Bay.
The selection is the first of Ryan's three-year career. Ryan has thrown for a career-high 3,469 yards and a career-best 26 touchdown passes through 15 games. He has completed 335 of 539 pass attempts for a career-best 62.2 completion percentage and posted an 89.8 passer rating in 2010. The third-year pro out of Boston College has led the Falcons to an NFC-best 12-3 overall record and engineered six game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime this season. Ryan was named the NFC Player of the Month in November.
Turner leads the NFC in rushing with 1,304 yards on 317 carries. The third-year Falcon has run for 100-or-more yards in seven games this season and has posted 11 touchdowns through 15 games. It is the second Pro Bowl selection for Turner, who was named to the NFC squad in 2008 after rushing for 1,699 yards and a franchise record 17 touchdowns.
Weems earned his first career selection after ranking third in the NFL in kickoff return average and leading the team with 16 special teams tackles. Weems has averaged 27.7 yards per kickoff return this season and posted a franchise record 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in a Week 13 win over Tampa Bay. Weems' club-record return sparked a run of 14 unanswered points and helped the Falcons overcome a 10-point deficit to earn a crucial division win.
White earned his third consecutive Pro Bowl selection after posting a League-high 109 catches and an NFC-best 1,327 receiving yards through 15 games. White, October's NFC Player of the Month, has notched five 100-yard receiving games and three games with 10-plus catches as well as a franchise-best fourth straight 1,000-yard season. He is also closing in on the franchise records for most passes caught in a single season (111) and most receiving yards in a single season (1,382).