Voting Season Begins

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It's that time of the year again.

It's Pro Bowl balloting season and this year's voting should be as interesting as always. The Falcons have a number of players that are currently — and will continue to be — good candidates for the yearly all-star game.

Voting at NFL.com opened last Tuesday and fans have until Monday, December 17 to vote for their favorite Falcons players for the Pro Bowl. The teams will be announced on the evening of December 26 during the NFL Network's broadcast of "Total Access."

After the 2010 season, the Falcons set a franchise record with nine players selected to the Pro Bowl, including Tony Gonzalez, Julio Jones and Matt Ryan. Atlanta's nine players was also a league high that season.

Last year's Falcons representatives in Hawaii were White and Gonzalez. It was White's fourth consecutive Pro Bowl selection. This season White's 591 receiving yards ranks sixth in the NFC and the wide receiver should receive strong consideration once again this year.

In the 2010 and 2011 Pro Bowls, White led the NFC in receiving, catching eight passes for 84 yards in 2010 and five passes for 69  yards in 2011.

In what appears to be his final season in the league, Gonzalez is making a bid for his 13th selection in 16 years. Last year's Pro Bowl honor was his second as an Atlanta Falcon.

The Pro Bowl is the only sports all-star game that is selected by a combination of votes from fans, coaches and players. It was also the first professional sports league to offer all-star voting online, an addition that came in 1995.

Each voting group counts one-third toward the 43-man roster from each conference. The players and coaches will make their selections on December 20-21.

Last season the top three vote-getters were quarterbacks, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Drew Brees. The final two in the top five were wide receivers Calvin Johnson and Wes Welker.

This year Ryan is being discussed as a mid-season MVP candidate and will have a strong case for being one of the top QB vote-getters this season. Ryan's only Pro Bowl appearance came in 2010. In that game he threw two touchdowns, one to Gonzalez.

The 2012 Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, January 27, 2013.

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