Last time 11 Vikings went to the Pro bowl was 1998 iirc.
Interestingly though last I heard 23 Vikings were in the top 5 of voting at their position. To a certain extent the Vikings do have an extremely talented roster worthy of recognition..but not 23 pro-bowl players. I think it obviously has a lot to do with Favre and the hype at the beginning of the season as people were wanting to see how he would play and now people wanting to see if he can sustain a phenomenal season.
Legit pro bowl Vikings are imo (not all necessarily absolutely should go, but guys who have a fair case to be made):
- Jared Allen
- Kevin Williams
- Pat Williams
- Percy Harvin
- Sidney Rice
- Visanthe Shiancoe
- Brett Favre
- Adrian Peterson
- Steve Hutchinson
- Bryant McKinnie
- Ryan Longwell
Other guys with a lot tougher argument, but could get in either as a last spot or alternate:
- Chestor Taylor
- Benny Sapp
- Bernard Berrian - (Would need to sustain his recent good work for the rest of the season)
- Ray Edwards
- Phil Loadholt
- John Sullivan
Most of the main offensive talent is sitting in the AFC at the moment. This is what's allowing guys like Rice to have any consideration. It's a shame too that so many will be left out just because of the conference they sit in. The wealth of top talent in both RB and WR are in the AFC. Especially RBs. Most of the top talent in the AFC RBs are improving from their previous year's numbers, while most of the NFC's top talent is falling behind on their numbers from last year. Consider Adrian Peterson. If he was fighting for an AFC spot in the Pro Bowl, I don't think he'd make the cut. He's got way less yards than Chris Johnson, about the same as MJD but with one less TD, and he's got 5 lost fumbles for the season. The only other premiere RB that did that got benched.
Realistically, this is who I see should represent from the Vikings in the Pro Bowl is the season ended today(only acknowledging top two at any position requiring one, top four if two are required, top six if three are required):
Brett Favre (QB1)
Adrian Peterson (RB1)
Sidney Rice (WR4)
Percy Harvin(P/K Returner)
Jared Allen (DE 1)
Kevin Williams (DT 3)
I don't believe in splitting up the O-line. I think the best performing O-line should make the Pro Bowl, because I feel it's the only unit on the field that is a true group effort with no standouts. So in that case I won't judge at all, since I can't watch 16 games a week and see for myself, and there aren't good stats on O-linemen. Based on sacks, the ability to assist the run and the strength of the QB they're protecting, I'd go with Dallas' O-line at the moment. 5.3 yards per carry and 25 sacks for the year. That's not too bad.
Eh...have you watched Rice this season? He has been rapidly getting better as the season has gone on, so while I think at the beginning of the Season your statement was correct, it really is out of date at this point. NFL wide he is sitting at 3rd in yards, tied for first in 20+ catches, tied for 2nd in 40+ catches, etc... His only real short spot is TDs, but that has a lot to do with the fact that the Vikings can spread it out as evidenced by having 4 guys with 4 TD catches or more (Harvin-5, Rice-4, Berrian-4, Shiancoe-8), the only other team in the league that can say the same is Indianapolis.
Really though I don't see how you come to the conclusion that Rice is fortunate to be in the NFC to get consideration. I think just being in the top 3 on receiving yards gets you consideration no matter what conference you are in, especially when you came out of nowhere to do it. A guy would have to have something major counting against him not be considered for the pro-bowl with almost 1,000 yards in week 13.
As for AP not making it in the AFC...sorry I can't take that comment very seriously...Peterson has been extremely impressive this season, you need to go back and look at what Peterson has been running against. Almost half of the Viking's games have been against top 6 run defenses, every one of their games involves an opponent who has had tape put together on how to stop AP since the schedules were announced months ago, and yet he is still on pace for a 1500+ yard season and has a legitimate shot at the rushing TD title for the year sitting in 2nd in the NFL behind only 1 TD. All of this despite being on pace for 10% fewer carries from a season ago....
He may not be having the kind of Season Chris Johnson is having but outside of Johnson there isn't a back in the league who has had as impressive a season as Peterson has had, including fumbles and all. At the end of the day its not just about how far a back runs, it also makes a big difference who a guy runs it against and how much those teams have committed to stopping him.
PS - Don't be a conference snob, the top 2 scoring offenses in the NFL are in the NFC. Of the top 10 the NFC lays claim to 7 of the 10...so they have easily their fair share, if not more, of the offensive talent in the league. You could however say the AFC has a lot of defensive talent as they do have 7 of the top 10 teams for fewest points allowed.