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Traditionally a high-scoring, low-effort event, the Pro Bowl is under pressure to look more like a real game this year.
If you love points and don't care much for effort, the Pro Bowl is the sporting event for you. More importantly it offers the second-to-last chance to see any form of NFL football until August.
For more on the Pro Bowl, check out SB Nation's complete coverage
Denver Broncos and AFC starting quarterback Peyton Manning is looking to change the image of the Pro Bowl and has pleaded with players to play at full-speed. Manning is worried that if players continue to give a halfhearted effort then the Pro Bowl will be canceled, something commissioner Roger Goodell has considered. Goodell was critical of last year's game, a 59-41 AFC victory, and said changes need to be made or the game might have to be eliminated. It should be interesting to see if the threat of cancellation will spur the players to give a full effort.
Star players to watch
It's the Pro Bowl so everyone's a star, but there are a few guys to keep an extra eye on this year. Obviously Peyton feels the need for players to give it their all this year, but will he back up his words with a big game? Manning's top competition for the MVP award, Adrian Peterson, racked up 2,097 yards on the ground this year and was unstoppable, expect him to keep it up in Honolulu.
Who won't be there?
Several players will be missing this year due to injuries, including the MVP from last year's game, Brandon Marshall. The injuries keeping players from Honolulu have varying degrees of significance from Robert Griffin III's torn knee ligaments to Tom Brady's mystery injury. In fact, five of the seven Patriots selected are out with an injury. In all 16 players will not play on Sunday because of their injuries, eight on each roster.
Injured players won't be the only ones missing from the game, with the Pro Bowl taking place the week before Super Bowl XLVII. Any player on the Ravens or 49ers obviously will not be in attendance. Six Ravens were named to the Pro Bowl and nine 49ers, making the total number of replacement players in the Pro Bowl 31; 14 for the AFC and 17 for the NFC.
Rise of the replacements
Fortunately the NFL has a bevy of talented players and the replacements are just as likely to have a big game and win MVP as any of the original players. This is especially true in the NFC, where all three quarterbacks are replacement players. Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, and RG3 are all injured and in their places Drew Brees, Eli Manning, and Russell Wilson will be the three quarterbacks. Rookie Andrew Luck is the replacement for Tom Brady on the AFC squad.
What about my team?
The good news is that almost every fan has a player to root for in the Pro Bowl. A total of 24 teams will send players to Honolulu and players from 26 teams were selected with the Ravens and 49ers headed to the Super Bowl. Only the Chargers, Eagles, Jaguars, Panthers, Rams, and Titans were left unrepresented.
Sending the most players to Honolulu are the Houston Texans with nine, as not a single Texan selected is opting out due to injury. No other team will have more than six players at the Pro Bowl, with the Seahawks, Vikings, and surprisingly the 2-14 Chiefs each sending six. Find the full Pro Bowl roster at NFL.com.
Date: Sunday, Jan. 27
Kickoff time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Update from the NFL:
Pro Bowl delayed 30 minutes due to weather and is set to kickoff at 7:30 p.m. EST. Weather issues were expected. nfl.com/news/story/0ap…— NFL: AroundTheLeague (@NFL_ATL) January 27, 2013
Location: Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii
NFC Roster replacements
AFC Roster replacements