Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Pat gets the shaft

The Pro Bowl rosters were announced today. Darren Sharper is the lone Viking representative. The Vikings probably don't deserve more than one or two players, but Pat Williams is a very large omission.

The DT's chosen were Tommie Harris, Shaun Rogers and Rod Coleman. Harris is a key figure on an excellent Bears defense, Coleman has 9.5 sacks and 4 forced fumbles, but Shaun Rodgers? He has 27 less tackles on a comparably ranked defense (Det 22, Min 23 overall). Granted Defensive Tackle is a tough position to choose with limited quantifiable stats to compare, but ask Pro Bowl center Olin Kreutz if Pat is deserving. Williams has played at a very high level the entire season despite seeing every other Vikings lineman miss time to injuries. Rogers has 5.5 sacks to Williams' 1.5, but if that was the swaying stat, then it is missing the point of a run stopper. Minnesota is 9th in the NFC in rush defense, compared to Detroit at 14th. Additionally in 2004, the Vikings sans Big Phat Pat, allowed 2006 rushing yards compared to 1599 this year. Unless someone runs rampant the last two games, this is a significant improvement.

Voting fans shouldn't be expected to notice the play of defensive lineman, but the players also cast ballots and account for a large part of the process. Don't be surprised in the next two weeks if the Ravens and Bears become believers in Williams' stellar season.