— Cincinnati Bengals (@Bengals) December 28, 2013
The Pro Bowl selections have been made and wide receiver A.J. Green and linebacker Vontaze Burfict are the two Cincinnati Bengals to be selected.
Here is a release from Bengals Media Relations:
Green, a third-year player, has been voted to the Pro Bowl for the third time. Burfict, a second-year pro who joined the Bengals last year as an undrafted free agent, is on the Pro Bowl roster for the first time.
“It’s a great honor for both our guys, and it’s especially great for Vontaze,” said Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis. “Everyone knows what an exceptional player A.J. continues to be, and we kind of expect him to be in the game, but it’s very gratifying to see Vontaze recognized for the fine season he’s had.”
Entering Sunday’s regular season finale vs. Baltimore, Green has 94 receptions for 1365 yards and 10 touchdowns. With 76 receiving yards against the Ravens, he would surpass Chad Johnson’s club record of 1440 yards in a season, set in 2007.
Green has set Bengals records this season for most 100-yard receiving games (six) and most consecutive 100-yard receiving games (five, in Games 6-10).
Burfict is the first Bengals LB to make the Pro Bowl since 1976, when Jim LeClair earned his one trip as a Bengal. The only other Bengals LB in the club’s all-star history is Bill Bergey, who was selected for the 1969 American Football League All-Star game.
Burfict led the Bengals in tackles by a wide margin as a rookie last year, and this year his lead is even greater. In statistics compiled by the coaching staff, he has 188 tackles, 85 more than second-place Rey Maualuga (103). His solo tackle total of 128 is more than twice the total of Maualuga (second with 61).
Burfict also leads the Bengals front seven in passes defensed (10), ranked third on the team. He’s tied for the team lead in tackles-for-loss on rushing plays (seven), and he has three sacks, an interception, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He scored a touchdown on a forced fumble and return on Nov. 17 vs. Cleveland.
Two Bengals players were voted as alternates. Andrew Whitworth was voted a third alternate at OT, and Andy Dalton a seventh alternate at QB.
If Burfict hits 13 tackles Sunday vs. the Ravens, he’ll finish the regular season with 170. He already has set a franchise record with the six he had last week against the Vikings. Since the tackle was first tracked in 1976, the Bengals had only had one other player top 150 in a single season in their history.
The NFL has changed the process for selecting players into the Pro Bowl, their version of the annual All-Star game comprising of the league’s best players. In order to ensure the to players, regardless of which conference they play in, make it to the Pro Bowl, the’ll instead have a draft-style selection of players from both conferences.
Congratulations to both Green and Burfict for making it to the initial roster.
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