LIONS INSIDER

Stafford, Suh and Delmas named Pro Bowl alternates

Posted Dec 27, 2011

Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford could still find his way to Hawaii and the Pro Bowl, but it’ll have to be as an alternate.

Stafford was not among the three NFC quarterbacks voted to the Pro Bowl by fans, players and coaches Tuesday night.

That honor instead went to the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers, the Saints’ Drew Brees and the Giants’ Eli Manning.

Stafford is an alternate, which means he’ll play in Hawaii on Jan. 29 if Rodgers, Brees or Manning ends up playing in the Super Bowl or withdraws from the game.

That’s if Stafford isn’t playing in the Super Bowl, of course.

Stafford set a new Lions record for passing yards in a season last week against the Chargers and has 4,518 on the season.

His 36 touchdowns are a team record, as are his 385 completions.

Stafford is the second-youngest quarterback in NFL history to record 4,000-plus yards and 30-plus touchdowns in a single season. Hall of Famer Dan Marino was the youngest by a few months in 1984.

Only Rodgers, Brees and Stafford rank in the top four in the NFC in passing yards, touchdowns, completion percentage and quarterback rating.

But that wasn’t enough in the eyes of the fans, players and coaches.

Manning has 4,587 yards with 26 touchdowns and 16 interceptions with a 90.3 quarterback rating.

The Lions haven’t had a Pro Bowl quarterback since Greg Landry in 1971.

Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was not among the three NFC defensive tackles voted to the Pro Bowl on Tuesday.

Suh was one of the most popular choices for the Pro Bowl last year during his breakout rookie season.

But what a difference a year makes.

Instead, the 49ers’ Justin Smith, the Packers’ B.J. Raji and the Cowboys’ Jay Ratliff will enjoy a week in Hawaii.

Like Stafford, Suh is an alternate.

Suh earned the second-most fan votes among NFC defensive tackles behind only Smith, but that only counts as one-third of the vote with his peers and coaches making up the other two-thirds.

They, obviously, aren’t as impressed with Suh’s 2011 season.

Some of that might stem from the kicking incident against the Packers on Thanksgiving that earned Suh a two-game suspension from the league.

The fact that he was voted the dirtiest player amongst his peers in a Sporting News poll earlier this season might have also played a role.

Just looking at Suh’s stats, though, it’s easy to conclude that he’s not having near the impact of his Pro Bowl season of 2010.

Last season, Suh led all defensive tackles with 10 sacks. He has three this season.

Suh is also 31 tackles off his pace from a year ago with one game remaining.

Louis Delmas, who hasn’t played since Thanksgiving with a right knee injury, was named an alternate at safety.

Delmas has 51 tackles and five passes defended in 11 games this season despite playing through a bevy of injuries.