Newton replaces Manning
The Carolina signal caller, the No. 1 overall selection in the 2011 draft, was added to the NFC Pro Bowl squad Monday in place of New York’s Eli Manning. Manning and the Giants beat the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC championship to advance to Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5 in Indianapolis, meaning Manning had to withdraw from the annual all-star game.
Newton completed 310 of 517 passes for 4,051 yards, the most by a rookie quarterback in NFL history. He also threw for 21 touchdowns with 17 interceptions to post an 84.5 quarterback rating.
Newton’s 14 rushing TDs are the most ever by an NFL quarterback in a season. He became the first quarterback ever to throw for 4,000 yards and rush for 500 yards in a season.
Newton was unavailable for comment Monday.
“It’s obviously a tribute to him and says a lot about his work ethic and his approach to the game,” Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said.
Newton will be the first Panthers quarterback to play in a Pro Bowl since Jake Delhomme in 2005, and only the fourth overall. Kerry Collins played in the game 1996 and Steve Beuerlein in 1999. Delhomme and Beuerlein were both voted in, while Collins played in the game as an alternate.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera had pushed for Newton to be one of the three NFC quarterbacks selected to the Pro Bowl, but the rookie was beat out by Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, New Orleans’ Drew Brees and Manning. Newton was selected as the first alternate ahead of Atlanta’s Matt Ryan, Detroit’s Matthew Stafford and San Francisco’s Alex Smith.
Peppers Pro Bowl-bound
Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers also is going to the Pro Bowl.
The Bears said Monday that Peppers had been added to the roster for Sunday’s game in Hawaii, replacing Jason Pierre-Paul of the Super Bowl-bound Giants. It will be Peppers’ seventh appearance in the all-star game.
Peppers had 27 tackles, 11 sacks, five tackles for losses, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries this season. The 10-year NFL veteran has reached double-digit sacks in seven seasons.
Five other Bears were named to the Pro Bowl: linebackers Lance Briggs and Brian Urlacher, running back Matt Forte and defensive backs Corey Graham and Charles Tillman.