Peyton Manning, Adrian Peterson lead Pro Bowl selections

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Denver's Peyton Manning was chosen to his 12th Pro Bowl on Wednesday, a record for quarterbacks.  FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Denver's Peyton Manning was chosen to his 12th Pro Bowl on Wednesday, a record for quarterbacks.

NEW YORK — Sensa­tional comebacks have Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson headed for the Pro Bowl.

Also selected Wednesday to the NFL’s all-star game was Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Manning missed all of the 2011 season with neck and back problems that required several operations. He then signed with Denver as a free agent and has led the Broncos on a 10-game winning streak to take the AFC West.

“I know there’s great players out there in the NFL, but there’s some great players on this team this year that deserve to go,” said Manning, whose 12th Pro Bowl is a record for quarterbacks. He ranks fourth in league passing this year, has thrown 34 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

Minnesota’s Peterson tore up his left knee on Christmas Eve last year, underwent major surgery, then was back for the season opener. He’s gone from uncertain to unstoppable, running away with the rushing title with a career-high 1,898 yards and lifting the Vikings toward an NFC wild card.

“Coming into the season after going through the rehab process, I just told myself that I wanted to lead my team to a championship and make sure that I contribute and do my part,” Peterson said. “I’ve been doing it.”

Griffin is one of three rookie QBs who had superb debut seasons, along with Andrew Luck, of Indianapolis, and Russell Wilson, of Seattle. Luck and Wilson weren’t picked.

The Atlanta Falcons had three players selected.

Tight end Tony Gonzalez was named as a starter. Quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones were also chosen.

San Francisco had the most players selected, nine, including six from its second-ranked defense. Houston was next with eight, six on offense.

Kansas City, despite its 2-13 record that is tied with Jacksonville for worst in the league, had five Pro Bowlers, including RB Jamaal Charles, who like Peterson is coming back from a torn ACL.

One other rookie, Minnesota kicker and former Georgia Bulldog Blair Walsh, was chosen. Walsh has nine field goals of at least 50 yards, an NFL mark.

The AFC kicker is at the other end of the spectrum: Cleveland’s Phil Dawson earned his first selection in his 14th NFL season.

Another record setter will be heading to Honolulu for the Jan. 27 Pro Bowl: Detroit WR Calvin Johnson.

Johnson broke Jerry Rice’s single-season yards receiving record and has 1,892 yards with a game left.


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