Pro Bowl selections hardly amount to science or proof of anything, but as a suggestion or indication they hold some value, and this week’s picks verify something we know well down here on the southern end of the peninsula.
The Dolphins lack impact talent.
Defensive end Cameron Wake as Miami’s lone selection means 20 other teams had more Pro Bowlers — many of them a lot more, led by the 49ers’ nine, Texans’ eight and Patriots’ seven. The three other teams with only one pick are the lowly Cardinals, Lions and Buccaneers. Bright side: Eight teams had zero selections.
There were 24 first-time selections out of the 84 AFC and NFC picks.
I thought punter Brandon Fields had a good chance to be chosen as the only Dolphin to lead at his position in fan voting. Then again, nobody brags too loudly about their punter going to Hawaii.
Next comes the charade in which players who are thrilled to be selected for the NFL all-star game but have no interest in actually playing in it begin to drop out with lame excuses like hangnail surgery and bad hair days, necessitating an influx of replacement players.
This is where teams like Miami eventually get to claim more all-star selections than they originally had. Don’t be surprised if Dolphins such as defensive tackle Randy Starks or safety Reshad Jones and perhaps even center Mike Pouncey or receiver Brian Hartline eventually get a belated ticket after others drop out.
Don’t look for Fields to get in, though, ironically. Chosen punters rarely drop out because, well, they’re punters and this is the only attention they get.
Scatter-shooting the league:
• Updated playoff odds: All six AFC spots and four of six NFC berths have been spoken for. Five teams remain alive for the final two spots and the computers over at makenflplayoffs.com put the likelihood thusly — Redskins 62.5 percent, Vikings 56.2, Cowboys 49.9, Bears 25.1 and Giants 6.2. Winner of Washington-Dallas game is in. Minnesota also is in with a win, while others need outside help.
• Denver in its current 10-game win streak has won every game by at least seven points. Only three others have done that: 1942 Bears, 1997 49ers and 2005 Colts.
• Here is a league record the Saints won’t be trumpeting. New Orleans will break the Baltimore Colts’ 1981 NFL mark of 6,793 yards allowed if Carolina gets 282 (likely) on Sunday.
• Redskin Robert Griffin III (104.1) is near certain to break the rookie passer-rating mark of 98.1 set by Ben Roethlisberger in 2004. Seahawk Russell Wilson (98.0) also might.
• Packer Aaron Rodgers (106.2) will become the second QB to top a 100 rating four consecutive years, after Steve Young in 1991-94.
• Bovada’s latest Super Bowl odds have the Broncos (at 4-1) and Patriots (19-4) out front, followed closely by the Packers (6-1) and Falcons (13-2). The AFC team will open as a 2 1/2-point favorite. Peyton Manning remains MVP favorite at 1-2, with Andrew Luck the offensive-rookie pick at 5-6.
• Bills’ C.J. Spiller has a 6.48-yard average per carry, with Viking Adrian Peterson at 6.04. Both could join an exclusive list of only four other backs to average at least 6.0 with 1,200-plus yards: Jim Brown (6.40 in 1963), Jamaal Charles (6.38 in 2010), Barry Sanders (6.13 in 1997) and a pre-scandalized O.J. Simpson (6.03 in 1973).
• Rams CB Janoris Jenkins is the third rookie with three interception-return TDs in a year, joining Hall of Famers Lem Barney (1967) and Ronnie Lott (1981).
• Seattle needs 27 points on Sunday to become only the third team to score at least 200 points in five games within one calendar month, after the 1950 L.A. Rams and 2007 Patriots.