HIGH SCORE: It has been a banner year for offenses across the National Football League, thanks in part to high-flying passing attacks led by some of the game's best quarterbacks. The 2012 NFC Pro Bowl roster will feature two record-setting QBs – Green Bay's AARON RODGERS led the NFL with a 122.5 passer rating, a single-season NFL best, while New Orleans' DREW BREES' 5,476 passing yards surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer DAN MARINO's record for passing yards in a season.
The 2012 Pro Bowl will also be the first in series history to feature two rookie quarterbacks, CAM NEWTON of Carolina (NFC) and ANDY DALTON of Cincinnati (AFC).
Other quarterbacks taking part in the game include BEN ROETHLISBERGER of Pittsburgh, who will get the starting nod for the AFC, and PHILIP RIVERS of San Diego, who became the third quarterback in NFL history to pass for 4,000 yards in four consecutive seasons (Brees, PEYTON MANNING).
High scores have been a recent trend at the Pro Bowl. In fact, the eight highest combined scores in Pro Bowl history have all occurred since 2000, including 96 points last year, the second-highest in Pro Bowl history.
The highest combined scores in Pro Bowl history:
-- 2012 Pro Bowl --
NFL NETWORK'S LIVE COVERAGE FEATURES PRO BOWL RECORD-HOLDER: Seven-time Pro Bowler and Pro Football Hall of Famer MARSHALL FAULK is joined by FRAN CHARLES and TOM WADDLE on-location in Hawaii for NFL Network's live coverage of AFC and NFC practices on Thursday from 2:30-5:30 PM ET and Saturday from 1:30-3:30 PM ET. Practice coverage includes interviews with All-Star players and coaches.
The trio returns on Sunday at 4:00 PM ET for the live three-hour NFL Total Access: Pro Bowl Pregame which leads up to the 7:00 PM ET game time on NBC. Faulk earned 1995 Pro Bowl MVP honors as a Colts rookie when he set still-standing records for rushing yards (180), longest run from scrimmage (49 yards) and yards per carry (13.9, min. 10 attempts).
ELDER STATESMAN: Two of the most frequent participants in Pro Bowl history have made the trip to Honolulu once again in 2012: Atlanta tight end TONY GONZALEZ and Denver cornerback CHAMP BAILEY are each poised to play in their 11th career Pro Bowl, which will tie for the third-most in since 1970.
Only Pro Football Hall of Famer RANDALL MC DANIEL and longtime Kansas City guard WILL SHIELDS, who both played in 12 Pro Bowls apiece, have more All-Star appearances during that span.
Gonzalez is also the all-time career Pro Bowl leader in the following categories: total touchdowns (six), receptions (42) and receiving yards (632). Bailey's four career Pro Bowl interceptions are tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer DEION SANDERS and EVERSON WALLS for the most in the game's history.
The players with the most Pro Bowl games played since 1971:
Minnesota, 1990-2000; Tampa Bay, 2001
Kansas City, 1996-2007
Washington, 2001-04; Denver, 2005-08, 2010-12
Kansas City, 2000-01, 2003-09; Atlanta, 2011-12
Philadelphia, 1987-93; Green Bay, 1994, 1996-97, 1999
San Diego, 1992-2002
Pittsburgh, 1990-95, 1997; Baltimore, 2000-02; Oakland, 2003
N.Y. Giants, 1982-1991
San Francisco, 1982-85, 1987-91; L.A. Raiders 1992
Houston, 1989-95, 1997; Tennessee, 2000, 2002
San Francisco, 1987-88, 1990-94,1996, 1999; Oakland, 2003
Indianapolis, 2000-01, 2003-09, 2011
*Also selected, but did not play, in one additional game
**Also selected, but did not play, in two additional games
*Also selected but did not play, in three additional games
Also selected, but did not play in four additional games
-- 2012 Pro Bowl --
ALL HAIL THE "U": Seven players named to the 2012 Pro Bowl roster played collegiately at the University of Miami (FL), more than any other college program.
Below is a breakdown of schools with at least four players named to the 2012 Pro Bowl squads:
2012 PRO BOWL PLAYERS
RB Frank Gore, TE Jimmy Graham, RB Willis McGahee, C Chris Myers, LB Ray Lewis, DT Vince Wilfork, S Ed Reed
QB Cam Newton, G Ben Grubbs, DT Jay Ratliff, CB Carlos Rogers
WR A.J. Green, CB Champ Bailey, DT Richard Seymour, DT Geno Atkins
CB Darrelle Revis, WR Larry Fitzgerald, P Andy Lee, RB LeSean McCoy