INDIANAPOLIS — After three years of utilizing a revised, "unconferenced" format, the Pro Bowl will return its traditional AFC vs. NFC setup in 2017, giving several players on the Indianapolis Colts a clear shot to make the annual celebration of the league's "best of the best."
Who will get your vote for the 2017 Pro Bowl? Submit your ballot at Colts.com/ProBowl
The game is also being played in a new location, at Orlando's Camping World Stadium, and will be televised live at 8 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 29, on ESPN.
While the Pro Bowl rosters — which will consist of 44 players each on the AFC and NFC squads — are determined by the consensus vote of fans, players and coaches (you can still vote for your favorite Colts players here), let's take a quick look at the five Colts players who have the best shot at making the Pro Bowl if it were played today:
• Quarterback Andrew Luck: A three-time Pro Bowler, Luck has returned from an injury-plagued 2015 season as an even more efficient quarterback in 2016. In 10 games, he has completed 236 of 375 passes for a completion percentage of 62.9 percent, which would be the best of his five-year career.
Despite missing the Colts' Week 12 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Luck's 2,827 passing yards currently rank 19th in the NFL (and eighth in the AFC), while his 19 passing touchdowns are tied for the 13th most in the league (and seventh in the AFC).
Luck has also put up solid numbers while being the most pressured quarterback in the league; he has been sacked 35 times already this season, which is the highest number in the NFL.
• Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton: Selected to the last two Pro Bowls, "The Ghost" has once again put up huge numbers at the wide receiver position for the Colts in 2016, despite fighting through some injuries.
Through 11 games, Hilton has 60 receptions for 942 yards and five touchdowns. With five games remaining in the 2016 season, Hilton has the same number of receiving touchdowns as he did a season ago, and he is just nine receptions and 182 yards short of his 2015 total, when he was voted to his second Pro Bowl.
Hilton also stacks up favorably when it comes to his rankings among his NFL counterparts. He ranks 24th in the NFL (and 11th in the AFC) in receptions, seventh in the NFL (and fourth in the AFC) in receiving yards and tied for 18th in the NFL (and tied for fifth in the AFC) in touchdowns.
• Outside linebacker Erik Walden: Walden has blossomed in his ninth year in the NFL, and fourth season with the Colts, in 2016.
Through 11 games, Walden has already established career highs with eight sacks and two forced fumbles. His sack total is currently tied for the seventh most in the NFL, and tied for the fourth most in the AFC.
Many times, pass rushers get passed over for Pro Bowl consideration in their first breakout year, and get selected to the team if they're able to do it a second time. But Walden has been the top playmaker for the Colts' defense so far this season, and, if nothing else, he's earned to be in the conversation to make the AFC roster come Jan. 29.
• Kicker Adam Vinatieri: The "GOAT" has been selected to three Pro Bowls in his career, his last coming in the 2014 season. But he's been undoubtedly one of the top two kickers in the AFC this season, if not the entire NFL, and should definitely earn a trip to Orlando when the season is over.
The AFC's Special Teams Player of the Month in October, Vinatieri has been almost automatic on his field goal and extra point attempts in 2016, converting 20-of-22 field goal attempts (90.9 percent) and all 28 of his extra point kicks.
Two weeks ago, Vinatieri saw his NFL record 44 consecutive made field goals streak snapped, which extended into last season.
• Punter Pat McAfee: The Boomstick is alive and well in 2016, as McAfee can once again boast the biggest leg among all punters in the NFL.
McAfee has punted 42 times for 1,812 yards so far this season, for an NFL-leading average of 50.1 yards per punt. His net average of 43.1 yards per punt ranks third in the league.
McAfee has also remained one of the top kickoff specialists in the league, despite a new rule that places touchbacks at the 25-yard line instead of the 20. The Indianapolis Colts currently allow 20.1 yards per kickoff return, which ranks seventh in the NFL.
• Long snapper Matt Overton: We'll list a sixth Colts Pro Bowl candidate just because he's so deserving.
Name a time when you've heard Overton's name this season. Can't think of any? That's the point: the job of a long snapper is to be good at his job, and if you're hearing his name said during a broadcast or over the PA system at the stadium, it's most likely not going to be good news.
Overton is snapping for one of the league's top kickers and punters, and his consistency is a reason why they're having the success they've had. Plus, Overton made the Pro Bowl in 2014, so there's no reason why he shouldn't make a return trip this year.