With quarterback Brett Favre selected for the eighth time in his distinguished career, three Green Bay Packers have been named to the NFC squad for the 2004 Pro Bowl, the National Football League announced Thursday.
Also elected to professional football's all-star contest were guard Marco Rivera and running back Ahman Green, named for the second and third consecutive years, respectively.
With Favre an eight-time nominee, only one player in Packers history, Hall of Famer Forrest Gregg, now has been honored more often. Gregg, one of the premier offensive linemen in pro football history, was named nine times (1959-64, 1966-68).
Favre shares the distinction, in Packers history, of being an eight-time selection with safety Willie Wood, like Gregg a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Wood was chosen in 1962, 1964-70.
Green, meanwhile, becomes only the fourth running back in team annals to be named as many as three times, joining Jim Taylor (5) and Clarke Hinkle and John Brockington (3).
Rivera, a six-year starter, is the first Green Bay offensive lineman to be named to the Pro Bowl in back-to-back years since Larry McCarren in 1982-83. A year ago, he was the first Packers offensive lineman to be accorded Pro Bowl selection since McCarren.
Eight other Packers were named as alternates on the NFC squad, including rookie middle linebacker Nick Barnett.
The others include center Mike Flanagan, tight end Bubba Franks and fullback William Henderson on offense, defensive end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, cornerback Mike McKenzie and free safety Darren Sharper on defense and placekicker Ryan Longwell.
Henderson, Gbaja-Biamila, McKenzie and Longwell also were named alternates last season.
The game will be played at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Sunday, February 8.
Favre, the NFC's fourth-ranking passer with an 86.3 rating heading into next Monday night's game at Oakland, previously was named to the conference's Pro Bowl squad in 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001 and 2002.
The 34-year-old field general leads the NFC in touchdown passes with 27, second in the NFL only to the 29 by Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts. He has completed 274 of 420 passes for 2,846 yards, with 20 interceptions.
En route, Favre has thrown touchdown passes in all 14 games, last week extending his current streak to 23 games and thus eclipsing Cecil Isbell's long-standing team record of 22, set over the 1941-42 seasons.
Green, meanwhile, has become only the second player in Packers history to rush for 1,000 yards in as many as four seasons, also breaking Jim Taylor's 41-year-old single-season record (1,474) in the process. He enters next Monday night's game at Oakland with 1,538 rushing yards.
The former Nebraska Cornhusker also ranks second in the NFC in total yards from scrimmage with 1,894 and paces the NFC in non-kicker scoring with 102 points.
Rivera, one of the most durable performers in Packers history, has again played through significant injury throughout the season to perform at a consistently high level. Despite spraining the medial collateral ligament in his left knee during the preseason, the 31-year-old Penn State alumnus has started all 14 games to date, thus maintaining a 79-game playing streak, 80 including playoffs, the fourth-longest active streak on the team.
For Rivera physically, it represented a "repeat" of the 2002 season, in which he did not miss a start despite having torn the medial collateral ligament in both knees.