Quarterback Aaron Rodgers may be the only member of the Green Bay Packers offense to make the NFC Pro Bowl squad, but he knows he didn't earn the honor all alone.
"I realize this is not just an individual reward," said Rodgers, who found out Tuesday afternoon he had been named one of three NFC quarterbacks on the Pro Bowl team, along with New Orleans' Drew Brees and Minnesota's Brett Favre.
"This reflects team success. Definitely this is something that you hope for but you need to play well as a team. This is a team achievement in my opinion."
Rodgers is a Pro Bowler for the first time in just his second season as a starter. Last Sunday against Seattle, he became the first quarterback in league history to top 4,000 yards passing in each of his first two seasons as a starter.
He's also surrounded by a 1,200-yard rusher in Ryan Grant and two 1,000-yard receivers in Greg Jennings and Donald Driver (though Driver needs four more yards to reach 1,000 this year).
Grant was named an NFC alternate and would also be a first-time Pro Bowler should he eventually be named to the squad. Left tackle Chad Clifton also is an alternate from the offense. Clifton has made the Pro Bowl once previously, in 2007.
This year's Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, Jan. 31, one week prior to the Super Bowl at the site of the title game in South Florida.
"We have a number of talented guys who have had very good seasons for us," Rodgers said. "I think there's a number of guys who should have been considered. But our ultimate goal is the Super Bowl, not the Pro Bowl."
Rodgers certainly is deserving. He ranks second in the NFC this year in yards (4,199) and touchdowns (29) to Brees, the Pro Bowl starter for the NFC.
He's also ranked third in the NFC in passer rating behind Brees and Favre at 102.4. He's tied with Favre for the fewest interceptions among regular NFC starters with just seven, and he's the top-ranked passer in the league on third down at 135.1.
He has thrown for more yards (1,673) and touchdowns (14) on third down than any other quarterback, his 67.8 completion percentage on third down is third in the league, and he's one of only two regular starters (New England's Tom Brady being the other) to not have thrown an interception on third down.
"I think I took care of the football and didn't turn the ball over that many times," Rodgers said, evaluating his season to this point. "I was productive in my opportunities, and I think I'm blessed with very talented players alongside of me and a coaching staff that gives me freedom during games to make subtle changes that can get us in good situations."
Rodgers' overall game includes the ability to hit the big play and to scramble to make something happen. He's currently tied for second in the league in pass plays of 40-plus yards with 16, along with Dallas' Tony Romo and one behind Philadelphia's Donovan McNabb. And he's third in the league in completions of 25-plus with 38, behind only the New York Giants' Eli Manning (41) and Brees (39).
His resume also includes 314 rushing yards, tops among all NFL quarterbacks, and 14 runs of 10-plus yards, also best in the league.
Offensive coordinator Joe Philbin said simply that he's glad Rodgers is this team's quarterback.
"No. 1, he's got excellent leadership ability," Philbin said. "No. 2, he's made great decisions when he's been our quarterback and I think his statistics reflect that. No. 3, he makes plays with his arm and his feet."
With the playoffs approaching, Rodgers hopes he has a few more plays in him. More than anything, he's hoping to lead the team on a postseason run, no matter how many Pro Bowlers in name the offense possesses.
"I just think (being selected) says that our team has played very well this year, and personally I have played well enough to get noticed by the fans and other players around the league and other coaches," Rodgers said. "I'm very appreciative of that."