Billy Cundiff's missed field goal in the AFC Championship game not only sent the New England Patriots to the Super Bowl, it sent three Cincinnati Bengals to Hawaii for next week's AFC-NFC Pro Bowl. QB Andy Dalton, DT Geno Atkins and TE Jermaine Gresham all got bumped up from the alternate's list and will be making their initial appearance in the annual all-star game.
Dalton was the alternate at quarterback and with Tom Brady now in the Super Bowl, he gets the bid. Dalton will join AJ Green to become the first ever rookie QB/WR tandem to earn Pro Bowl berths. Dalton's tight end, Jermaine Gresham, was the third alternate at his position. The Patriots' Rob Gronkowski will be preparing for the Super Bowl and the Houston Texans' Owen Daniels is injured and can't attend.
On the defensive side, Geno Atkins probably should have been chosen to begin with. He led all defensive tackles in sacks in 2011. Still, he was beaten out by the Ravens' Haloti Ngata and New England's Vince Wilfork. With Wilfork going to Indianapolis, Atkins will be taking his place in Hawaii (who got the better deal in that?). Making it more special, Atkins will be taking his father, Gene Atkins, who played 10 years in the NFL with the New Orleans Saints and Miami Dolphins.
For Cincinnati, the four Pro-Bowlers are a team high since 2005 when five players made the game. The game takes place Sunday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. and will be aired on NBC.
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