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Six Patriots selected to AFC Pro Bowl squad


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Quarterback Tom Brady, G Logan Mankins, LB Jerod Mayo, CB Devin McCourty, S Brandon Meriweather and NT Vince Wilfork have been selected to represent the New England Patriots and the AFC in the 2011 Pro Bowl on Jan. 30 at Aloha Stadium in Hawaii. Brady, Mankins and Wilfork were selected as starters, while Mayo, McCourty and Meriweather were selected as reserves.

It is the sixth Pro Bowl selection for Brady (2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2010), third for Mankins (2007, 2009 and 2010), third for Wilfork (2007, 2009 and 2010) and second for Meriweather (2009 and 2010).

Brady enters the final week of the season with 3,701 yards passing and an NFL-leading 34 touchdowns. Last week at Buffalo, he extended his streak to 319 consecutive pass attempts without an interception to set an NFL record. Brady eclipsed Bernie Kosar's record of 308 pass attempts. Brady has reached 30 touchdown passes for the second time in his career and is one of just 13 NFL players since the 1970 merger to have at least two 30-touchdown seasons. He also set an NFL record with at least two touchdowns and no interceptions in eight straight games. Brady passed Don Meredith's (1965-66) previous record of six straight games with two or more touchdowns and no interceptions. Brady was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week twice in 2010 following back-to-back four-touchdown efforts in wins at Detroit (11/25) and vs. the New York Jets (12/6).

Mankins is going to his third Pro Bowl, including his second consecutive. He went to his first Pro Bowl in 2007 when he became the first Patriots guard to earn a Pro Bowl selection since 1985 when Pro Football Hall of Famer John Hannah went to his ninth career Pro Bowl. Mankins joins Hannah as the only Patriots guards to earn Pro Bowl bids since the 1970 merger. The Fresno State product is in his sixth season with the Patriots since being selected in the first round (32nd overall) of the 2005 NFL Draft. He started 8 games this season and has never missed an NFL game, starting all 88 games of his career.

Wilfork earned his third Pro Bowl berth after entering the final week of the 2010 season leading the Patriots defensive line with 80 total tackles. Since being selected in the first round (21st overall) of the 2004 draft out of Miami, Wilfork has helped the Patriots defense finish in the top 10 on four occasions (2004, 2005, 2007 and 2008). He recorded a season-high 10 total tackles in the Patriots' 23-20 overtime win vs. Baltimore on Oct. 17. The Patriots have an 81-24 (.771) record in Wilfork's 105 regular season games. Wilfork was selected by his teammates as a defensive captain in 2010 for the third straight season.

Mayo earned his first Pro Bowl berth after heading into the final game of the season with an NFL-leading 186 total tackles, including two 19-tackle games: vs. Baltimore (10/17) and vs. Green Bay (12/19). His 186 total tackles are tied with LB Steve Nelson (1980) for the third-best in team history. A first-round pick in 2008, Mayo registered 139 tackles that season and became the second Patriots' player to win the Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year Award, joining Mike Haynes (1976). The defensive co-captain has ten 10-tackle games so far in 2010 and has three straight 100-tackle seasons.

McCourty is the fourth Patriots player to be selected to the Pro Bowl as a rookie, joining Mike Haynes (1976), John Stephens (1988) and Curtis Martin (1995). McCourty, a first-round pick in 2010, has started all 15 games. He heads into the final week of the season tied for second in the NFL with six interceptions. The six interceptions by a Patriots rookie are second to the eight by Mike Haynes in 1976. McCourty is third on the team with 81 total tackles. He has also recorded six interceptions for 110 yards, one sack, 15 passes defensed, two forced fumbles and 11 special teams tackles.

Meriweather is headed to his second consecutive Pro Bowl. He heads into the final week of the season with 66 total tackles and three interceptions. He leads all current Patriots with 12 career interceptions. Meriweather intercepted a Peyton Manning pass on Indianapolis' first drive and returned it 39 yards to get the Patriots in scoring position in a 31-29 victory on Nov. 21.

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