PETER KING'S MIDSEASON ALL-PRO TEAM

November 08, 2010

Halfway through a topsy-turvy 2010 season, a surprising number of new names are vying with old standbys for all-star recognition

Wide receiver

Roddy White

Falcons

Matt Ryan can't live without him: He throws to White 12 times a game. A two-time Pro Bowl pick in his sixth season, White is on pace for a mind-boggling 123 catches.

OFFENSE

Quarterback

Peyton Manning

Colts

Injuries throughout the receiving corps have left Manning throwing to the likes of Brody Eldridge and Blair White. Ho hum. His greatness is undiminished.

Running back

Arian Foster

Texans

Came out of nowhere at the end of '09 and kept it going through the beginning of '10. His 231 yards in the opening win against Indy keyed Houston's strong start.

Wide receiver

Brandon Lloyd

Broncos

Talk about your classic deep threat. Lloyd was averaging 20.9 yards per catch through Sunday and is a major reason Kyle Orton is among the league leaders in passing.

Wide receiver

Davone Bess

Dolphins

Undrafted out of Hawaii in 2008, Bess has carved out a place as a third receiver in Miami. Good hands, explosive off the line and elusive. What more do you need?

Tight end

Antonio Gates

Chargers

In his eighth season, Gates is averaging a career-best 16.6 yards per catch. No player is as superior to his peers at his position than he is.

Tackle

Jake Long

Dolphins

The No. 1 pick in 2008 is fast becoming the foundation of rebuilding Miami. Says coach Tony Sparano, with little irony, "I thank God ... I have Jake Long at left tackle."

Tackle

Marshal Yanda

Ravens

His opening-day shift from right guard to right tackle has been a godsend for Baltimore; the fourth-year veteran helps keeps Joe Flacco clean (just 10 sacks).

Center

Alex Mack

Browns

Some thought Mack was picked too high at 21st in 2009, but the Cal product was an instant starter— and now he's a franchise center.

Guard

Brandon Moore

Jets

Wondering why LaDainian Tomlinson has looked reborn? Moore, an eighth-year pro, is a strong drive blocker in New York's running attack and never errs mentally.

Guard

Ryan Lilja

Chiefs

Released by the Colts last March, the Super Bowl XLIV starter was snapped up as a free agent and has shored up a weak line, helping Kansas City lead the league in rushing.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Placekicker

Billy Cundiff

Ravens

Accurate on field goals (83.3%) and might be even more valuable on kickoffs: The sixth-year veteran leads the league in touchback percentage, at 56.3%.

Kick returner

Brandon Tate

Patriots

Was averaging more than 30 yards per return, and with two touchdowns the second-year man has made New England dangerous in the kicking game again.

DEFENSE

Free safety

Earl Thomas

Seahawks

The 14th pick, out of Texas, Thomas has been victimized a few times, but he's also had four interceptions in a four-game span for the NFC West leaders.

Strong safety

LaRon Landry

Redskins

The fourth-year man out of LSU has become an absolute force in Washington's secondary. He's averaging nearly 10 tackles over the first half of '10.

Cornerback

Nnamdi Asomugha

Raiders

Looking for big interception numbers? You won't find them—for the simple reason that teams know better than to throw at Oakland's shutdown specialist.

Cornerback

Brandon Flowers

Chiefs

An emerging star who plays well in tight coverage, Flowers has two picks, a forced fumble and eight passes defensed for this season's most improved team.

Linebacker

Lawrence Timmons

Steelers

A tough call over Ray Lewis at inside/middle 'backer, but Pittsburgh's fourth-year vet gets the nod—helped by his 15-tackle games in Weeks 2 and 4.

Linebacker

Cameron Wake

Dolphins

The former CFL player has been the surprise of 2010. With Wake's 6½ sacks from his outside linebacker spot, Miami's pass rush hasn't missed Jason Taylor.

Defensive tackle

Jason Jones

Titans

The '08 second-rounder has shored up the middle of the line in his first year as a starter; his two crushing sacks of Tony Romo keyed the Week 5 win at Dallas.

Defensive tackle

Haloti Ngata

Ravens

At 6'4" and 350 pounds, the fifth-year veteran is an amazingly strong pass rusher. Opposing O-lines consistently dedicate two blockers to deal with him.

Defensive end

Vince Wilfork

Patriots

A mainstay on the New England defensive line for the last six seasons, this 3--4 end plays inside and out with the same level of dominance.

Defensive end

Trent Cole

Eagles

A sixth-year veteran who's thriving in Philly's 4--3 system, Cole is on pace to surpass last season's 12½ sacks, with six; he has 17 quarterback pressures as well.

SPECIAL TEAMS

Punt returner

Devin Hester

Bears

His two-year TD drought on returns is over. Hester has taken two punts to the house in the first seven games, leaving opponents to wonder: Why kick it to him?

Punter

Shane Lechler

Raiders

After becoming just the third punter in NFL history to average more than 50 yards per attempt last season, Lechler is again eyeing that lofty plateau.

Linebacker

Clay Matthews III

Packers

Matthews means as much to the Pack's D as QB Aaron Rodgers does to the offense. Even a strained hammy hasn't slowed this second-year sack machine.

AWARDS

Most Valuable Player

Tom Brady, Quarterback, Patriots

New teammates practically throughout the offense, but the same Brady production.

Offensive Player

Roddy White, Wide receiver, Falcons

His average game: eight catches, 107 yards. His biggest: 11 catches, 201 yards against Cincinnati.

Defensive Player

Haloti Ngata, Defensive tackle, Ravens

A space eater on a topflight D who commands extra attention and still makes plays.

Offensive Rookie

Maurkice Pouncey, Center, Steelers

The first-rounder out of Florida has solidified a shaky Pittsburgh line from Day One.

Defensive Rookie

Ndamukong Suh, Defensive tackle, Lions

The second pick has 6½ sacks in seven games—and it takes two to block him.

Coach

Bill Belichick, Patriots

Incorporated new players all over the roster—and has New England atop the division.

PHOTORICHARD A. BRIGHTLY/ICON SMI (YANDA) PHOTORICH KANE/US PRESSWIRE (MOORE) PHOTOPETER AIKEN/CSM (LILJA) PHOTOJAMES LANG/US PRESSWIRE (MACK) PHOTOICON SMI (CUNDIFF) PHOTODAMIAN STROHMEYER (TATE) PHOTOCLIFF WELCH/ICON SMI (WAKE) PHOTOCHRIS SZAGOLA/CAL SPORT MEDIA (TIMMONS) PHOTOJEFF FISHBEIN/ICON SMI (FLOWERS) PHOTODAVID BERGMAN (ASOMUGHA) PHOTODAVID BERGMAN (LANDRY) PHOTOPETER READ MILLER (THOMAS) PHOTOCHRIS SZAGOLA/CAL SPORT MEDIA (MATTHEWS) PHOTODERICK E. HINGLE/US PRESSWIRE (WHITE) PHOTOAL TIELEMANS (MANNING) PHOTOJOHN BIEVER (FOSTER) PHOTOWAYNE LITMER/SOUTHCREEK GLOBAL/ZUMAPRESS.COM (LLOYD) PHOTOBOB ROSATO (BESS) PHOTOJOHN W. MCDONOUGH (GATES) PHOTOTOM DIPACE (LONG) PHOTOGREG ASHMAN/CALSPORTS MEDIA (LECHLER) PHOTOJOHN BIEVER (HESTER) PHOTOHUNTER MARTIN/GETTY IMAGES (COLE) PHOTOCHRIS SZAGOLA/CAL SPORT MEDIA (WILFORK) PHOTOBILL FRAKES (NGATA) PHOTOSTEW MILNE/US PRESSWIRE (JONES)

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