Despite a disappointing end to the season, five Bears on Tuesday were named to the Pro Bowl. Matt Forte, Brian Urlacher, Charles Tillman, Lance Briggs and Corey Graham all earned trips to Hawaii with their standout play.
Matt Forte earned the honor for putting together a stellar campaign, rushing for 997 yards and receiving for 490 yards before tearing an MCL. It's his first Pro Bowl nod, and the first time a Bear running back has earned the honor since Neal Anderson in 1991. Unfortunately, he was placed on injured reserve today and is unable to play in the game.
This is Urlacher's eighth time going to the Pro Bowl. Still the leader of the Bears defense after 12 seasons, he has 125 tackles and three interceptions. He even has been in the end zone, scoring on a fumble recovery.
Fellow linebacker Briggs is on the Pro Bowl roster for the seventh consecutive time. He leads the Bears with 140 tackles, plus has an interception and two forced fumbles.
This is Tillman's first selection in a nine-year career. He was picked for his versatility this season, notching 93 tackles, a sack, two interceptions -- one which was returned for a touchdown -- and 11 broken up passes. He also has forced three fumbles using the Peanut Football Punch (patent pending.)
Like Tillman and Forte, special teams whiz Graham is going to his first Pro Bowl. He has been a crucial member of the Bears top-ranked special teams unit since joining the team in 2007. He has 20 special teams tackles, and is part of a punt return unit that allows just 5.4 yards per return.
Word leaked out early on Briggs' and Tillman's selections. Briggs' Facebook page announced the good news, while Tillman's former teammate, Alex Brown, congratulated him on Twitter.