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Bills shut out in Pro Bowl voting

For the first time in 24 years, the Buffalo Bills did not have a player named to the Pro Bowl, which was announced by the NFL on Tuesday night.

The last time the Bills, who enter Sunday's game at the New York Jets with a 4-11 record, didn't have players named to the Pro Bowl came in 1985 and '86. The only other year Bills players were omitted was 1970.

Michael Vick's comeback now includes a Pro Bowl start for the NFC after he was voted to the team. The Philadelphia Eagles' quarterback, who sat out two seasons while serving a federal sentence for dogfighting, will start for the NFC. He will be joined by teammate Jason Peters, a former Bills offensive tackle.

Only two Bills were considered serious candidates: Defensive tackle Kyle Williams and wide receiver Stevie Johnson, although Ryan Fitzpatrick climbed as high as fifth in the fan vote in mid-December.

Williams, a Pro Bowl alternate last season, is third on the team in tackles behind linebacker Paul Posluszny and safety Donte Whitner with 87. His totals in sacks (5.5) and tackles for a loss (14) are team highs. Williams is tied for second in the AFC for sacks by a defensive tackle with Oakland's Richard Seymour, who was named to the team. The Raiders' Tommy Kelly is the leader with seven.

Now in his fifth season, the 6-foot-1, 306-pound Williams is well respected. He was the focal point of New England's game plan last Sunday. He recorded four tackles and the Pats rushed for 217 yards.

Joining Seymour as an interior lineman in the Pro Bowl for the AFC are Baltimore's Haloti Ngata and New England's Vince Wilfork.

The 6-foot-2, 202-pound Johnson ranks in the AFC's top 10 in touchdowns (10, T-second), receptions (77, fifth), yards (1,001, sixth) and yards per game (66.7, 10th). Only 24, Johnson became the focal point of the Bills' passing game but has been inconsistent. He has just one TD reception since his drop of a potential game-winner in Week 12 against Pittsburgh.

Houston's Andre Johnson, Indianapolis' Reggie Wayne, Denver's Brandon Lloyd and Kansas City's Dwayne Bowe were named to the AFC squad.

Cincinnati, Seattle and Tampa Bay were the only other teams not represented on Pro Bowl rosters.

Atlanta, which leads the NFC with a 12-3 record, has the most Pro Bowlers with seven, including quarterback Matt Ryan, receiver Roddy White and defensive end John Abraham. New England (13-2), the AFC leader, has six Pro Bowlers, led by QB Tom Brady.

Four rookies were chosen, with DT Ndamukong Suh of Detroit a starter for the NFC. Cornerback Devin McCourty of New England, kick returner Marc Mariani of Tennessee and center Maurkice Pouncey of Pittsburgh made the AFC squad.

e-mail: rmckissic@buffnews.com

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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