New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been the face of the NFL for well over a decade, but his popularity is now being overshadowed by a rising star.
Carson Wentz is having a sophomore season for the ages, and shockingly, he's garnered more fan votes than Brady for Pro Bowl honors to this point.
"I honestly didn't even know that," Wentz replied to reporters when told he's the leading vote-getter. "I guess that's cool and all but you know how I am about that stuff. At the end of the day, we're 9-1 and that's what we like. You know me, I don't get caught up in that stuff."
The Philadelphia Eagles pivot is leading all players with 273,367 votes after the first update Wednesday. Brady, who's second on the list, is lagging significantly behind with 239,989 votes, despite having a considerable statistical advantage over Wentz through 10 games.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (227,771), Rams halfback Todd Gurley (215,687), and Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (215,584) round out the top five on the list.
In his rookie season last year, Wentz didn't earn a trip to the Pro Bowl and with good reason -- he averaged 6.2 yards per pass, tossed 16 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, and posted a 79.3 passer rating. But what a difference a year makes. The 24-year-old has led the Eagles to a league-best 9-1 record, throwing 25 touchdowns with an impressive 103.4 passer rating.
Brady, a five-time Super Bowl champion and 12-time Pro Bowler, is still producing at his accustomed high level despite turning 40. His Patriots are cruising with an 8-2 record atop the AFC East, and are hungry to defend their title in 2017. Brady's resume is nothing short of outstanding, making him a lock for the Hall of Fame once he retires.
Pro Bowl voting continues online until Dec. 14, leaving tons of time for Brady and others to close the gap on Wentz. The league is allowing fans this year to vote via Twitter through direct messaging, giving an alternative to the standard online voting ballot.
Pro Bowl rosters are determined by a combination of votes from fans, players, and coaches. This year's game will be played in Orlando, Florida, on Jan. 28.
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