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8 Patriots and 49ers lead Pro Bowl rosters

By Barry Wilner

Associated Press

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 27 2011 5:35 p.m. MST

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) celebrates with offensive guard Carl Nicks (77) and tackle Zach Strief (64) after throwing a touchdown pass and breaking the league record for single-season passing yardage, held by Dan Marino, in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in New Orleans, Monday, Dec. 26, 2011.

Rusty Costanza, Associated Press

NEW YORK — The New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers each lead the Pro Bowl rosters with eight players apiece.

Baltimore and Green Bay each have seven players for the Jan. 29 game in Honolulu, the NFL has announced Tuesday.

Quarterback Tom Brady, receiver Wes Welker, tight end Rob Gronkowski, defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, defensive end Andre Carter, and guards Brian Waters and Logan Mankins all are starters for the AFC from the Patriots.

Linebacker Patrick Willis, DE Justin Smith, cornerback Carlos Rogers and tackle Joe Staley will start for the NFC from the 49ers, who had only Smith and Willis make the Pro Bowl last year.

Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers is the starting NFC quarterback, backed by record-setting Drew Brees of New Orleans.

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