Newton gets snubbed

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Look for Panthers rookie Cam Newton to be a little extra motivated this week against the Saints after missing out on the Pro Bowl. Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Eli Manning made the NFC team ahead of Newton. Newton has combined for 34 touchdowns, while Manning has 27.

Look for Panthers rookie Cam Newton to be a little extra motivated this week against the Saints after missing out on the Pro Bowl.

Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Eli Manning made the NFC team ahead of Newton.

Newton has combined for 34 touchdowns, while Manning has 27.

That said, there's a good chance Newton, a first alternate, will see action in the game if any of the other three quarterbacks ahead of him leads his team to the Super Bowl. He could wind up joining two Panthers teammates who are headed to the Pro Bowl.

Wide receiver Steve Smith will make his fifth appearance, while center Ryan Kalil will make his third appearance.

Smith joins kickoff returner Michael Bates and defensive end Julius Peppers as the only Panthers to make five Pro Bowls.

"It's an honor and a privilege to be selected because it shows the respect of your peers," said Smith, in his 11th season out of the University of Utah. "Next to the Super Bowl, the Pro Bowl is the biggest honor in our profession."

Smith is enjoying a renaissance this season. He is third in the NFC with 73 receptions. Smith has 1,308 receiving yards and six touchdowns.

Behind Kalil, the Panthers are third in the NFL in rushing. The team has rushed for more than 100 yards in a franchise-record 13 consecutive games, including 270 last week against the Bucs, the second-highest mark in franchise history.

This marks Kalil's third consecutive appearance in the Pro Bowl but the first time he's been voted into the game. The rosters will be updated between now and kickoff, with players who reach the Super Bowl as well as those who are injured bowing out.

With Smith and Kalil starting every game, the Panthers rank fourth in the NFL in total yardage and fifth in scoring.

"You are only as good as the guys you play next to, and I have been fortunate to play next to some really good offensive linemen and have two good backs and a heck of a quarterback," said Kalil, in his fifth season out of the University of Southern California.

Along with Newton, left tackle Jordan Gross was also selected as an a first alternate.

The Pro Bowl will be played Jan. 29 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.

The Panthers have had at least one Pro Bowl selection in 15 of their 17 seasons.

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