After last night’s announcement of the Pro Bowl roster, our RSNFL team analyse just why those selected were done so by their peers and fans alike. First up, the offense.
• Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers:
Cam Newton has led the Panthers to a 14-0 record and has been nearly unstoppable. So far he has thrown for 3402 yards, 33 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions. He’s added 580 yards on the ground and another 7 touchdowns. He’s a front runner for the MVP so he had to make the Pro Bowl. This is his 3rd Pro Bowl.
• Tom Brady, New England Patriots:
Tom Brady has enjoyed yet another stellar campaign and is Newton’s main rival for the MVP award. He has passed for 4405 yards and 35 touchdowns to just 6 interceptions. He has led his Pats to yet another first round bye despite having some key players missing at various times of the season. This is his 11th Pro Bowl.
• Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals:
Palmer has had an excellent year and is deservedly heading to the Pro Bowl. He has enjoyed being fully healthy all year and as thrown for 4277 yads with 32 touchdowns and just 9 picks. He has the Cardinals at 12-2 and has won the NFC West with 2 games left. This is his 3rd Pro Bowl.
• Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks:
Wilson and the Seahawks had a rough start to the year but they have turned it around in spectacular fashion. Wilson, after an historic run, has 3538 yards and 29 touchdowns through the air, with an additional 502 yards and a touchdown on the ground. This is his 3rd Pro Bowl in 4 years.
• Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers:
Roethlisberger hasn’t even played every Steelers game this year, but he still finds himself in the Pro Bowl. In just 10 games he has 3369 yards and 18 touchdowns, he does have 12 interceptions but the Steelers’ offense has been explosive enough to make up for that. This is his 4th Pro Bowl.
• Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers:
Rodgers has just about overcome some significant adversity this season to carry the Packers to a 10-4 record and 1st place in the NFC North. He has 3379 and 29 touchdowns to just 6 interceptions. This is his 5th Pro Bowl.
• Jonathan Stewart, Carolina Panthers:
Jonathan Stewart is making his first Pro Bowl on the back of being the workhorse back for the undefeated Carolina Panthers. He has run for 989 yards and 6 touchdowns at 4.1 yards per carry and has added 99 yards and a touchdown receiving.
• Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings:
Adrian Peterson is back after missing all of last year with disciplinary issues, and he has come back with a vengeance. He leads the league with 1314 yards and has added 9 touchdowns. He also has 206 yards receiving. This is his 7th Pro Bowl.
• LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills:
Following his shock trade from the Eagles to the Bills, McCoy was looking to stick it to the Eagles. He hasn’t exactly done that. Though he hasn’t had a bad season, running for 895 yards and 3 touchdowns in 12 games, he hasn’t reached the level Bills fans will have expected. This is his 4th Pro Bowl.
• Todd Gurley, St. Louis Rams:
Todd Gurley missed the first 2 games of the season but has burst onto the scene. He has run for 1023 yards, at 4.9 yards per carry, and has 9 touchdowns. It’s only his rookie year and he is already the focal point of his team. He has deserved to make his first Pro Bowl.
• Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons:
Freeman was a huge part of the Falcons early success and his production has gone down as the teams has. However, he still boasts impressive numbers. He has 907 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns and another 543 yards – on 68 receptions – and 2 touchdowns receiving. This is his 1st Pro Bowl.
• Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
Doug Martin had a surprisingly good rookie season but had a disappointing 2 year stretch. This year though he is a legitimate comeback player of the year candidate. He has 1305 yards at 5.1 yards per carry and 5 touchdowns. He’s been a huge part of the Buccaneers success and has thus made his 2nd Pro Bowl.
• Mike Tolbert, Carolina Panthers:
Tolbert is another cog in the Panthers undefeated season and has had a productive season, at least as far as fullbacks are concerned. He has 185 yards and 1 touchdown on the ground and 132 yards and 3 touchdowns receiving. This is his 2nd Pro Bowl.
• Marcel Reece, Oakland Raiders:
Reece has been one of the better fullbacks in the league for several years and that seems to have carried him to this Pro Bowl. He hasn’t been bad and fullbacks always have a hard time amassing stats but he seems to be being phased out by Jamize Olawale. This is Reece’s 4th Pro Bowl in as many years.
• Brandon Marshall, New York Jets:
Following an offseason trade from the Bears, Marshall has stepped into the number 1 receiver role for the Jets and has had an excellent year. He has 93 receptions for 1261 yards and 11 touchdowns. He’s also elevated the success of Eric Decker. This is his 6th Pro Bowl.
• Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons:
Jones started the season like a man possessed and, much like Freeman, his production has slowed. Nevertheless, he is definitely one of the best receivers in the game and he has produced like it, he has 118 catches for 1544 yards and 7 touchdowns. This is his 3rd Pro Bowl.
• Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions:
Calvin Johnson may be benefitting from his pedigree, like Marcel Reece. He has 72 catches for 1000 yards and 7 touchdowns, which after 14 games isn’t bad by any means, but it isn’t a his level or at a Pro Bowl level in my opinion. This is his 6th Pro Bowl.
• DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans:
Hopkins has taken over this Texans team to the point that Andre Johnson has been forgotten. He has 97 catches for 1315 yards and 10 touchdowns. He’s added plenty of highlight reel plays too. This is his 1st Pro Bowl.
• A.J. Green, Cincinnati Bengals:
A.J. Green is difficult to judge. At times he has been the almost unstoppable receiver that we know and love but at other times he has completely disappeared. He’s played like a Pro Bowler this year but doesn’t have the consistency as some of the others. He has 77 catches for 1206 yards and 8 touchdowns. This is his 5th Pro Bowl.
• Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinals:
Fitz has been a huge player for the Cardinals. He has 99 catches for 1131 yards and 7 touchdowns. That alone is reason enough to make the Pro Bowl but his leadership and versatility have been key for the Cardinals. This is his 9th Pro Bowl.
• Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers:
Antonio Brown is arguably the best receiver in the game. He is such a match-up nightmare and his stats reflect that. He has 116 catches for 1586 yards and 9 touchdowns. His punt return ability certainy adds to his résumé. This is his 4th Pro Bowl.
• Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants:
Odell Beckham Jr. has continued his record breaking pace from last season into this season. Unfortunately, his antics against the Panthers will prevent him from playing a full season, but through 14 games he has 91 catches for 1396 yards and 13 touchdowns. This is his 2nd Pro Bowl.
• Greg Olsen, Carolina Panthers:
Yet another member of the 14-0 Panthers on offense is in the Pro Bowl and this one is very well deserved. He has 71 catches for 1048 yards and 7 touchdowns. He is also a big part of the run game and is almost always overlooked. This is his 2nd Pro Bowl.
• Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs:
Kelce is one of the ascending talents in the league. He started this season very well and has amassed 65 catches for 822 yards and 4 touchdowns. Talent wise, he is at the top of the position, but he hasn’t necessarily been 1 of the top 4 tight ends this year. This is his 1st Pro Bowl.
• Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots:
Gronkowski is the best tight end in the NFL and that doesn’t seem like changing any time soon. This year he has 66 catches for 1072 yards and 11 touchdowns. Not only is he one of the biggest match-up nightmares, he is the most important non-QB to a team in the NFL. This is his 4th Pro Bowl.
• Tyler Eifert, Cincinnati Bengals:
Eifert has finally had his breakout season and it has been quite spectacular. He has been one of the best red zone targets in the NFL racking up 12 touchdowns on 48 receptions. His yardage (564) and receptions may not be as impressive, but that may lend itself to the Bengals wealth of talent, there aren’t enough targets to go around. This is his 1st Pro Bowl.
• Trent Williams, Washington Redskins:
Williams continues to be the anchor of the Redskins offense. He also continues to be one of the best offensive tackles in the NFL. This is his 4th Pro Bowl.
• Andrew Whitworth, Cincinnati Bengals:
The Bengals have had one of the Bengals best offensive lines in the NFL for a while and ‘Big Whit’ is a huge reason for that. Surprisingly, this is only his 2nd Pro Bowl.
• Joe Thomas, Cleveland Browns:
Joe Thomas has been one of the only good things for the Browns ever since he entered the league and has been the model of consistency. And that is reflected by him making his 9th straight Pro Bowl.
• Joe Staley, San Francisco 49ers:
Much like Thomas for the Browns, Staley has been a rock for the 49ers for years. That has continued this year in what has been a rough year for the ‘9ers. This is his 5th consecutive Pro Bowl.
• Tyron Smith, Dallas Cowboys:
Tyron Smith continues to the standout on an excellent offensive line. He is exactly wat you would get if you built your perfect left tackle. This is his 3rd straight Pro Bowl.
• Jason Peters, Philadelphia Eagles:
The Eagles offensive line has been one of their biggest problems this year but Peters has been the bright spot. This is his 8th Pro Bowl.
• Marshal Yanda, Baltimore Ravens:
The Ravens have had virtually nothing to cheer about this year, but at least the play of Marshal Yanda gives the Ravens something to be happy about. This is his 5th Pro Bowl.
• Trai Turner, Carolina Panthers:
Yet another Panther in the Pro Bowl and another that I can’t argue about. Turner is part of an underrated offensive line that has paved the way for two other Pro Bowlers. This is Turner’s 1st Pro Bowl.
• Josh Sitton, Green Bay Packers:
Sitton is certainly among the top guards in football for his role in keeping Aaron Rodgers on his feet and he’s been steadily rising up the ranks of linemen. This is his 3rd Pro Bowl and his 2nd in a row.
• Zach Martin, Dallas Cowboys:
Martin has been in the league for 2 years and he has 2 Pro Bowl appearances to go with that. He’s a huge cog in the Cowboy’s great o-line and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the Pro Bowl for years and years to come.
• Mike Iupati, Arizona Cardinals:
Iupati was one of the biggest free agency signings of the summer and his worth is demonstrated by this election to the Pro Bowl. He is a huge part of the Cardinal revamped ground game and has earned this spot. This is his 4th Pro Bowl in as many years.
• David DeCastro, Pittsburgh Steelers:
DeCastro would certainly have something to say about anyone who declares Yanda the best guard in the NFL, let alone the AFC North. DeCastro is one of the Steelers most important players, and he plays like it. This is his 1st Pro Bowl.
• Mike Pouncey, Miami Dolphins:
Like many of these other lineman, Pouncey has been one of the only consistently good things for his team. The Dolphins offensive lineman has been up and down for a while but Pouncey has been a constant. This is his 3rd Pro Bowl.
• Alex Mack, Cleveland Browns:
Along with Thomas, Mack has been one of the only things Browns fans can rely on. This hasn’t been his best year but he is still undoubtedly one of the best centers in the league. This is his 3rd Pro Bowl.
• Ryan Kalil, Carolina Panthers:
Guess what, another Panther. This time one of the more recognised members of the o-line but arguably the most important one for this team. Kalil is a rock for this team and this is his 5th Pro Bowl.
• Travis Frederick, Dallas Cowboys:
Frederick is another young member of this Cowboys o-line that is already regarded as one of the best at his position. He has been huge for the lowly Cowboys this season. This is his 2nd Pro Bowl.
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