15 NFL Pro Bowl Snubs
The NFL Pro Bowl is the all-star game for football, but not all of the stars of the NFL are chosen to play in this coveted game. Players travel to Honolulu, Hawaii to play in a friendly game of football. This year things were a little different. Instead the AFC versus the NFC, two team captains picked their teams from a pool of players that fans, coaches and the players themselves deemed worthy. Amongst this new rule some deserving players were lost in the shuffle. Many players were picked only because their names are more well known not because of their performance during the season. Here is a list of some player that got robbed of a chance to be acknowledged as some of the best players in the NFL.
DeAndre Levy, Linebacker, Detroit Lions
The Detroit Lions linebacker DeAndre Levy had an incredible year, but was still not picked to play in this years NFL Pro Bowl. Many people recognize Ndamukong Suh as the leader of the Lion’s defense, but DeAndre Levy is the heart and soul of the Lions’ defense. He’s proven to be one of the smartest players in the league, seemingly knowing what play the opposing offense will run before they do it. He is a versatile defensive player that can cover tight ends and is relentless at pursuing runners. This is Levy’s sixth season with the Lion’s.
Antoine Bethea, Safety, San Fransisco 49ers
Previously a safstey for the Indianapolis Colts, Antonia Bethea was traded to the San Fransisco 49ers at the end of the 2013 season after eight years with the Colts. His first season with the 49ers was great despite the teams overall performance. He’s been one of the five best defensive backs at either position this season, making big plays week after week. This year Bethea was responsible for 86 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble, and 4 interceptions. Bethea was a far better choice than Seattle’s Kam Chancellor, who was ineffective for much of the season.
Fletcher Cox, Defensive End, Philadelphia Eagles
Fletcher Cox was named one of the best ten best defensive players of the year by Chris Wesseling. The only player to outplay Cox in the second half of the season was J.J. Watt Fletcher has a knack for shedding blocks and disrupting plays in the backfield. Cox has helped the Philadelphia Eagles this year with 61 tackles, 4 sacks, and 1 forced fumble. Picking a defensive end for the pro bowl can be difficult considering all the top candidates that can be considered but Fletcher Cox should have been higher on the list.
Odell Beckham, Wide Receiver, New York Giants
Odell Beckham has become a house hold name for sports fans. After his spectacular catch during a game against the Dallas Cowboys. He has made a major impact on the Giants offense as a rookie. No one has had a bigger impact as a rookie wide receiver since Randy Moss. Beckham missed a few game which was held against him in the race for the Pro Bowl, but but Calvin Johnson and A.J. Green made the team with a few absences themselves. Beckham has been more productive averaging far more than Green and Johnson per game. His year stats are as followed: 91 receptions, 1,305 yards, 14.3 avg. yard, and 12 touchdowns.
Golden Tate, Wide Receivers, Detroit Lions
Golden Tate has been more productive overall than his more known teammate Calvin Johnson. Few receivers were more valuable in the first half of the season. Tate won multiple games on his own. This being Tate’s first season in Detroit, the Lion’s would not have been contenders for the NFC North title without Tate. Golden Tate has had 99 receptions, 1,331 yards, 13.4 avg. yards per catch, and 4 touchdowns. He should have definitely been picked over A.J. Green.
Dont’a Hightower, Linebacker, New England Patriots
When the Patriots have needed a big play this season, Dont’a Hightower has delivered. He’s listed at outside linebacker, but he has been playing inside and out all season. Dont’a Hightower racked up eight sacks while being a dominant defensive player shutting down running offenses and playing well in coverage. With 89 tackles and 1 forced fumble to add on to his sacks, Tamba Hali should have been replaced by Hightower.
Matt Forte, Running Back, Chicago Bears
Poor Matt Forte. He is one of the best running backs in the league but never got the chance to show it. He plays for the Chicago Bears, a team that refuses to run the ball. He plays for a quarterback that is terrible at reading a defense and checking out of run plays when he is facing a bad defensive look. Forte is still third among all players in yards from scrimmage. This is due to his 266 caries that led to his 1,038 yards. His receiving yards are high than average for a running back, standing at 785 yards from 94 catches.
Mychal Kendricks, Outside Linebacker, Philadelphia Eagles
The chosen linebackers for the pro bowl were Clay Matthews, Tamba Hali and and Elvis Dumervil. We’ve already mentioned that Tamba Hali should be relaced by Dont’a Hightower, but what about the other two. The outside linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles, Kendricks has been all over the field. He has a total of 83 tackles, 4 sacks, and 3 forced fumbles, outshine most of the linebackers in the league.
Thomas Davis, Outside Linebacker, Carolina Panthers
Thomas Davis is another linebacker that should have been on the Pro Bowl roster. He is a sentimental pick after two outstanding seasons coming off three ACL surgeries. Any one who comes back from that type of injury and perform at their peak deserves a spot on the Pro Bowl field. He has 100 tackles, 2.5 sacks and 2 forced fumbles this season. What is the reason why he didn’t get picked?
Eddie Lacy, Running Back, Green Bay Packers
In the 2013 season, Packers tailback Eddie Lacy ran for nearly 1,200 yards and 11 touchdowns, earning All-Pro and a trip to the Pro Bowl as a rookie in the process. Lacy has played even better this season, helping the Packers get a playoff spot. This year his stats weren’t as good as the previous year but his contributions should not go unnoticed. This time, however, he did not earn a trip to the Pro Bowl and many sports analysis agree that this was one of the biggest Pro Bowl snubs this year.
Antonio Gates, Tight End, San Diego Chargers
Antonio Gates has been counted out by many sports columnists multiple times over the past few seasons, but he keeps coming back with consistently great production. This season was his best in at least four years. He has had plenty of clutch catches for the San Diego Chargers. Gates caught 65 passes for 754 yards and 12 touchdowns. Those look like stats for a pro bowl candidate.
Antonio Cromartie, Corner Back, Arizona Cardinals
When it comes to corner backs in the NFL there are a lot of names that are worthy to be pro bowl picks. Antonio Cromartie has to be one of the most talked about corner in the league. His performance this season has led the Arizona Cardinals to be one of the better teams in the league this year. He has 48 tackles and 3 interceptions under his belt so far. Unfortunately, Antonio’s teammate Patrick Peterson beat him to the Pro Bowl even though his season was not as good.
Russell Wilson, Quarterback, Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks just won their Week 17 game against the St. Luis Rams to seal up the top seed in the NFC for the second time. They have a record of 12-4, and Russel Wilson has put up some of the best stats of all the quarter backs in the league. He has a QB rating of 95, and 20 touchdown passes foe 3, 475 yards to show why. Yet somehow the superstar quarterback Russell Wilson was not honored as a Pro Bowler. There are many quarterbacks that had the right to make it to the Pro Bowl but none of them can do what Wilson can.
Sheldon Richardson, DE, New York Jets
Sheldon Richardson’s Pro Bowl candidacy was over shadowed by his teams overall performance. The Jets were horrible this season. Sheldon Richardson, individually had a good season. The second year defensive end is one of three defensive lineman in the Jets 3-4 package. Richardson still managed to rack up 66 tackles, 8 sacks and a forced fumble. He doubled his sack total from last year showing that he can stop the run.
Aaron Rodgers, Quarter Back, Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers is arguably the best quarterback in the NFL. He is a true football player suffering from injuries and bouncing back to lead his team. Rodgers had big shoes to fill when Farve left and he has been able to get the job done. His QB rating in 112.2, he has 38 touchdown passes and 4,381 yards throwing. Aaron Rodgers led the Packers to a playoff birth and has yet to throw an interception at home. Aaron Rodger should have been a no-brainer for the Pro Bowl roster.