There is no way in the world that the Eagles only deserved to have 2 people selected to the Pro Bowl this year. This is one of the most talented teams they have had in a while, yet only two people get selected as some of the best at their position? I just don’t understand that. The Pro Bowl is becoming less and less of a relevant idea and an interest in the NFL and will continue to do so until it gains some merit in both the selections and game quality. There are at least five players that come to mind on the Eagles roster that I could make a strong case for to make it to the game. But will it even matter when the Eagles make the Super Bowl? Ha, just kidding…that’s a long shot.
So the main argument for Foles not making the cut was that he didn’t play a full season and therefore didn’t have a large enough sample size. But, Foles still played a significant amount in 11 of the 16 games this season and posted a 9-2 record. I have no doubts at all that Foles would be a top 5 QB this year if he started all 16 games with the way he’s played this year. He finished 1st in the league in both INTs (2) and passer rating (119.2), the passer rating being one of the highest in NFL history. He also had the best TD:INT ratio in the league (13.5), which I don’t think has ever been matched for any sample size in NFL history. Despite only playing in 11 games (not counting the 2 where he made short appearances), he still finished 8th in the league in passing TDs at 27. That’s more than Russell Wilson, Tom Brady, and Cam Newton, all three of whom made the Pro Bowl this season. What more could the league ask for?
Jackson clearly had his best year of his career, getting career highs in both receptions (82) and receiving yards (1332). He also tied his career high in TDs with 9, and it was his first season where he was fully healthy and played every single game since his rookie season in 2008. While I agree with most of the selections for WR this year, why the heck did Andre Johnson make it? Jackson had only 75 yards less than Johnson, and he had 4 more TDs. Jackson was also 2nd in the league in receptions of 20+ yards, meaning he’s more explosive. I think those numbers warrant a Pro Bowl selection, and the only reason Johnson made it is because of name value. Just another reason why the Pro Bowl is a worthless game.
I don’t know a ton about offensive lineman, and I know it’s hard to measure how individual players do, but there’s no denying that the Eagles have one of the best lines in the league. The Eagles finished 1st in the league in rushing yards with 2566, nearly 250 more than any other team in the league. There are many big names on the list for offensive guard, but do they really all deserve it? Both starting guards for the Saints (Jahri Evans and Ben Grubbs) as well as Ravens guard Marshal Yanda made the cut, even though both teams have pitiful run games this year. I may be missing something, but it doesn’t seem like those players really deserve it.
Ryans isn’t the #1 ILB in the league, but he definitely is good enough to make the Pro Bowl. When looking at the 4 ILBs to make it, they all have big name value. Of course, the one with the most name value, Patrick Willis, actually has the worst stats of them all. Ryans beats him in basically every category, including tackles (Ryans- 127, Willis- 104), sacks (Ryans- 4, Willis- 3), passes defensed (Ryans- 7, Willis- 1), and INTs (Ryans- 2, Willis-0). The only reason Willis made the team was because he is known as one of the best LBs in the league, but he had a bad season. Still, Ryans got snubbed because of his lack of name value.
Boykin isn’t even a starting CB for the Eagles and wasn’t on the Pro Bowl ballot. I can see why he wasn’t considering he’s not a starter, but he had an excellent season and was severely under the radar. He finished tied for second in the league in INTs with 6, a big indication of a cornerback’s skill. He’s also tied for 10th in the league in passes defensed, and 3rd among the CBs who were selected for the Pro Bowl. Now, these following rankings only take into account Boykin and the 8 CBs picked. Boykin had 2 forced fumbles, and only Darrelle Revis has the same amount (Aqib Talib has 1 and the rest have none). Boykin also has a pick 6 while four of these guys do not. Boykin may be towards the bottom in tackles with only 47, but that’s still more than Patrick Peterson and Talib. But, based on the two biggest stats for CBs (INTs and PDs), he is clearly one of the best in the league at his position.
Every year the Pro Bowl loses value because people drop out and the people that do play don’t try. And, if they continue to pick the wrong people from the start, where will the interest be? It’s all about highlighting the people who already have big names instead of recognizing those who actually deserve it, and that is why the game will never have merit again until it undergoes changes that actually make the game better, not ones that turn it into something that can’t even be called a football game anymore.