Russell Wilson, Drew Brees among 2015 Pro Bowl snubs
There were plenty of deserving players left off this year’s initial Pro Bowl roster.
Now that the Pro Bowl rosters have been announced, it’s time for our favorite debate of the NFL season — who was snubbed by the voters? We know it is really hard for the fans, writers and coaches to agree on the best players in the league, so it should be no surprise that several deserving players were not invited to this season’s all-star party.
Last year the NFL made a change to the Pro Bowl format to spur fan interest and create more buzz. Instead of the familiar AFC vs NFC format, the players voted to the game are assigned to teams by “captains” via a fantasy draft. There are 88 players that participate in the Pro Bowl, though not all of them are drafted. Four are chosen as offensive and defensive captains, two are picked by coaches to fill special needs, and others are assigned to teams in order to fill out the rosters after the initial draft selections. This year’s Pro Bowl will take place on Sunday, January 25, 2015 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., one week before the Super Bowl is to be held there.
By taking conference affiliation out of the selection process, the format change has led to fairer results and has reduced the number of egregious mistakes made by the voters. But there were still a bunch of choices on this year’s list of honorees that are hard to figure out. Here’s a look at the most glaring snubs from the 2015 Pro Bowl roster:
The Seahawks just need a win in Week 17 to seal up the top seed in the NFC for the second time in as many years. Yet somehow their superstar quarterback Russell Wilson was not honored as a Pro Bowler. Granted, there isn’t a signal caller selected that wasn’t deserving in their own right, but few players at the position challenge a defense in as many ways as Wilson.
In 2013, Packers tailback Eddie Lacy ran for nearly 1,200 yards and 11 touchdowns, earning All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors in the process. Lacy has played even better this season, averaging over a half yard more per attempt and exceeding his touchdown total. This time, however, he did not earn a trip to the Pro Bowl. While Lacy isn’t as big of a name, it’s hard to argue LeSean McCoy had a better 2014 season.
Baltimore’s run game could have imploded after Ray Rice was sidelined with his suspension for domestic violence. Yet after several weeks of tinkering, the offensive coaching staff settled on journeyman Justin Forsett as the team’s lead back. He responded with a career year — 1,147 yards rushing and eight touchdowns.
Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants
Sports columnists wrote Antonio Gates’ obituary multiple times over the past few seasons, but he keeps coming back with consistently great production. 2014 was his best season in at least four years as the future Hall of Famer caught 65 balls for 754 yards and 12 touchdowns with a game left to play.
It’s hard to garner Pro Bowl consideration when you’re part of a terrible team, but Sheldon Richardson had a monster year for a 3-4 defensive end. The reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year doubled his sack total from a year ago while improving as a run stuffer.
Despite suffering multiple serious knee injuries, Thomas Davis remains a dynamic linebacker. He matched his career high for forced fumbles while coming in second on the Panthers in tackles.