Every year the Pro Bowl team is announced, there are a number of players that probably shouldn’t be going to the “All Star” game, and plenty that deserved to go but will (or won’t) be watching from home.
This year when the team was announced, I went on a tweeting rampage (@PFF_NateJahnke) with my thoughts. We’ll stick with the Pro Bowl team in this week’s 32 Teams, 32 Observations, by giving you some information you might not know about the men selected to the Pro Bowl rosters. Some numbers support the picks, others say why that player might not be the best choice … and others might just be interesting to me.
Buffalo Bills: The Bills had no Pro Bowlers, and the biggest snub was safety Jairus Byrd. In the last three games, he has been in for 93 pass plays and just been thrown at four times. In that time, he has had an interception, a pass defensed, and no completions allowed.
Miami Dolphins: In his first three years in the league, left tackle Jake Long allowed a pressure on 1 in every 29 pass plays. In 2011, he allowed pressure on 1 in every 17 pass plays.
New England Patriots: Last year as part of a 3-4 defense, Andre Carter had a sack or hit on just 2.5% of pass plays. This year as a 4-3 defensive end, he has raised that to 6%.
New York Jets: Center Nick Mangold has ranked in the Top 3 centers in each of the past four years. Only Patrick Willis (ILB) has also remained that consistently elite.
Baltimore Ravens: In over half of his games, guard Marshal Yanda allowed no pressure. In another five games he allowed just one, and in the other two games he allowed two pressures. Some players have allowed more pressure in a single game than Yanda has in his 583 pass plays.
Cincinnati Bengals: Wide receiver A.J. Green has had 10 penalties called on him this year (5 declined). The second most by a wide receiver is nine.
Cleveland Browns: Joe Thomas has allowed just one hit or one sack or neither in each of the last 26 games.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Nine different centers in the AFC have a higher run block rating than Maurkice Pouncey’s +1.4.
Houston Texans: While there have been a number of games where cornerback Johnathan Joseph has allowed a few catches, he rarely allows yards after the catch. In 12 of his 15 games, he has limited opponents to 16 yards after the catch or less.
Indianapolis Colts: From 2008-2010, Dwight Freeney was able to bring pressure on 15% of his pass plays. In 2011, that number has decreased to 11.5%.
Jacksonville Jaguars: No one has been as consistent as Maurice Jones-Drew, who has had at least 84 rushing yards in all but one game this season. In just under half of his games, he has caused four or more players to miss tackles on him.
Tennessee Titans: The Titans had no Pro Bowlers, and cornerback Cortland Finnegan is one of a few men who could be considered snubbed. In eight games, he has allowed just two catches or less for 25 or fewer yards.
Denver Broncos: While defensive end Elvis Dumervil has a sack in each of his last eight games, he is bringing less overall pressure than in 2009. That year he had 55 pressures on 419 pass rushes. This year he has fewer pressures at 46, on a higher number of pass rushes at 462.
Kansas City Chiefs: While Tamba Hali hasn’t been the epic pass rusher he was last year, he only had a positive run defense rating in six of 17 games. This year he has doubled that to a positive rating in 12 games, with just three with a negative rating.
Oakland Raiders: Defensive tackle Richard Seymour’s 37 overall pressures is the second most from a defensive/nose tackle this year.
San Diego Chargers: Safety Eric Weddle has allowed just 41.7% of passes thrown his way to be caught, which is the second lowest amongst safeties who have been targeted 20 or more times. He also leads all safeties with seven interceptions.
Dallas Cowboys: Defensive tackle Jay Ratliff is the only defensive/nose tackle with a PFF rating above +8.0 in both pass rushing and run defense.
New York Giants: Over the last four games, defensive end Jason Pierre Paul has been able to either sack or hit the opposing quarterback on one in every 15 pass rushes.
Philadelphia Eagles: Left tackle Jason Peters has allowed just three sacks and one hit on 551 pass blocks, or a sack/hit on just 0.7% of pass plays.
Washington Redskins: The Redskins were without a Pro Bowler, with pass rusher Brian Orakpo as the biggest snub. He has been able to get four or more pressures in seven games this season.
Chicago Bears: Outside linebacker Lance Briggs is one of two outside linebackers, and one of six defensive players to have played every defensive snap for their team so far this year.
Detroit Lions: If Calvin Johnson gets a +1.4 receiving rating in Week 17 (which he has done in 11 of 15 games this season), he will have the best regular season receiving rating we have seen in our four years of rating players.
Green Bay Packers: Defensive tackle B.J. Raji has the lowest run defense rating for defensive tackles/nose tackles at -15.1.
Minnesota Vikings: Not only is Jared Allen leading all 4-3 defensive ends in sacks at 20, he is also leading in stops at 42.
Atlanta Falcons: Tight end Tony Gonzalez improved in all receiving areas this year. He had a higher catch rate (70.5 to 66.4), higher yards per catch (11.0 to 9.3), higher YAC per catch (3.1 to 2.8), touchdowns (7 to 6) and fewer drops (3 to 6).
Carolina Panthers: Wide receiver Steve Smith has 518 yards from deep passes, which is the fourth-most for wide receivers.
New Orleans Saints: Offensive Tackle Jermon Bushrod has a Pass Blocking Efficiency of 95.2%. Six NFC tackles have a higher rating, including teammate Zach Strief.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Guard Davin Joseph has a run block rating of -8.1. Only seven guards in the NFC have worse run block ratings.
Arizona Cardinals: Patrick Peterson was elected as the NFC’s kick returner, although he has yet to return a kick on the NFL. However his 638 punt return yards and four touchdowns both lead the league, and his 16 yards per return is highest for players with at least 30 returns.
St Louis Rams: The Rams were without a Pro Bowler, with Chris Long being their biggest snub. He has had at least five pressures in eight games this season, and has had as many as 11 in one game.
San Francisco 49ers: Punter Andy Lee has averaged 50.5 yards per punt which leads the league, yet also had 31 punts downed inside the 20 yard line which is one away from the leader.
Seattle Seahawks: Safety Earl Thomas has 31 stops on the year, which is good for second most in the NFC.