While the game might be one of the least-watched of the year, and we might seriously disagree on how the players are selected, it is still an honor for the players, and it’s even more-so an honor for those who are going to the Pro Bowl for the first time.
Here are 32 players that we think could end up making their first Pro Bowl, as well as an interesting statistical bit about them.
Buffalo Bills: Although he wouldn’t be able to play in the game, Fred Jackson did enough in 10 games at running back to warrant consideration. He dominated our Elusive Rating at 80.7.
Miami Dolphins: Tight end Anthony Fasano is averaging 15.8 yards per catch, which is the most in the AFC for tight ends with at least 15 targets.
New England Patriots: Tight end Rob Gronkowski is dominating the AFC tight ends in Yards Per Pass Route Run at 2.45. The next highest is 1.86.
New York Jets: Sione Pouha leads all nose tackles in stops, with 30.
Baltimore Ravens: Right guard Marshal Yanda leads all guards in Pass Blocking Efficiency at 98.9.
Cincinnati Bengals: Typically pass rushers have an advantage in making the Pro Bowl, so defensive tackle Geno Atkins should be a lock. His eight sacks leads all defensive tackles, as well as his 11 hits.
Cleveland Browns: Cornerback Joe Haden has the most passes defended in the league with 14.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Wide Receiver Antonio Brown has 2.87 Yards Per Pass Route Run; second-most for AFC receivers. If he doesn’t make it at wide receiver, he could at returner, where his +8.4 rating leads the league.
Houston Texans: Chris Myers has the highest run block rating of a center we’ve seen not named Nick Mangold over the past four years. He is currently at +25.2, which is significantly higher than second place (Mangold) who is at +14.3.
Indianapolis Colts: Outside linebacker Philip Wheeler has had at least three stops in eight of his thirteen games.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Outside linebacker Daryl Smith leads all AFC 4-3 outside linebackers in stops with 51.
Tennessee Titans: Offensive tackle David Stewart has a Pass Block Productivity of 97.1, which is tied for the second-best amongst tackles.
Denver Broncos: A player deserving his first of possibly many Pro Bowls is outside linebacker Von Miller. His 31 combined hits and sacks is more than any player at any position.
Kansas City Chiefs: Inside linebacker Derrick Johnson leads the league in stops at 59 regardless of position.
Oakland Raiders: It’s a crime that Kamerion Wimbley has yet to make a Pro Bowl. His 57 overall pressures is third-highest in the AFC regardless of position.
San Diego Chargers: Out of all of the running backs currently starting the AFC, Ryan Matthews has the highest elusive rating at 47.2.
Dallas Cowboys: Rookie offensive tackle Tyson Smith is tied for the lead in Pass Blocking Efficiency for NFC tackles at 96.7%.
New York Giants: Of all 4-3 defensive ends the NFC, Jason Pierre-Paul is the only one dominating the run and the pass. His 32 stops is second in the conference, and his 21 combined hits/sacks is fourth.
Philadelphia Eagles: Guard Evan Mathis has a run block rating of +14.9–which is by far the highest in the league–and has yet to allow a sack.
Washington Redskins: Offensive tackle Trent Williams has been excellent in pass protection from Week 4 on. He’s averaged just one pressure allowed over that time, and never more than two pressures in a game.
Chicago Bears: Running back Matt Forte leads the league in Breakaway Percentage at 47.2%, and is unlikely to lose that lead by the time the season ends.
Detroit Lions: Stephen Tulloch is the only is the only middle/inside linebacker with a PFF run rating above +10.0, and a coverage rating above +7.0.
Green Bay Packers: Wide Receiver Jordy Nelson currently leads Yards Per Pass Route Run at 3.14.
Minnesota Vikings: Center John Sullivan has a run block rating of +13.0, which is more than three times higher any center in the NFC.
Atlanta Falcons: Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon leads all 4-3 outside linebackers in both stops (56) and passes defended (7).
Carolina Panthers: Maybe I’m still bitter about his snub last year, but defensive end Charles Johnson is the only 4-3 defensive end with a pass rush rating above +10.0, a run defense rating above +5.0, and a coverage rating above +2.0.
New Orleans Saints: Tight end Jimmy Graham has 1101 receiving yards. Only four wide receivers have more.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Defensive end Michael Bennett has a run defense rating of +15.4, which is the highest of all ends in the NFC.
Arizona Cardinals: Inside linebacker Daryl Washington is a true triple threat. He is the only inside/middle linebacker with a +4.0 rating or higher in run defense, pass rush, and coverage.
St Louis Rams: Defensive end Chris Long has 70 overall pressures, which is the most in the league at any position.
San Francisco 49ers: After a slow start, safety Donte Whitner has climbed the way to the top of our safety ratings in terms of run defense. He has at least one stop in every game since Week 3.
Seattle Seahawks: Although he has only started for half of the season, cornerback Richard Sherman has yet to allow more than 60 yards in a game as a starter, even though he’s been thrown at five times or more in each game.