Pro Bowl snubs are an annual tradition as the NFL’s Pro Bowl voters often lean on the reputations of established players and overlook the stellar performances of unheralded players or those on losing teams.
This year’s Pro Bowl snubs include a player punished for using performance-enhancing drugs and another who was passed over for his brother, who plays the same position.
One player many were surprised to see off the Pro Bowl roster was Richard Sherman, a cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks. Seen by many as the best cornerback in the league, the only explanation some could come up with for his Pro Bowl snub was blowback from a suspension.
“OK, now I know what you’re thinking: Swell, but didn’t this guy get nailed for a four-game suspension for using PEDs? The answer is: Yes … maybe. Sherman appealed the decisions and expects a verdict this week. In the meantime, he must be presumed to be innocent, and I’m sorry, but that’s just the way it goes.
“So, in the meantime, we’ve also had a Pro Bowl ballot to complete, and all I know is that he’d be at the top of my list of cornerbacks. He hasn’t missed a game, is the definition of a shutdown corner in a game where there are virtually none and, oh, by the way, produced an end-zone interception and returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown in last week’s demolition of San Francisco.”
Another snub was Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey, who has had an excellent season that’s propelled rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill and led Reggie Bush to his second-consecutive 1,000-yard season. ESPN AFC East blogger James Walker thinks Pro Bowl voters may have gotten a bit confused with balloting, giving the nod instead to his twin brother, Maurkice Pouncey, who is having a good, but not as great, season as his brother.
Dez Bryant is another Pro Bowl snub, passed over for Julio Jones who has fewer catches, fewer yards, and fewer touchdowns.
Some Pro Bowl snubs are not entirely the fault of the players. C.J. Spiller is enjoying a career-best season in Buffalo but could be having a historic season if the Bills only could find a way to get him the ball. Though Spiller is averaging 6.48 yards per carry — the best through 15 games of an NFL season since 1960 — he hasn’t gotten the ball often enough and was passed over for Jamaal Charles of Kansas City for the final spot.