Breaking Down the Redskins' Pro Bowl Candidates
The Redskins are back in the hunt for a division title after a huge victory over the New York Giants, and that means more people are going to notice a few breakout players on the 'Skins roster for a trip to the Pro Bowl.
Of course, the defense has been getting shredded all year, so it's up to the offense to offer up some guys to represent the Redskins. Even then, injuries and changing lineups have made it hard for guys to put together huge seasons and become Pro Bowl shoo-ins. If Pierre Garcon had played a full year, he might have found himself a spot, but we can only speculate at this point.
There's a few dark horse guys—like Ryan Kerrigan, Barry Cofield and London Fletcher—who could play big in the last stretch of games and find a spot, but because the defense has been so bad all year, I don't see them getting any love, especially with some good defenses in the NFC.
Other guys like Will Montgomery and Darrel Young also have a shot, but their road is a bit harder because they only take two centers and two fullbacks .
Here's the three guys I see making the NFC Pro Bowl team.
Robert Griffin III
Well this one was tough...
Unless you've been trapped in a cave for the past few months, Robert Griffin III is not only in the running for Offensive Rookie of the Year but is also a serious candidate for Most Valuable Player.
Griffin is a game-changer. He is the difference between a 6-6 Redskins team in the playoff hunt and a 3-9 team playing for pride.
In the NFC, Griffin will compete with Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and possibly Russell Wilson for three spots on the Pro Bowl roster. If you can think of a reason why RGIII shouldn't have one of those spots, I would love to hear it.
While Griffin is a bit behind the top quarterbacks in yardage with 2,660 yards, he's thrown 17 touchdowns while completing 67.1 percent of his passes. That's good for a 104.4 quarterback rating, just 0.6 behind league-leader Aaron Rodgers.
Griffin has also thrown only four picks on the year, tied with Tom Brady for the fewest by a quarterback starting every game this year. Only Brady has a higher touchdown-to-interception ratio out of the same group.
The scariest thing is that all of those numbers don't even include his impact as a runner. Griffin took the rookie quarterback rushing record previously held by Cam Newton away during the Giants game. He now has 714 rushing yards and six touchdowns at 6.8 yards per carry. Besides Colin Kaepernick, that's the highest average YPC in the league for any player with at least 25 rushing attempts, running backs included.
It's safe to say that unless Griffin has a complete meltdown or finds his way to the Super Bowl he'll be playing in the Pro Bowl. It's just a matter of where he sits on the depth chart.
Trent Williams has been truly dominant this year, even while playing hurt. Against New York, he was limping in pregame warmups and still helped fuel the offensive line for over 200 rushing yards and no sacks allowed against one of the best defensive fronts in the game.
That's how Williams has been all year. He's quiet, which is the best thing you can be as an offensive lineman. He doesn't often make mistakes, and he's a monster in the run game.
The Redskins have allowed 26 sacks on the year—good for 16th in the league—but very little of that is because of Williams.
If the Redskins make the playoffs, Williams should definitely be in the Pro Bowl. But even if they fall short, Williams will get a ton of consideration. The man is a beast.
This is an interesting battle to watch in the NFC. While Adrian Peterson is a shoo-in for a spot in the Pro Bowl, Alfred Morris, Doug Martin and Marshawn Lynch have all made a case for their own place on the roster.
Rookies Martin and Morris are deadlocked at 1,106 rushing yards and 92.2 yards per game. However, Martin has run for nine touchdowns to Morris' six. Meanwhile, Lynch has gone for 1,138 yards and six touchdowns at 94.8 yards per game. Morris (4.8), Martin (4.7) and Lynch (4.6) are all virtually identical in yards per carry.
So who wins? The good news is that the only other back who's even close in the NFC is Frank Gore with 972 yards and six touchdowns, but he's nothing to worry about. This will likely come down to who makes the playoffs, and then who ends up with a few more yards or touchdowns will determine the last back to go.
If we're talking pure numbers, I like Morris and Martin to make the Pro Bowl just based off of the offenses they play in. Morris has a pretty soft schedule running-wise with a depleted Baltimore team next week followed by Cleveland and Philadelphia. But Martin gets to go against Philadelphia, New Orleans, St. Louis and Atlanta. He has to be excited.
Lynch plays a more stout Arizona team and the 49ers, two games in which he should face a bit more trouble than the other two players. But Beast Mode could always come out and fuel Lynch to a big finish.
The fact is that this one is too close to call right now. Anyone could break a game open and push themselves to the front, much like Martin did against Oakland.