The 2012 season has been completely disastrous for the Philadelphia Eagles and their fans, and with four games remaining, it's become evident that the Eagles are in a rebuilding stage for the future.
Head coach Andy Reid is likely to be fired following the season, his 14th in Philadelphia without a championship, and veteran quarterback Michael Vick has been benched for rookie third-round draft pick Nick Foles for the remainder of the year.
There have been very few highlights for the Eagles in 2012, other than a trifecta of close victories in the season's first month and the recent dominance by rookie running back Bryce Brown.
However, a number of players have stood out for their stellar play this season: left guard Evan Mathis, middle linebacker DeMeco Ryans and kicker Alex Henery.
Mathis has been rated as the best offensive lineman in the entire National Football League, according to Pro Football Focus. He hasn't allowed a sack this season (or any of the previous four years) and has surrendered just 10 hurries. His run blocking has been tremendous, especially recently, and he is a big reason why the Eagles have been such a solid running team over the past few games.
Mathis is 31 years old and he's not a big name, which is usually a big indicator of offensive linemen making the Pro Bowl. But he's earned some recognition this season for being the lone survivor on the team's offensive line, as Jason Peters, Jason Kelce and Todd Herremans have been injured, Danny Watkins has been benched, and left tackle has been a revolving door between veterans Demetress Bell and King Dunlap.
At middle linebacker, Ryans has been the only member of the defense to live up to expectations this season. He's collected 80 solo tackles while missing just four. He's struggled in pass coverage but he has been exceptional in run defense. Ryans, a Pro Bowl selection in 2007 and 2009, has proven that he is fully healed from his Achilles injury in 2010.
However, Patrick Willis and Daryl Washington have turned in exceptional seasons, and Sean Lee was a tremendous player before he suffered a season-ending injury. Only two inside linebackers make the Pro Bowl per conference each season, meaning Ryans may be the first alternate this season.
At kicker, Alex Henery has been arguably the best in the league. He's connected on 19-of-20 field goals, including 11-of-12 from above 40 yards. He has a current streak of 21 consecutive field goals made, the longest streak in franchise history.
However, the leading vote-getter among NFC kickers is San Francisco 49ers veteran David Akers, who has missed nine field goals in 12 games and is playing so poorly that the 49ers have brought in other kickers for tryouts.
Realistically, expect one of the three to make it to the Pro Bowl, and expect one to be added when other players drop out or if a Pro Bowl-stacked team reaches the Super Bowl (example: San Francisco reaches the Super Bowl, meaning Henery could replace Akers at kicker).
But the Eagles' season has been so awful that their players just aren't going to gain recognition for the Pro Bowl without winning some games.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!