NFL Pro Bowl Selections 2013: 5 Pro Bowlers Who Don't Deserve Trip to Hawaii
These following five players highlight the fact that selecting players for the NFL's Pro Bowl is an inexact science.
Every year, there are some questionable additions to the roster and some glaring snubs. Players can slide into this honor based on reputation, exposure received playing for a high-profile team or any other number of reasons.
Here are five guys that, provided some of the aforementioned advantages, will unjustly make the trip to Hawaii.
*Check out the full rosters here.
Matt Schaub, QB, Texans
Matt Schaub has helped lead the Texans to an impressive 12-3 record, while throwing for 3,733 yards, 22 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
This is a solid stat line, but it's not Pro Bowl-worthy.
His quarterback rating of 92.4 is ranked 11th in the NFL and his 22 touchdowns are tied for 13th. Granted, quarterbacks cannot be judged on stats alone and the overall success of their teams has to be taken into account.
However, taking the team factor into account works against Schaub as well. The Texans are a run-first offense and they have a quality offensive line of run- and pass-blockers. This makes Schaub's job easier.
Schaub has had a solid season, but not the kind of astonishing season you would like to see from a Pro Bowler, and he has not made the overall impact that rookie Andrew Luck has, who should have earned a spot in Hawaii in his own right.
Jeff Saturday, C, Packers
Fans thought enough of Jeff Saturday's performance to vote him as a Pro Bowl starter. The Packers thought enough of his performance to bench him. As NFL.com's Kareem Copeland points out, Saturday was benched this past week in favor of Evan Dietrich-Smith.
Clearly, Saturday got this nod based on a hard-earned reputation along with the fact that many votes were placed before his demotion. Saturday has started 202 games in his career and made five Pro Bowls already. He has had a great career, but the best days are behind this 37-year-old.
Jason Pierre-Paul, DE, Giants
Jason Pierre-Paul has just 6.5 sacks so far this season. That is 10 fewer than his breakout season a year ago and tied for 37th in the NFL.
Now, JPP has been playing far better than his sack numbers suggest—he has been drawing a ton of attention and still finding a way to make plays. However, he did not deserve this honor.
JPP has been inconsistent this year and struggled as the Giants fell apart down the home stretch. He has not picked up a sack since Week 10.
Seattle's Chris Clemons was a far more deserving candidate.
LaRon Landry, S, Jets
LaRon Landry is a decent safety, but he is nowhere close to the playing level of a Pro Bowler.
He is strong in the run game and tallied 85 tackles and four forced fumbles. The 85 tackles ranks him fourth at his position. These numbers would warrant consideration if he were strong in coverage, but that is where he fails with just seven passes defensed this year.
Landry also has just two interceptions this season, ranked 19th at his position. This isn't the result of quarterbacks looking (and throwing) the other way; Landry can be beaten deep while he is looking to make plays in the running game, and opposing teams will eagerly attack him deep.
The Chargers' Eric Weddle, who recorded more interceptions and passes defensed this year, should have had this spot.
Frank Gore, RB, 49ers
Frank Gore has rushed for 1,146 rushing yards and seven touchdowns while his 49ers sit atop the NFC West. I understand the logic in this selection, but that doesn't mean he deserves it.
Gore is fifth in his conference in rushing yards and ninth in rushing touchdowns in the NFC. While his 4.8 yards per attempt is solid, it is not enough to give him the nod here.
Gore has added another 213 yards and a touchdown receiving, but this shouldn't have pushed him to Hawaii over the likes of Redskins rookie Alfred Morris, who has more rushing yards, touchdowns and is only averaging 0.1 yards per carry less.