Sebastian Janikowski won the fan voting portion of the Pro Bowl voting, but lost out to Phil Dawson of the Cleveland Browns once players and coaches weighed in. Dawson was 28 for 29 on the season with his only miss being blocked, while Janikowski was 31 of 34 with his only misses coming from 51 yards or longer.
Dawson’s longest field goal was 53 yards to Janikowski’s 57 yards. While Dawson was a deserving candidate, there’s no way he clearly belonged ahead of the man affectionately known as Seabass to the Raider Nation.
Janikowski made his first Pro Bowl in 2011, his 12th professional season, and deserved to go again in 2012. Perhaps no kicker in the league has Janikowski’s combination of accuracy and range. It didn’t just happen for Janikowski overnight either, but he’s become automatic from inside 50 yards over the past few years.
Fans, opponents and the media all expect Janikowski to make anything inside 60 yards, and he’s made field goals of 55 and 57 yards this season. Dawson made the same number of kicks from 50 yards or more as Janikowski (six) even though the longest was just 53 yards.
Dawson wouldn’t have made it this far without being a good kicker and he is a deserving candidate, but he didn’t do enough to unseat Janikowski in what is usually a reputation-driven selection process.
No other Raiders made the Pro Bowl, which isn’t surprising. Fullback Marcel Reece is an alternate and would go if the Ravens make the Super Bowl or Vonta Leach is unable to play. Janikowski would also go if for some reason Dawson couldn’t make it, but that seems like a remote possibility at this point.
For a team with only four wins and having a terrible season, the accolades are going to be few and far between—unless you are the Chiefs, who somehow had five players selected to go to the Pro Bowl.