Not one single member of the Carolina Panthers was selected to the 2013 NFC Pro Bowl Wednesday. The Panthers are 6-9, can that really be that big of a mystery?
Well, yeah, there were definitely two deserving players who were overlooked; defensive ends Charles Johnson and Greg Hardy.
Jason Pierre-Paul of the New York Giants and Julius Peppers of the Chicago Bears were selected as the starters with Jared Allen of the Minnesota Vikings as the reserve. While it’s safe to say that both Hardy and Johnson shouldn’t make the Pro Bowl, both have better 2012 resumes than Pierre-Paul.
Pierre-Paul is tied for the lead among all NFC defensive ends with 61 tackles. He has that going for him, kind of. Hardy is one of the three defensive ends tied with Pierre-Paul. And tackles is the only statistic where Pierre-Paul is a worthy candidate, and it’s not remotely the most important figure for his position.
Hardy has 11 sacks and Johnson 10.5. Getting after the quarterback and bringing him down, that’s a statistic of valor for defensive ends. Pierre-Paul has just 6.5 sacks.
Pierre-Paul had 16.5 sacks last year. Were the Pro Bowl voters stuck in 2011?
Both Hardy (two) and Johnson (seven) had more forced fumbles than the one from Pierre-Paul, but Pierre-Paul did excel at getting his hands in the air and batting down passes. His five passes defensed are one more than Johnson and three more than Hardy.
Hardy and Johnson are both more deserving of the Pro Bowl selection than Pierre-Paul, but which one should be the guy?
With their sacks being relatively the same, the question is do you value Hardy’s extra tackles or Johnson’s forced fumbles?
Recount the votes and send Johnson to Hawaii.
Unless otherwise noted, all quotes and statements were obtained firsthand.