Pro Bowl Selections: Players That Don't Deserve a Spot in NFL's All-Star Game
Name recognition and popularity ruled the day when the rosters were announced for the 2013 Pro Bowl, scheduled to be held on January 27 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Instead of rewarding lesser-known players for their outstanding play during the regular season, voters opted to reward those more well known for mediocre seasons.
Who doesn't deserve their upcoming Hawaiian getaway?
Let's take a look.
Matt Schaub, QB, Houston Texans
Matt Schaub isn't the kind of quarterback to carry a team to victory—he's an excellent game manager who can explode for a big outing every once in awhile.
He's in the Pro Bowl because of Houston's shiny 12-3 record, not because he played his way onto the team.
Schaub's name only appears in the Top 10 of the major passing categories twice. He's seventh in completion percentage (64.2) and sixth in fewest interceptions thrown with 10 among QBs that started the entire season.
Over a two-week period when the Texans played the Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions—two teams with a combined record of 6-24—Schaub threw for 842 yards and six touchdowns. That accounts for more than 22 percent of his passing yards on the season and 27 percent of his touchdown passes on the season.
Against three of the tougher teams on Houston's schedule—Green Bay (11-4), Minnesota (8-8) and New England (11-4)—Schaub completed less than 59 percent of his passes for 642 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions.
Who Deserved Schaub's Spot: Andrew Luck, QB, Indianapolis Colts
Jeff Saturday, C, Green Bay Packers
The 13-year veteran landed the sixth Pro Bowl selection of his career largely in part to the dozen years he spent playing directly in front of Peyton Manning in Indianapolis.
Expected to lead the offensive line and improve Aaron Rodgers' protection, the reigning NFL MVP remains one of the most sacked quarterbacks in the NFL.
Only San Diego's Philip Rivers (47) has been sacked more than Rodgers, who has been sacked 46 times this season.
If that wasn't bad enough, consider that Saturday isn't even the starting center for the Packers anymore, as ESPN Milwaukee's Jason Wilde reported (via Twitter):
Jeff Saturday confirms he has been benched as the #Packers starting center in favor of Evan Dietrich-Smith. Calls it a passing of the torch,— Jason Wilde (@jasonjwilde) December 21, 2012
Pro Bowlers don't lose their starting jobs during the regular season.
Who Deserved Saturday's Spot: John Sullivan, C, Minnesota Vikings
Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants
Cruz proved that he belongs in the conversation when discussing the best wide receivers in the NFL, but the third-year receiver didn't put forth a Pro Bowl-worthy campaign in 2012.
While he led the Giants in receiving, catching 82 passes for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns, any Giants fan that's being honest will tell you that Cruz's numbers should be much more impressive.
He developed a nasty habit of dropping passes from Eli Manning this season, something confirmed by Pro Football Focus, which shows Cruz tied for fifth with 11 dropped passes on the season (subscription required).
If Cruz would have snagged some of the passes that he should have, perhaps New York wouldn't be fighting for its playoff livelihood in Week 17.
Who Deserved Cruz's Spot: Roddy White, WR, Atlanta Falcons
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