Kansas City Chiefs: 4 Potential 2012 Pro Bowl Players
Football fans in Kansas City still have high hopes the Chiefs can make the postseason after a win on Sunday in Chicago. Another win gives fans a reason to believe why certain players on the team deserve a Pro Bowl appearance this season.
Last year, Chiefs fans were ecstatic to learn three players were voted into the Pro Bowl after sending zero the season before. Eventually, the total number grew to six as some of the Pittsburgh Steelers players chosen couldn't play since they had to prepare for the Super Bowl.
Last year, Jamaal Charles, Dwayne Bowe and Brian Waters were originally voted into the Pro Bowl. Matt Cassel, Tamba Hali and Eric Berry also received Pro Bowl invitations following the Steelers' victory over the New York Jets in the AFC championship game.
Outside of Waters, it was the first Pro Bowl appearance for all of the other Chiefs players. Hali missed out on this game due to multiple injuries, while the other five players attended the game and played.
This season, the Chiefs released Waters and have lost Cassel, Charles and Berry to season-ending injuries. However, the Chiefs do have some players who deserve a spot on the 2012 AFC Pro Bowl roster.
WR Dwayne Bowe
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Like most players on the team, Dwayne Bowe's numbers are far apart from last year's stats.
Bowe is still one of the strongest receivers in the game today and can make big plays on the field.
He has four touchdowns this season, but has not scored since having a multi-touchdown game against Indianapolis in Week 5.
If he can get two more touchdowns this season and get his 1,000 yards, he may sneak into the Pro Bowl after the conference championship games are over.
OLB Tamba Hali
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Like Bowe, Tamba Hali's numbers are not as high as they were last season at this rate.
However, Hali is still recognized as one of the best outside linebackers in the game today as he currently has eight sacks. Hali has recorded a sack or forced a fumble in each of the last three games.
If he continues to play well in the four remaining games this season, he should receive his second straight invitation and finally get the opportunity to play.
ILB Derrick Johnson
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Derrick Johnson had to go through a lot in his seven-year career to get to where he is today. He has played under three different head coaches and three different defensive coordinators.
It appeared that 2009 was going to be Johnson's final season as a Chief after struggling to get any playing time.
But in the final game of the 2009 season, he turned his career around by picking off Kyle Orton twice and taking both interceptions back for a touchdown against the Broncos to shatter their playoff hopes.
This year, Johnson has played like a complete linebacker and has been a force against the run this season.
This year, Johnson deserves nothing more than to punch his first Pro Bowl ticket and earn the chance of a lifetime to play football with the best in Hawaii.
CB Brandon Flowers
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Earlier this season, Brandon Flowers had four interceptions and had more yards returned than most cornerback in the league.
Flowers has not intercepted a pass since Week 7 against the Oakland Raiders, where he came away with two picks with one of them taken back for a touchdown.
Flowers has an opportunity to get a couple of interceptions and remain as one of the top cornerbacks in the AFC and earn a Pro Bowl bid.
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Obviously the Chiefs have some talented players on defense who have helped the team stay in some games this year after a slow start.
You can make a case for defensive backs like Brandon Carr, Kendrick Lewis and Jon McGraw, all of whom have stepped up with the loss of Berry. However, fans know very little about their presence and the recognition belongs to other players.
Expect the Chiefs to send multiple players to the Pro Bowl. The total may not be high, but the AFC roster might have room for another Chief after learning which team wins the AFC championship game.