Pro Bowl 2022 Roster: Full List of Players, Final MVP Predictions and Top SnubsJanuary 31, 2022
Pro Bowl 2022 Roster: Full List of Players, Final MVP Predictions and Top Snubs
While the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams enjoy a week of rest before the Super Bowl, football's spotlight turns to the game's other stars. The 2022 Pro Bowl hits Las Vegas on Sunday and offers a chance for each conference to prove its superiority before championship weekend.
Although the rosters have been set, with the full AFC and NFC lineups available on NFL.com, they are still shifting around. The Buffalo Bills' Josh Allen opted out Thursday, the Bengals and Rams are vacating their spots and, hey, who knows whether Tom Brady will decide to attend for the first time since 2005.
There's still plenty of intrigue with the players at hand, though. As the NFC hopes to win its first Pro Bowl since 2012, here are 2022's biggest snubs and most likely MVPs.
Joe Burrow, QB, Cincinnati Bengals
Joey Franchise, Jackpot Joe, Joe Shiesty, Joe Brrr—whatever you call him, Joe Burrow has forced his name(s) into households this postseason. Unfortunately, that seems to be too late, as the AFC's lone remaining quarterback couldn't crack the Pro Bowl.
Despite being sacked the most times in the league (51), Burrow led the Bengals to a 10-7 record and first place in the AFC North while putting up the second-highest quarterback rating in the NFL (108.3). Fellow AFC North quarterback Lamar Jackson, who led his depleted Baltimore Ravens to 8-9, was voted in ahead.
Hindsight is 20/20, but there was a strong case for Joe to get the nod even before this postseason's highlight reel.
Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
While Tampa Bay Buccaneer Leonard Fournette's omission was arguable in the NFC, the Los Angeles Chargers' Austin Ekeler suffered a sharper sting. Helping his team reach a 9-8 record, he totaled 20 rushing and receiving touchdowns (tied for best in the league) on top of 1,558 scrimmage yards.
Big numbers, fun highlights and the versatile weapon on one of the NFL's most dangerous attacks? Ekeler seemed like a lock for Vegas, but he didn't even get in as an alternate.
Jonathan Taylor, Joe Mixon, Nick Chubb and Najee Harris all got nods instead. Outside of MVP candidate Taylor, only one of the three had more scrimmage yards than Ekeler, and none had as many touchdowns.
Offense: Justin Herbert, QB, Los Angeles Chargers
Speaking of disappointing situations and the Chargers, budding star Justin Herbert will get to play football in February—just not the type he hoped for. After a devastating cascade of obstacles ruined the Chargers' playoff hopes, Herbert will helm the AFC offense in the annual exhibition match.
As a sophomore, Herbert dealt in 2021 to the tune of the league's second-most completions, second-most passing yards, third-most touchdowns and third-highest quarterback rating. Now that attention is on the playoffs, though, conversations have shifted to Burrow, Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen.
Stuck watching his peers put on a show on the biggest stage, it's hard to imagine Herbert not wanting to show out—even if it's just a flashy scrimmage.
Defense: Micah Parsons, ILB, Dallas Cowboys
While the Chargers didn't make it into the playoffs, the Dallas Cowboys did. But they were immediately eliminated by the underdog San Francisco 49ers. Now, their rookie (and defensive MVP nominee) Micah Parsons gets to run around in the Pro Bowl.
Parsons can do everything on the football field, and that fits the loose nature of exhibition play. He might be the most explosive player out there at any given moment, which bodes well for opportunistic highlights.
Like Herbert, Parsons has a little something extra to play for, and that might be enough for the young star to show off and leave Vegas with some hardware.