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Which Eagles belong in the Pro Bowl?

Nov 19, 2013, 4:11 PM EDT

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Upon finishing up practice on Tuesday, the Eagles were officially on vacation until next week. That means come Sunday you’ll finally have time to rake the leaves, have dinner with your in-laws, or worse, fill out Pro Bowl ballots at NFL.com.

The Pro Bowl has long been a punch line in NFL circles. Playing at half speed might work for All-Star games in the NBA and NHL, but it makes a mockery of the game of football. That said, the league is trying to spice things up this year by letting captains choose their teams rather than the traditional AFC vs. NFC, so that could be kind of cool. Yes, they totally ripped that idea from the NHL, no, I don’t care.

Either way, it would be nice if a few Eagles could represent. And I’m sure the players would appreciate your vote so they can collect a nice bonus and free trip to Honolulu.

A few of the choices are obvious. LeSean McCoy is a shoe-in as the NFL’s leading rusher this season, as is DeSean Jackson who’s third in receiving yards. A long-form ballot can be difficult to fill out though, so unless you’re just going to pick Birds all the way, here are a few suggestions.

Evan Mathis

Hands down the best offensive guard in the NFL the past two seasons according to Pro Football Focus, that has yet to turn into a Pro Bowl appearance for Mathis. He came from nowhere in 2011, and was likely overlooked last year because the rest of the Eagles’ offensive line was garbage. Mathis is having another fine season though, and it’s about time he gets his due.

Jason Kelce

Jason Kelce is having a nice return campaign after torn knee ligaments ended his 2012 early. I’m not sure it’s worthy of a trip to the Pro Bowl necessarily, and center can be a tough position to crack the list because long-time veterans tend to get that call. Kelce won me over with his promo though, so go ahead and put him on there if for no other reason than The700Level would undoubtedly get some quality posts out of his trip.

Cedric Thornton

Cedric Thornton arguably has been the Eagles’ best defensive player this season. My subscription to Pro Football Focus is in need of renewal, but as of a couple weeks ago, Thornton ranked first among all 3-4 defensive ends in the metrics site’s run-stop percentage. Unofficially, he has about 55 for tackles for loss this season. Fletcher Cox is really starting to come along too, but Thornton has been a force up front since Week 1.

DeMeco Ryans

Defensive coordinator Bill Davis called DeMeco Ryans the heart and sould of the Eagles’ defense, and it’s hard to argue. He’s never been one to put up flashy numbers with two sacks and two interceptions on the season, but Ryans is third in the NFL with 96 tackles. This is on a unit that has held opposing offenses to 21 points or less in nine of 11 games this season, including the last seven in a row.

Bradley Fletcher

Brandon Boykin may lead the team in interceptions, but Bradley Fletcher quietly has been the true standout at corner this year. Fletcher has lost three games to injury now, yet he’s tied for sixth in the NFL with 15 pass breakups to go along with two interceptions—imagine where he might be with a full season. The free-agent signing from the Rams has been a willing tackler who doesn’t get beat very often, and his name definitely deserves to be in the mix.

Donnie Jones

Only three punters in the NFL have downed more attempts inside their opponents’ 20-yard line than Jones. Before you assume those players are all more deserving though, Jones’ 40.9 net average tops them all. He’s worth considering for his punt to pin Washington at its own 4-yard line late in the fourth quarter on Sunday alone.

Nick Foles

Nick Foles isn’t on the ballot because Michael Vick was the starter at the beginning of the season, so technically you can’t vote for him online. You could petition Commissioner Roger Goodell and the league office through a write-in campaign though. He prefers hand-written letters, so really take your time—good penmanship, people—and craft a thoughtful note on your best stationary so he takes notice.

Of course, nobody would be upset if Foles decided to skip the Pro Bowl altogether and go straight to the Super Bowl, at which point all these hours you devoted to voting will be for naught. Then again, that’s a trade-off any Eagles fan would take, however unlikely it may be.

Who would you vote for?

>> 2014 Pro Bowl Ballot [NFL.com]

  1. Matt S. - Nov 19, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    The fact that Mathis has never gotten a pro bowl selection tells you what a joke the whole system is.

    Reply
    • Denny - Nov 19, 2013 at 5:53 PM

      Yeah, and it heavily favors the blacks.

      Reply
      • Tim - Nov 19, 2013 at 11:42 PM

        racist much?

      • John B. - Nov 23, 2013 at 12:38 AM

        Go back to trolling Philly.com with the rest of the suburban KKK members.

  2. Chris - Nov 19, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    And the comments section on websites heavily favors morons, right Denny?

    Reply
    • Matt S. - Nov 19, 2013 at 9:14 PM

      Well done.

      Reply
  3. NASDRUG1 - Nov 19, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    HEY DANNY…YOU CAN TELL …YOU LOVE UP THE ASS!

    Reply
  4. Jason R. - Nov 19, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    So….anyway….

    Thought there might be some more Djacc love based on the pic.

    Glad to see Donnie get some love though, after years of Rocca Roulette it’s great to see how a top flight punter can change the game.

    Reply
  5. Jose from Norristown - Nov 19, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    My picks for the pro bowl would be:

    FS Kurt Coleman
    WR Damaris Johnson
    QB Matt Barkley

    try and top that list

    Reply
    • willh888 - Nov 20, 2013 at 2:32 AM

      toenails in a jar. Or feces stuck to the hind legs of a long hair doggie

      Reply
  6. James - Nov 20, 2013 at 7:40 AM

    I say we all write rodger to get Foles in.

    Reply

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