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Eagles Pro Bowl snubs, ranked

Dec 28, 2013, 1:43 PM EDT

source:

With a 9-6 record, the second-ranked offense in the NFL, and a defense that’s held 10 of its last 11 opponents to 21 points or less, the Philadelphia Eagles managed to send just two players to the 2014 Pro Bowl. Running back LeSean McCoy and left tackle Jason Peters were beyond worthy candidates, but where’s everybody else?

Beyond that, only three additional Eagles were even named first or second alternates to the Pro Bowl in the event of injuries or players backing out. That just seems like such a low number for a team that’s had such a fun and memorable season. It’s all wrong.

So without further adieu, here are five players that should be in the Pro Bowl this year, and ranked for no real reason at all. Check out the full roster for reference.

5. Nick Foles (63.9 CMP%, 2,628 YDS, 9.0 AVG, 25 TD, 2 INT, 118.7 RAT)

The odds were stacked against Nick Foles from the beginning, seeing as he was only added to the Pro Bowl ballot around December roughly. That’s no excuse though. Foles leads the NFL in yards per attempt and passer rating, and his touchdowns-to-interception ratio is insane. He may not have prolific totals, but only because he’s started in just nine games.

He’s good enough for NFL Most Valuable Player consideration, but not the Pro Bowl? To be fair, all of the quarterbacks who got in are worthy, so choosing someone to bounce is not easy. I’d lean Russell Wilson because he’s thrown for the same amount of touchdowns and only a handful more yards despite playing every game (and because I’m a known Russell Wilson hater).

Foles is a first alternate, and given that one of these quarterbacks will likely be playing in the Super Bowl a week later, that means an invitation will inevitably be extended—unless, of course, the Eagles make it to the big game. Otherwise, Foles will back-door his way into the Pro Bowl anyway.

4. Somebody from the Eagles defense

source:  The Eagles don’t have a traditionally great defense. The unit ranks 30th by the NFL standard of yards, but 16th in points allowed, which is all that really matters. In fact, only three offenses have scored more than 21 points on Philly’s D all season—Denver, San Diego and Minnesota.

So it’s a little baffling that nobody was voted into the Pro Bowl from the Eagles. No first or second alternates were named, either. Trent Cole made a late push, racking up eight sacks in the last seven games, but it wasn’t enough. Cedric Thornton is one of the top run-defending defensive ends in the NFL this season according to Pro Football Focus, but it’s not a glamorous role. And frankly, I can see why nobody from the secondary got in.

The one player you could make a case for though is DeMeco Ryans, the heart and soul of the Birds defense. Inside linebacker is a crowded field, but Ryans had more tackles, sacks, interceptions and pass breakups than Patrick Willis, one of two 49ers representatives at the position this year. Willis seems like a reputation pick, whereas Ryans—a two-time Pro Bowler—is actually enjoying possibly the best season of his career.

3. DeSean Jackson (79 REC, 1,304 YDS, 16.5 AVG, 9 TD)

DeSean Jackson has more receiving yards than Dez Bryant and Brandon Marshall, more touchdowns than Antonio Brown and averages more yards per reception than all three of them. Jackson doesn’t belong in over the rest (Josh Gordon, Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson, A.J. Green, Demaryius Thomas), but you could easily build a case over any of the other three—yet somehow he’s only a second alternate.

DJacc has made the Pro Bowl when his numbers were far less than what they are this season, so it’s genuinely surprising he was moved to the backburner this year after setting new career highs.

2. Donnie Jones (40.2 NET, 33 IN20)

This one is legitimately confusing. Donnie Jones set an Eagles record with 33 punts downed inside the opponents’ 20-yard line. His kicks were so vital, so clutch that Jones twice won Special Teams Player of the Week honors—only two other punters took the award once this season.

Here’s where we get lost. St. Louis Rams punter Johnny Hekker, one of the two to get the nod, had nearly half as many kicks downed inside the 20 with 18. Yes, his net average was higher than Jones, indicating he had fewer opportunities to pin opponents deep, but Hekker’s kicks also forced the same number of fair catches (20) while he faced three more returns on six fewer attempts.

1. Evan Mathis

source:  What does Evan Mathis need to do to receive proper recognition on a league-wide scale? Despite being on his way to being the highest-rated guard by metrics site Pro Football Focus for the third year running, Mathis once again will be watching the Royal Rumble Pro Bowl at home like the rest of us. The 10th-year veteran is a second alternate, so at least a few people finally must be starting to take notice.

Without the help of official statistics, offensive line selections are a little more difficult to dispute, but I’ll give it a go. Mathis is a key cog on the top rushing offense in the NFL. Marshal Yanda has been a very good guard for the Baltimore Ravens, but their running game stinks, averaging a league-worst 3.1 yards per carry. That’s not all on one player, but 19 guards have individual run-blocking scores than Yanda this season. Come on.

  1. Robbie - Dec 28, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    Umm isnt Yanda in the AFC?

    Reply
    • Andrew Kulp - Dec 28, 2013 at 1:52 PM

      The voting wasn’t by conference this year.

      Reply
    • cruz - Dec 28, 2013 at 1:54 PM

      @robbie They don’t select by league anymore

      Reply
  2. willh888 - Dec 28, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    This game really lacked QB’s with 80-something passer ratings. Glad they added two of them this year. No need for Foles really. Being the highest rated passer only means you threw a lot of touchdowns and very few interceptions. Nick just has to do a better job and lead the league in even more categories next year if he wants a shot at the prestigious Pro Bowl.

    Reply
  3. Franchise - Dec 28, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    Is it really matter anyway since we will be playing the week after the pro bowl?

    Reply
  4. alex pflaumer - Dec 28, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    I think the pro bowl is soo dumb even though it has a really high rating bc ppl got nothin else to watch so theyll put it on and watch the most horrible embarressment the nfl is offering now these days. I would love for it to go back to the old school afc vs nfc in a REAL GAME where they actually hit and play the game bc its the last game of the year these guys will play. It used to be a real honor to play this ame and now its a flag football show

    Reply
  5. Dave h - Dec 28, 2013 at 8:32 PM

    What about kelce?

    Reply
    • Andrew Kulp - Dec 28, 2013 at 10:14 PM

      Totally legit. I only left him off because center is based off of reputation a lot of the time, and he’s only played one year really. Can totally make a case for him, just going off of realities.

      Reply
  6. Mostel - Dec 29, 2013 at 8:21 AM

    Mathis is a titanic snub. Looking at the guard list; he’s better than all of them except Evans and maybe Mankins.

    Why only 4 ILBs on the pro bowl roster when the Eagles run a 3-4? This was fine when we ran 4-3, but the league needs to do a better job making the composition of the pro bowl roster positions fit what we do. Why not just end taking fullbacks and add the ILB spots?

    DeSean Jackson is a huge snub. He’s one of a handful of guys in the NFL that you MUST double team on every route and had great stats this year.

    Foles not being on the team irks me, but they took that read one and run dolt Scam Newton instead? What a joke. Nick Foles 119 rating, 2600 yards, 64% complete, 25 TDs, 2 INts, 2 fumbles. Overall 25:4 passing TD to TO ratio.
    Newton 89 rating, 3200 yards, 62% complete, 22 TDs, 12 INTs, 1 fumble. Overall 22:13 passing TD to TO ration.

    Newton is a trash scramble bum and should not be in the game over Foles.

    Reply
  7. yishmeister - Dec 29, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    They need to set the minimum voting age to 18. That’s the only way to get this right.

    Reply
    • Mostel - Dec 29, 2013 at 9:44 AM

      And an IQ test.

      Reply
      • red2gold - Dec 29, 2013 at 3:04 PM

        And an eye chart.

  8. Mostel - Dec 29, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    And that loser Newton only threw for 150 yards today. Nice pro bowler.

    Reply

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