The latest crop of Pro Bowl selections are out and 26 of the 32 teams had at least one player make the team. The Chicago Bears are one of the six teams that didn’t have a single player honored. (Insert sad face emoji here) This could easily change as players decide to skip the annual event, or when players need top bow out if they are busy playing in the Super Bowl, but for now, no Bears in the Pro Bowl.
When you’re sitting at just three wins this time of year, it’s hard to feel like you’ve been snubbed, but I think at least one Chicago player had a strong case to make it.
Rookie running back Jordan Howard is the second leading rusher in the NFC with 1,059 yards and a 5.0 yards per carry. He is sandwiched between Dallas’ Ezekiel Elliott and Ariozona’s David Johnson, who both clearly deserve the Pro Bowl nod they received. But Howard probably should have made it over Atlanta’s Devonta Freeman. Howard has 1,348 yards from scrimmage while starting 11 of the 13 games he’s played in. Freeman has 1,276 yards from scrimmage while starting all 14 Falcons’ games. Freeman has him on touchdowns 12 to 7, but that’s more a product of playing in an explosive offense.
Pro Football Focus believes that Bears’ left guard Josh Sitton was snubbed and here’s their reasoning.
Snub: Josh Sitton, G, Bears
Should replace: Brandon Scherff, G, Redskins
If you’re a top-five pick in the NFL draft as a guard and turn out not to be a bust, you can basically write your ticket to the Pro Bowl every season. Individual offensive line play—especially on the interior—can’t easily be deduced on one viewing, so it’s natural to expect voters to turn to name recognition and reputation. What is easy to do, though, is simply rewatch and tabulate how many times a guy is beaten in pass protection. For Scherff, that number this year was 39; for Sitton, it was only 10. Now, Sitton has missed a couple of games, but it’s not hard to see why we would have gone with the Chicago guard here.
Sitton only started 11 of the Bears 14 games due to injury and that’s the only reason I see for him not making the Pro Bowl. Besides Scherff, Green Bay’s T.J. Lang, and Zack Martin of the Cowboys made the team.
Defensive lineman Akiem Hicks received some mention via social media as a Bear that was snubbed, and he has put up the best numbers of his 5 year career. Hicks has started all 14 games so far and he has 46 tackles, 7 sacks, 9 tackles for loss, 13 quarterback hits, 2 passes defended, 2 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
The problem is that the three interior defensive lineman that made the NFC Pro Bowl team are really good. The Rams’ Aaron Donald, Philadelphia’s Fletcher Cox and Gerald McCoy of the Buccaneers.
The only other possible snub for the Bears is rookie center Cody Whitehair, but like Hicks, he’s behind some really good players. Travis Frederick of the Cowboys (3x Pro Bowler) and Atlanta’s Alex Mack (4x Pro Bowler) are both really good football players.
Next year if the Bears can manage to win more than 3 games, maybe we’ll see their players start to receive some individual accolades.
No one cares about the Pro Bowl— Kevin Patra (@kpatra) December 21, 2016
Until their team gets snubbed. Then.... ✂️