East Coast Bias
The Pro Bowl rosters are out—and flawed. Even though the Seattle Seahawks are indisputably the NFL’s hottest team, and just torched the “best defense” in the league for 42 points, we have the same number of pro bowlers as…..the Kansas City Chiefs.
The football world thinks we have the same amount of elite players as a team with more pro bowlers than wins. Let’s look more closely at how we did.
Russell Okung and Max Unger will start at tackle and center respectively for the NFC. Both have had outstanding seasons and their spots are well-earned.
The final Pro Bowl Seahawk starter is Leon Washington at kick returner. One of the most explosive return men in the NFL, Leon Washington will represent the Seahawks well.
Making the Pro Bowl, but not starting, are running back Marshawn Lynch and safety Earl Thomas. Here is the first minor oversight.
Richard Sherman was robbed of a starting spot in the 2013 Pro Bowl. (Photo: Elaine Thompson/AP)
I’m fine with Marshawn Lynch backing up Adrian Peterson at running back. Peterson is having one of the greatest seasons of all time. But Earl Thomas should be starting.
Both NFC starting safeties are from the 49ers. I think this is in error, since we just showed everyone how good the 49ers’ vaunted defense really is.
Moving on, Chris Clemons was a first alternate at defensive end and Michael Robinson was a first alternate at fullback. I didn’t anticipate Michael Robinson being named, but he’s had a solid year. Chris Clemons has been a key piece of the Seahawks’ pass rush, but the NFC is stacked at defensive end.
However, the real robbery was Richard Sherman not starting for the NFC. Sherman is quite possibly the best cornerback in the NFL, but word on the street was that voters didn’t want to appear supportive of PED usage.
In spite of this, he was still named a first alternate. Since Sherman just appealed and won his suspension, there’s no legal proof for him to be anything but innocent. He was robbed of a Pro Bowl appearance.
Second, Third and Fourth Alternates
Safety Kam Chancellor and punter Jon Ryan were second alternates, with Heath Farwell also a second alternate at special teams.
Rounding out the alternates were Russell Wilson at quarterback for third alternate and Brandon Mebane for fourth alternate at defensive tackle.
Kam Chancellor and Thomas have been one of the most lethal safety pairs in the league, and Chancellor deserved better than second alternate.
A hard-hitting and versatile defender, Chancellor and Thomas are in my opinion both better than Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner in San Francisco, both of whom will start for the NFC.
Russell Wilson’s recognition as a third alternate, however, was nice to see, as was Jon Ryan’s. Ryan in particular has been punting great all year—an underrated help to our defense.
Even though this is one of the best Pro Bowls for the Seahawks in recent memory, there is no way that we and the Chiefs should have the same amount of pro bowlers.
But this team has a shot to make a playoff run, and all eyes are looking ahead at the only bowl that really matters.
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