Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
The Pro Bowl rosters are filled out. Here are a couple Bengals players that deserved a few more votes than they got for a chance to play in Hawaii.
The Pro Bowl roster is set as some of the best of the NFL at each position are set to go to Hawaii to play in one of the only NFL games of the season that hardly any NFL fans watch. The Pro Bowl has had a problem with TV ratings for a long time due to the fact that the players don't really play that hard, there's no hitting and it doesn't matter who wins. You can't really blame the players, either. Why would they go after each other like it was a regular-season game when they just finished 16 games and their bodies feel like 200-plus pounds of raw hamburger?
There are always a few players, though, that deserve a shot at the pro bowl that don't get it because a more popular player at their position got more votes or because they flew under the radar all year. The Bengals have a couple players like that on their roster. Don't get me wrong, every player who made the Pro Bowl roster this year deserves to be there, I'm just listing a few players that deserve it as well.
Have their been better free safeties in the AFC this year? Yes, but since Ed Reed, who is certainly a future Hall of Famer, was named the AFC's starting free safety, I feel like Reggie Nelson deserved some more attention. Reed has racked up 58 tackles, four interceptions and 20 passes defensed. Nelson has 80 tackles, three interceptions, 11 passes defensed and a sack. He has also forced two fumbles.
Nelson has had a solid year and almost single-handedly gave the offense the chance to send the Bengals to the playoffs when he intercepted Ben Roethlisberger's pass late in the team's win over the Steelers in Week 16. Is he really a snub? Bengals fans may think he is but I doubt many outside of Cincinnati believe so.
Huber plays one of the least exciting but most important positions in the NFL. The punter can make or break any team because field position is so important and Huber has been pretty good this season. He has punted 69 times for a total of 3,210 yards for an average of 46.5 yards per punt and a net average of 41.8 yards, which is third highest in the AFC. He has only six touchbacks and 29 of his punts were downed inside the 20-yard line. There also hasn't been a punt returned for a touchdown all season.
Kansas City Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt was named the starting punter to the 2013 Pro Bowl and his stats aren't much better than Huber's. Colquitt punted the ball 75 times for an average of 46.9 yards per punt, but only 40.3 net yards per punt. He has seven touchbacks, but where he won the voting is his 42 punts downed inside the 20-yard line. He has also allowed two punt returns for touchdowns.
Huber has played a large role in the Bengals making it into the playoffs this year and deserved some votes for his performance.
I personally believe this one actually counts as a snub. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady certainly earned their spot in the 2013 Pro Bowl, but I also believe Dalton deserves on too, especially over Texans quarterback Matt Schaub who hasn't been nearly as impressive throughout the majority of the season as Dalton, in my opinion. Schaub is a good quarterback, but the Texans lean so heavily on their star running back, Arian Foster, that Schaub rarely has to throw the ball to win. In fact, if I was facing the Texans, my game plan would be to stop Foster and force Schaub to win the game with his arm.
Schaub has thrown for 3,733 yards, 22 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Dalton has thrown for 3,591 yards, 26 touchdowns and 16 interceptions in his second year in the league and while BenJarvus Green-Ellis has had a solid year at the running back position, it hasn't been anything close to the ridiculous numbers that Foster has posted.
Statistically, Schaub has had the better season, but I personally don't think the Texans have had to lean on him to get the job done the way the Bengals have on Dalton at times. But, maybe that's just me.
Bengals fans, what other Bengals players do you consider snubs for the 2013 Pro Bowl?