The All-Joe Team, an award "born in 1992 as a tribute to Joe Phillips", identifies the league's "unsung stars". It's like an award for those that receive little recognition for having quality seasons. A better description of the All-Joe team is this from U.S.A. Today:
...a 14-year defensive lineman who did yeoman's work for the Kansas City Chiefs that season. His work in the trenches didn't lead to much glory … unless you point to the 29 combined sacks of Derrick Thomas and Neil Smith, Kansas City's fifth-ranked defense or the team's wild-card run.
Cedric Benson, Leon Hall and Johnathan Joseph made the list last year. Neither made the Pro Bowl and all were critical components for the team's success in 2009. Yet, neither really replayed those seasons in 2010 and the Bengals only won four games. Not that there's a direct connection there or anything.
This year one Bengals player made the All-Joe Team. Rookie defensive end Carlos Dunlap.
Off-field issues deflated draft stock, but he rewarded Cincinnati for taking a chance on him. All 9½ of his sacks came in final eight games.
If they gave honorable mentions, I'd have no problem with Geno Atkins being added to the list. Though he didn't record the number of sacks that Dunlap did, Atkins' pressure up the middle often forced quarterbacks to roll out towards Dunlap. Kind of like Velociraptors from Jurassic Park. The one in front allows you to see it (Atkins) while the one flanking you (Dunlap) drops you before you even knew it was there.