Following a 6-10 season, the Bengals are not nearly as well represented in this year’s Pro Bowl as they have been in recent memory.
Bad teams playing in a small market don’t normally send many players to the NFL’s all-star game, but make no mistake, the 2018 Bengals had talented players that deserved more recognition than they received beyond just Geno Atkins.
Every team has a certain number of clear Pro Bowl snubs, these four stand out the most regarding the Bengals:
1. Joe Mixon
Mixon has the best case of any of the robbed Bengals players as he lead the AFC in rushing this past season, and he did while also missing two games. That argument is as clear as day. Mixon is quickly shaking up to be one of the best running backs in the NFL and while he may not have gotten the Pro Bowl nod in 2018, this will surely not be the last chance he gets at it.
2. Tyler Boyd
Depending on what happens with A.J. Green and his next contract, this could have been Boyd’s best chance to make the Pro Bowl in a while. With Green coming back from injury and hopefully John Ross becoming more improved under a new coaching staff, there may not be enough targets for Boyd to achieve Pro Bowl production again in the near future.
However, he really grew his third year and became the player the Bengals drafted him to be. Boyd’s role in the offense is very clear now after his breakout season and his contract situation will be something to watch for the Bengals.
3. William Jackson
It seems like a lot of people are not giving Jackson the credit that he deserves after a lackluster start to the season. From midseason on, Jackson was one of the best corners in the league despite playing in amongst a dreadful unit. He was phenomenal, routinely shutting down opposing wide receivers, but he failed to record an interception as teams consistently targeted the Bengals over the middle of the field instead of testing the boundary. He continued to take strides from his stellar 2017 season, and the Bengals should unquestionably exercise his fifth-year option this spring.
4. Jessie Bates
The Bengals made a slightly controversial move when they released George Iloka before the season in order to solidify their second round pick as their starting free safety. Bates ran with the opportunity from the get-go and never looked back as he managed to not only meet the expectations set by Iloka, he crushed them. He was the ball-hawk that the Bengals needed and established himself as a future cornerstone to their defense. He looks to have a bright future with the Bengals and could develop into one of the best safeties in the NFL.