Making sense of AFC East Pro Bowl roster
Most of the seven New England Patriots were already headed to the Pro Bowl roster after posting sensational performances this season. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and wide receiver Wes Welker had a huge impact on the team team’s offense and had production to prove it, while defensive tackle Vince Wilfork’s strong 2012 campaign also spoke for itself. Even New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was featured on the Pro Bowl roster despite being sidelined for five games due to a fractured forearm. Rob Gronkowski ranks top amongst AFC tight ends with 10 touchdowns (one touchdown per game).
Another well-deserving Pro Bowl mention was Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake, who’s impact against the run on the front seven defensive linemen is often overlooked. Cameron Wake earned his second Pro Bowl selection after leading the Miami Dolphins with 15 sacks this season.
Meanwhile, the New York Jets also found a break from their epically disastrous 2012 season with Antonio Cromartie making the Pro Bowl as a reserve this season. However, the New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie’s performance was far from that of a reserve as he filled in for Darrelle Revis and proved that he has possesses the talents to make the starting cornerback.
Made it on past reputation:
Most of the AFC East Pro Bowl selections made perfect sense. However, a few just crawled through the season and has their past accomplishments playing in for making the Pro Bowl roster.
New England Patriots guard Logan Mankins lacked his usual explosiveness facing a season laden with bother some injuries, after returning early from ACL surgery. Logan Mankins’ production was seemingly reduced after missing six of New England Patriots’ games this season but he still made the Pro Bowl roster as a starter.
Safety LaRon Landry was one of the few players to watch on the New York Jets roster this season but his performance still wasn’t Pro Bowl worthy. However, LaRon Landry’s 95 tackles, four forced fumbles as well as two interceptions go to show he had his head wrapped around football this season. LaRon Landry is on an expiring contract that could see him out as a free agent after this season, since the New York Jets could face difficulty in retaining the LSU Tigers player due to salary cap issues.
Were snubbed: Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey was arguably amongst the top centers this season, showing incredible improvement his second-year in NFL. Mike Pouncey played a huge role in Miami Dolphins rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill's rapid growth and also assisted tailback Reggie Bush on way to his second-straight 1,000-yard season. However, he was still overlooked in favor of centers Chris Myers (of Houston Texans) and Maurkice Pouncey (Mike Pouncey’s twin brother with the Pittsburgh Steelers).
Miami Dolphins punter Brandon Fields also joins the club after not being given his due credit over the years despite showing increasing accuracy on his kicks. Bandon Fields averaged a career-best 50.3 yards per punt and had 26 attempts land inside the 20. Still, Kansas City Chiefs punter Dustin Colquitt got the call over him.
Buffalo Bills tailback C.J. Spiller also possesses one of the most dynamic talents in the league but the 25-year-old’s stats this season: 1,185 rushing yards and six touchdowns seem to be his pitfall. That puts the Buffalo Bills as the only AFC East team without a Pro Bowl player in the ranks.