LeSean McCoy should be at the top of everyone’s list when it comes to Philadelphia Eagles players who make the Pro Bowl this year. However, a year after not having a single player representing the team, there are a few other Eagles who have a chance to be part of the most insignificant game of the NFL season.
Evan Mathis was a big snub last season and he has turned in another stellar performance this year. For the second year in a row, he is Pro Football Focus’ top-rated guard. It’s hard to notice how well an interior offensive lineman is playing individually, but when the ground-game is working and you don’t hear their names too often, that’s usually a good sign.
After missing the 2012 season with a twice-ruptured Achilles tendon, Jason Peters should be back in the mix for consideration. Peters was voted to the Pro Bowl the previous five seasons and though this hasn’t been his best season, he is still a top tackle in this league.
Could this be the year for Jason Kelce? After a promising rookie season in 2011, Kelce shredded his knee early last season and was placed on injured reserve with a torn ACL and MCL.
This year he seems to have put everything together. He’s made a strong comeback from his injury and is one of the best young centers in the game. You can routinely see his athleticism as he charges downfield to help pave the way on runs and screens.
DeSean Jackson has two Pro Bowls to his credit and could be looking at a third. He’s having the best season of his career this year. He’s currently third in the NFC in receiving yards, fifth in YPC, seventh in TDs, and first in catches over 20 yards.
LeSean McCoy should be a LOCK. Shady has had an incredible season leading the league in rushing and has over 2,000 total yards and 10 total touchdowns. You know what the best thing is? He’s only 25!
Nick Foles is a dark horse consideration. If you project his current numbers over a full season, he’d almost be a shoo-in. However, with just nine starts to his credit this year, he is fourth in the NFC in TD passes, first in yards per attempt, has the best TD-to-INT ratio and has the best QB rating.
Unfortunately, he likely hasn’t played enough to warrant serious consideration. However, other than Drew Brees, who else in the NFC can you say is clearly a better choice? Cam Newton and Russell Wilson? Perhaps, but I wouldn’t say they were head and shoulders above Foles performance and statistics-wise.
On the defensive side of the ball, while I absolutely love how hard these guys have played as a unit, I can’t see one specific player stand out as having a good shot at the Pro Bowl. However, if I had to pick one, it would be Trent Cole.
Cole has made a solid transition from 4-3 DE to 3-4 OLB and has really come on in recent weeks with the sacks. He’s looking like the Cole of old lately so maybe he’ll end up getting the nod as an alternate.
Otherwise, I’d like to give honorable mention to almost the entire defense. Cox, Thornton, Logan, Barwin, Ryans, Kendricks and Boykin especially. These guys have been solid this season.
Hell, even Nate Allen has improved. Cary Williams has lived up to his reputation and Bradley Fletcher has actually impressed me with his coverage for the most part.
One last player that deserves Pro Bowl consideration this year: the punter, Donnie Jones. He’s had a great year and has actually been a weapon at times with punts downed inside the 20.
The Pro Bowl is taking a different approach this year with voting and actual teams. It won’t be broken down by conference so much anymore so it’s hard to say if that will impact the chances of the above Eagles players.
In theory of the new rules for who makes it, it would seem to be harder because they’re now competing against everyone in the NFL and not just the players in their conference.
We’ll see tonight when the voting results will be announced.