11 Players to Look Forward to at the Pro Bowl

    By Jaime Villegas

    image-19176d1a391064997e6575ba1198a44a9c81222b.jpgContinuing with our newly launced 12 Days of Quintmas tradition, today we present the 11 players to look forward to at the Pro Bowl! The 2015 NFL regular season is going to be over before you know it. In just a month’s time, all we’re going to be left with is the postseason race toward the Super Bowl. Now, I know you guys love the NFL postseason, but if your favorite team doesn’t make it to the playoffs, you might not exactly be watching with unbridled enthusiasm.

    That doesn’t mean you can’t still see your favorite players on the field one last time, though. This is because we’ll get the 2016 Pro Bowl a week prior to Super Bowl 50!

    With balloting for the 2016 Pro Bowl officially closed, we looked at the players with the most votes as of the Thanksgiving weekend (the NFL has yet to release an updated vote-count). Let’s take a look at where these top vote-getting players stand. It’s worth noting that the Pro Bowl selection process very much involves popularity and name recognition as much as it does production. If your favorite player is a popular one having a decent season, there’s a good chance he’s Pro Bowl-bound!

    Check out some of the leading vote-getters for the NFL’s Pro Bowl right here:

    Offense:

    1 – Tom Brady (Quarterback) – Patriots – 342,471 votes

    Of course Tom Brady is currently No. 1. His position in the pantheon that is the NFL is undeniable, although consistently contested. You either love him or hate ‘em, there’s no in-between here.

    2 – Cam Newton (Quarterback) – Panthers – 298,754 votes

    Cam has had one heck of a year. The Panthers’ very own “golden boy” is the ray of light this team has been waiting to see for a few seasons now. It seems Cam, along with the rest of the team, have really found their footing. They are currently sitting at undefeated with a 13-0 record. Without jinxing the team, this could be the “Cinderella” story we’re all dying to be a part of!

    3 – Davonta Freeman (Running Back) – Falcons – 244,448 votes

    Currently in the top five of the voting, it’s no surprise Devonta Freeman is getting plenty of attention in the Pro Bowl. While the second-year running back for the Atlanta Falcons may be dealing with a concussion he suffered in Week 11, it hasn’t stopped fans from voting for him to play in the game.

    4 – Rob Gronkowski (Tight End) – Patriots – 243,451 votes

    GRONK!! Rob Gronkowski returned to the field for the New England Patriots on Sunday night after missing just one game with a bone bruise. He finished the game with four catches for 87 yards and a touchdown – his 10th score of the season. With that, Gronkowski set a new NFL record for the most 10-touchdown seasons by a tight end (five).

    5 – Odell Beckham Jr. (Wide Receiver) – Giants – 212,741 votes

    Odell Beckham exploded for 166 yards and a pair of touchdowns on seven interceptions, leading the New York Giants (6-7) to a 31-24 victory over the Dolphins (5-8) on Monday night. Beckham has the most receptions (176) and receiving yards (2,625) of any player in his first 25 games.

    6 – Antonio Brown (Wide Receiver) – Steelers – 209,306 votes

    Antonio Brown makes a strong case for the league’s best receiver. He finished with 8 catches for 118 yards and two scores and was a nightmare to cover all night long. And when it was all said and done, he ran a punt back to the house.

    Defense:

    1 – J.J. Watt (Defensive End) – Texans – 165,879 votes

    Watt broke a bone in his hand during a drill practice, then skipped a couple practices to help the hand recover. This kind of injury can require a cast for six to eight weeks, so Watt will likely be in the cast for the rest of the season. So far this season Watt has 62 tackles (47 of them solo), 13.5 sacks, 42 quarterback hits, 25 tackles for loss, 1 forced fumble and five passes defensed. Watt hasn't had a sack in back-to-back games. He hasn't gone three games without a sack since the 2013 season.

    2 – Josh Norman (Corner Back) – Panthers – 155,223 votes

    Josh Norman’s game now involves shutting down analysts, not just wide receivers. NBC’s Rodney Harrison has been very vocal about his thoughts on the Panthers’ Josh Norman, stating that Julio Jones is better than Norman. However, the leaderboard doesn’t lie sir! Let’s not forget the Panther vs. Falcons score was 38-0.

    3 – Geno Atkins (Defensive Tackle) – Bengals – 136,894 votes

    While the spotlight remains on quarterback Andy Dalton as the fulcrum point to the Bengals' season, the plays of defensive tackle Geno Atkins and those around him have made the biggest difference between the Bengals simply winning a division title and actually becoming a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

    4 – Kawann Short (Defensive Tackle) – Panthers – 124,778 votes

    The Panthers are going to need to do whatever it takes to keep defensive tackle Kawann Short around – and that means a very big contract extension, likely this offseason. With two sacks Sunday, Short has nine for the year. That’s the most in any Panthers season for a defensive tackle, surpassing Jenkins’ seven in 2002.

    5 – Darrelle Revis (Cornerback) – New York Jets – 123, 808 votes

    New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis was active against Tennessee after missing two games with a concussion. While a concussion may have had him out for two games, Revis is feeling more confident than ever and ready to get back to the grind. The four-time All-Pro certainly has nothing left to prove to anyone other than to himself.

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