The 2014 NFL Pro Bowl rosters have been announced, and four New England Patriot players have made the cut. Tom Brady (duh), Logan Mankins, Aqib Talib, and Matthew Slater are the four guys that have been voted in, and in my opinion, they are all terrific selections.
Despite not having the numbers of past years, Brady’s 2013 campaign was one of his best. He has taken a team loaded with injuries to an 11-4 season, and they are in position to clinch the second seed in the AFC. Brady probably will not win the MVP award (thanks Peyton), but I really think that he has been the most valuable player in the NFL this year, and for that reason, he definitely deserves to be in his ninth Pro Bowl.
Aqib Talib hasn’t been on the field for the entire year, but when he is, there aren’t many cornerbacks that can shut down opposing receivers like Talib can. The combination of strength and athleticism he brings to the table is very impressive, but more importantly, he brings an attitude to this defense. This group is much better when Talib is on the field, and that is what people look for, when voting on the Pro Bowl.
Logan Mankins hasn’t been as dominant as he normally is, but he certainly is a top guard in the AFC. He is a great run blocker, and his pass blocking. However we saw a different side of Mankins last week, as he stepped in for left tackle Nate Solder against the Ravens, and performed admirably against one of the best defensive fronts in the NFL. I think that solidified his position on this Pro Bowl team, and while I hope he won’t be playing in the actual game, the simple gesture shows that he still gets the respect that he deserves, across the country.
The selection of Matthew Slater is a no-brainer, as game after game he proves that he is an elite special teams player. He is always in on punt and kick return tackles, and his leadership on the Pats is something that flies under the radar.
Stay tuned to Musket Fire, as there will be more analysis of the Pro Bowl selections, throughout the rest of the night, and into tomorrow.