The New England Patriots will be well represented at the 2018 NFL Pro Bowl as four players were selected for the roster.
The New England Patriots are in the midst of another great season. With Bill Belichick at the helm, the Patriots being good is almost as guaranteed as death and taxes. This season has been no different.
The Patriots are currently atop the AFC with a record of 11-3. They have already clinched the AFC East, the ninth consecutive division title. Things have not been easy this season despite the Patriots making it look that way.
New England has had to face plenty of adversity in the way of injuries. Julian Edelman didn’t and won’t, play a snap this season. Malcolm Mitchell has been sidelined all season. Marcus Cannon is on IR. Chris Hogan has missed time with a shoulder injury, and that is just offensively.
Defensively, the Patriots have also been hammered by injuries. Linebacker and defensive leader Dont’a Hightower injured his shoulder again and was placed on IR. Shea McClellin has been on IR all season. Stephon Gilmore and Eric Rowe missed time. Kyle Van Noy is currently sidelined.
New England Patriots
Despite all of the injuries, the Patriots have kept going like a well-oiled machine. As a result, the Patriots will be pretty well represented in the 2018 Pro Bowl game.
The Patriots had four players named to the Pro Bowl roster. That number trails only the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC, who had eight, and is tied with three other teams; the Jacksonville Jaguars, Los Angeles Chargers and Oakland Raiders.
Some of the names representing the Patriots in the Pro Bowl are not a surprise. Tom Brady was named to the team 13th time in his career. The 13 selections set a Patriots franchise record. It is his ninth consecutive time being named to the team as well.
The spot on the team was well earned, as the 40-year old leads the NFL in passing yards. He is second in passer rating, third in touchdowns and fifth in completion percentage.
Joining him on the offense will be tight end Rob Gronkowski. Despite the blemish of being suspended for one game, Gronkowski has had an excellent season. Gronkowski leads all tight ends with 1,017 yards. It is the fourth time in his career that he has surpassed 1,000 receiving yards, joining Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten as the only tight ends to do so.
Making the team for the seventh time in his career is special teamer Matt Slater. Slater’s reputation around the league is well known, which helped him get this nomination. He has only appeared in seven games because of injury but is still looked at as a leader for the Patriots. His seven Pro Bowl berths ties Steve Tasker for the most by a special teams player in NFL history.
The biggest surprise for the Patriots was fullback James Devlin. The fullback has been phased out of some offenses, but Devlin still has a role with New England. Devlin has played 29.9 percent of the Patriots offensive snaps and helps clear the way for Dion Lewis, Rex Burkhead, Mike Gillislee and James White in the running game.
Devlin is the first fullback to be named to the Pro Bowl for the Patriots since 1978 when Sam Cunningham was named to the team.