Sorry, Jets Fans, but LaRon Landry Doesn't Belong in 2013 Pro Bowl

Erik Frenz@ErikFrenzSenior Writer IDecember 26, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 02:  LaRon Landry #30 of the New York Jets intercepts a pass thrown by  Ryan Lindley #14 of the Arizona Cardinals during their game at at MetLife Stadium on December 2, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Why wasn't Chargers safety Eric Weddle voted to the 2013 Pro Bowl?

Simple: There wasn't enough room for him and Jets safety LaRon Landry's biceps.

The merit of the Pro Bowl has long been in question, and the selection of players like Landry is part of that.

His season is commendable, by his recent standards at least. He managed to stay healthy for a full 16 games for the first time since 2008. That, on its own, shouldn't be enough to earn him his first bid to the Pro Bowl.

Where does Landry rank in the pantheon of NFL safeties this season?

Well, if we're talking about his play in the running game, perhaps he merits consideration. Landry's 85 tackles rank fourth in the NFL at his position, and along with that, his four forced fumbles are also proof that he was around the ball a lot this year.

Beyond that, good luck piecing together an argument.

His two interceptions are tied for 19th at his position. His 89.1 passer rating into his coverage ranks 44th among safeties, according to ProFootballFocus.com.

Not that he was awful in coverage, but he was far from the creme of the crop in any way, shape or form.

A better indication of why he doesn't belong is the list of players who didn't make it.

Along with the aforementioned Weddle, we don't have to look outside the division to find two snubs in Dolphins safety Reshad Jones (who is a top-10 safety in the NFL) and Bills safety Jairus Byrd.

By comparison, the numbers speak for themselves.

If we are talking about surpassing previous performance and usurping expectations, Landry may be at or near the top of the list for AFC safeties—few expected him to stay healthy, much less play well. 

Based on performance alone, which is clearly not what the Pro Bowl is about, Landry's inclusion with the team is not justifiable by comparison to the rest of the top safeties in the AFC.

 

Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless specified otherwise, all quotes are obtained firsthand or via team press releases.

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