The Kansas City Chiefs have five players headed to the Pro Bowl. That’s right—five players from the 2-13 Chiefs have been recognized by the fans, their peers and coaches to represent the AFC in the Pro Bowl. The San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders beat the Chiefs a combined four times and have no players that were selected.
The Chiefs were hoping to be playing in January at the start of the season, but I don’t think this was their intention. Jamaal Charles and Derrick Johnson made the roster as reserves and deserved to be selected, but the other three selections are dumbfounding.
Dustin Colquitt, Eric Berry and Tamba Hali made the Pro Bowl as starters, which means they were recognized as the best in the AFC at their positions. That’s hard to swallow even for the most optimistic Chiefs fans.
Justin Houston has outperformed Hali all season at outside linebacker and didn’t make the Pro Bowl at all. Hali does have nine sacks, so maybe his selection wasn’t that bad? Even nine sacks in a down year for Hali doesn’t change that he clearly wasn’t the best outside linebacker in the AFC or even on his own team.
Eric Berry has been disappointing until recently, and there are at least 10 more deserving safeties in the AFC alone. Berry has been solid against the run, but he has just one interception on the season. Berry made it over more deserving candidates, and his selection is just another example of why the Pro Bowl selection process is seriously flawed.
Normally, it’s hard to argue with a punter that makes the Pro Bowl, as a case can usually be made with stats. No such case can be made for Colquitt, because he wasn’t in the top 15 in punting average or net punting. Colquitt did have 43 punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line with only 34.2 percent of his punts to be returned, but that’s mostly a product of the Chiefs bad offense.
There were more deserving punters in the AFC like Bryan Anger, Mike Scifres, Brandon Fields and Kevin Huber. Perhaps voters felt that the Punter was the Chiefs’ best player because the offense was so bad? It doesn’t make much sense, but neither do most of the selections.
For the fans, it’s nice to know that the Chiefs have talented players and that things can get back on track in a hurry if they can solve their issue at quarterback. Berry has played better in recent weeks, and Hali has the necessary talent to turn things around in 2013.
Perhaps having five players selected to the Pro Bowl was just what the Chiefs needed to attract the best candidates for general manager and head coach. It certainly can’t hurt to have centerpieces like Charles and Johnson on each side of the ball.