AFC South: Pro Bowl analysis 2013

Pro Bowl selections: Houston Texans

December, 27, 2013
Indicative of the changing records, while only one season ago the Texans had nine Pro Bowlers, this season Houston has only two in defensive end J.J. Watt and receiver Andre Johnson.

Though it's possible more accrue -- left tackle Duane Brown, cornerback Johnathan Joseph and center Chris Myers were all named alternates -- that total is still significantly lower than it was last season.

Pro Bowl votes have little to do with who deserves it and who ranks as the best player at each position. Rather, Pro Bowl votes have a lot to do with reputation and who has received the votes in the past.

While a player's team's record might not have much to do with how he has played, it often has a lot to do with his chances of being voted to the Pro Bowl.

Thus, it's much harder for a player on a 2-13 team heading into the last game of the season to be voted to the Pro Bowl over a guy on a team with a superior record.

Click here for the complete Pro Bowl roster.

Pro Bowl selections: Indianapolis Colts

December, 27, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS -- Robert Mathis entered the season wanting to prove that he could be successful without playing alongside Dwight Freeney.

Mathis picked up his 100th career sack and led the league in that category most of the season. He set the Colts’ single-season and franchise record for sacks earlier this month. He’s a Defensive Player of the Year candidate.

And now he’s a Pro Bowler.

Mathis was selected to his sixth straight Pro Bowl on Friday night. He has 53 tackles and is second in the league in sacks with 17.5. Mathis was named AFC Defensive Player of the Month for October.

The Pro Bowl draft will be held on Jan. 22.

The Colts are 10-5 and won the AFC South, but Mathis is the lone Colts player to be selected to the Pro Bowl.

An argument could be made that quarterback Andrew Luck and special-teams ace Sergio Brown should have made the team.

Justin Bethel of Arizona and Matthew Slater of New England were the two special-teams players taken over Brown.

Here’s the breakdown of the quarterbacks taken over Luck:

Luck's completion percentage doesn't help his cause. He could be named to the team as an alternate.

Click here for the complete Pro Bowl roster.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Not surprisingly, there were no Jacksonville Jaguars voted to the Pro Bowl.

But that doesn't mean there wasn't one who deserved to be honored. Linebacker Paul Posluszny has had a Pro Bowl-caliber season and should have made the list.

Posluszny is second in the NFL with 152 tackles, five behind Cincinnati's Vontaze Burfict. Posluszny's 115 solo tackles are the most in the league. He also has 11 pass breakups and two interceptions. He had a 59-yard interception return for a touchdown against Denver -- the first touchdown of his career -- and this is his sixth consecutive season of 100-plus tackles.

Burfict, San Francisco's NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis, and Carolina's Luke Kuechly were the Pro Bowl linebackers.

Click here for the complete Pro Bowl roster.

Pro Bowl selections: Tennessee Titans

December, 27, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Titans cornerback Alterraun Verner is the team’s first Pro Bowl selection since 2010.

As of now, he’s going alone.

Defensive tackle Jurrell Casey has had a Pro Bowl season too. He ranks as second alternate at his position and has a chance to be part of the game if someone ahead of him is injured or plays in the Super Bowl.

He lost out to Gerald McCoy of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Haloti Ngata of the Baltimore Ravens, Dontari Poe of the Kansas City Chiefs, Justin Smith of the San Francisco 49ers, Ndamukong Suh of the Detroit Lions and Kyle Williams of the Buffalo Bills.

The cornerbacks in addition to Verner are Brandon Flowers of the Chiefs, Brent Grimes of the Miami Dolphins, Joe Haden of the Cleveland Browns, Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals, Darrelle Revis of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks and Aqib Talib of the New England Patriots.

The Titans passed out quotes from Verner, who has just one game left in the fourth and final year of his rookie contract.

“It is a huge honor,” Verner said. “It is something that everybody in my family, we used to watch the game and admire the people that make it. So to know that I am going to be a part of it and that only a special group of people make this game is very exciting. It is a good cap-off to the season and I am excited to be able to represent the Titans.”

Verner said coach Mike Munchak and general manager Ruston Webster called him this afternoon with the news. The teams will be drafted by Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice instead of playing AFC versus NFC.

“I would like to say “thank you” to the fans and to Titans Nation that voted for me and tried to help me out,” Verner said. “I want to thank the coaches for allowing me to contribute the way I was able to contribute. Again to my teammates as well. This is not an individual sport at all. This wasn’t an ‘I’ award or an ‘I’ honor, I didn’t make this happen, everyone had a hand in it. I am appreciative, overwhelmed and very excited.”

Receiver Kendall Wright has been the Titans best offensive player. But he lost out to a group of qualified guys with bigger numbers. Of the eight, seven ranked higher in at least two of three categories -- catches, yards and touchdowns -- than Wright.

Click here for the complete Pro Bowl roster.