Random AFC West Pro Bowl thoughts:
The fact that Kansas City placed five players on the AFC Pro Bowl team -- as many as 12-win Denver -- despite a 2-13 record, pokes more holes at the team’s coaching.
It’s another reminder that there is talent on this roster. It will also serve as a good selling point for ownership to prospective coaches and general managers if the Hunt family makes wholesale changes, which may be likely. The Chiefs badly need a quarterback, but there is a nucleus there for a franchise that is on pace for the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft. That will appeal to a lot of potential hires.
It was nice to see Kansas City punter Dustin Colquitt get recognized. I don’t think the Chiefs deserved five Pro Bowl selections (I think Eric Berry and Tamba Hali made it on reputation and not production), but Colquitt had a fine season. He is one of the league’s most consistent and underrated punters. Colquitt has 42 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line this season. The NFL record is 44. The AFC West is the crown jewel of punters. San Diego’s Mike Scifres was an also a top contender and Oakland’s Shane Lechler is an all-time great. He has been named to nine Pro Bowls. At 36, Lechler -- a pending free agent -- slipped a bit this season. Meanwhile, Colquitt’s little brother, Denver punter Britton Colquitt, was a Pro Bowl alternate. It’s a heck of a group.
The omission of Oakland kicker Sebastian Janikowski, who has six field goals of 50 or more yards this season, is squarely on the players and coaches. He got the fan’s vote. Each group has a third of the voting.
Here’s a great quote from Denver cornerback Champ Bailey on where he really wants to end this season: “At some point I want to be able to tell the people at the Pro Bowl that I’m not coming because I’m playing in the Big Game. That’s really what my eyes are on, just making sure we keep winning and get to that Big Game.” Bailey and teammate Peyton Manning were each voted to their 12th Pro Bowl. They are tied for the fifth most in NFL history. Manning’s 12 Pro Bowls set the record for quarterbacks. You think he’ll make the Hall of Fame?
Denver announced its alternates. Here they are: wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (1st alternate), guard Chris Kuper (2nd alternate), guard Zane Beadles (3rd alternate), special teamer David Bruton (3rd alternate), punter Britton Colquitt (3rd alternate) and wide receiver Eric Decker (5th alternate).
Meanwhile, the Chargers’ finale against Oakland has been ruled a sell out and it will be shown on local television.