Friday, December 27, 2013
Pro Bowl selections: Philadelphia Eagles
By Phil Sheridan
PHILADELPHIA -- The Eagles' late-season run to the brink of an NFC East title did not translate into many Pro Bowl berths.
LeSean McCoy, the NFL's leading rusher, was an almost automatic selection. Left tackle Jason Peters, who had five Pro Bowl selections on his resume, was the only other Eagle chosen.
Five Cleveland Browns were chosen, so the wins-to-Pro-Bowl-berths relationship is kind of hard to figure sometimes.
McCoy was a lock. He needs just 37 rushing yards to break Wilbert Montgomery's franchise record of 1,512.
Three Eagles have legitimate gripes. And no, one of them is not quarterback Nick Foles, who was cited as the biggest snub via social media on the NFL Network's Pro Bowl selection special.
Foles has had 60 percent of a Pro Bowl season. The fact that he didn't start the Eagles' first five games, and missed another game because of a concussion, surely hurt his cause. It's also hard to argue with any of the six quarterbacks chosen: Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, Cam Newton, Philip Rivers and Russell Wilson.
The three Eagles who should have been ticketed for Hawaii:
Wide receiver DeSean Jackson is having the best season of his career. There are plenty of wide receivers with big numbers, but Jackson has provided a huge big-play element to the Eagles' prolific offense.
Left guard Evan Mathis has been the highest-rated guard by Pro Football Focus for several seasons now. He is equally dominating in the run game and in pass protection.
Center Jason Kelce has battled back from an ACL tear to anchor the Eagles' offensive line. Kelce makes the line calls, snaps the ball and is still able to get downfield and block for McCoy in the secondary.
Foles was selected as a first alternate. Jackson and Mathis were second alternates.
No one from the Eagles defense was chosen. Again, not surprising. DeMeco Ryans and Trent Cole have Pro Bowl pedigrees, but neither has the big sack or interception numbers that draw votes. Cole has eight sacks in the Eagles' last seven games but had zero through the first half of the season.
"I'd be disappointed if some of those guys didn't make it because I think [they're] deserving," Eagles coach Chip Kelly said. "But I don't think our guys -- I mean, it's a nice reward, but I think that their focus and attention is on what's going to go on this Sunday."
Click here for the complete Pro Bowl roster.