Last week, the NFL announced that their Pro Bowl voting had opened up. You are now allowed to vote for six players at each position to represent the best of the best that the NFL has to offer in Las Vegas for the league’s “Pro Bowl Games.” These games will be a series of non-contact competitions and a flag football game, as the NFL has ditched their “contact” football game altogether. Star players have been pulling out of the event every year for about a decade now, which was likely a major factor in the change.
Still, the Pro Bowl does matter. When Pro Football Hall of Fame candidacies are compared, Pro Bowl and All-Pro seasons are as good as gold. The title also carries weight in contract negotiations and for incentives in those veteran contracts.
When clicking through the Pro Bowl voting site, I realized something: I had only selected one Green Bay Packer to be sent to Vegas. The passing game is struggling, which meant no quarterback, receiver or tight end. Left tackle David Bakhtiari has looked great when on the field, but has only played every snap in just three games. Elsewhere on the offensive line, center Josh Myers and left guard/right tackle Elgton Jenkins have had disappointing seasons.
In the defensive front seven, nose tackle Kenny Clark has been quiet in recent weeks (months?) while outside linebacker Rashan Gary was on pace for a Pro Bowl campaign until a season-ending ACL tear. Inside linebacker De’Vondre Campbell, a First-Team All-Pro in 2021, has regressed this year and no one else has given us anything to write home about on the defensive side of the ball.
That leaves us with one name: running back Aaron Jones. Jones is eighth in the league in all-purpose yards this season, which ranks fourth in the NFL among running backs behind the Raiders’ Josh Jacobs, the Giants’ Saquon Barkley and the Browns’ Nick Chubb. No one has a higher yards per carry (5.4 yards) than Jones on as many carries (143) as he’s recorded this year.
Yes, the Packers have been more successful as a run-first offense in 2022, but their lack of Pro Bowl candidates on the roster helps explain the struggles the team has been facing all year with self-inflicted issues. Green Bay spent the second-most cash in the league, behind the Los Angeles Rams, on the defensive side of the ball this season. Their reward? A Pro Bowl-less roster that has seen virtually every defender other than the now-injured Gary regress as a collective.
Sound off in the comments with the Packers you’d vote to make the Pro Bowl this season. You have until December 12th to contribute to the fan vote in 2022.