We all know that the Pro Bowl is everybody’s favorite aspect of the NFL season, particularly watching the game, and how the league manages to tweak the actual game in new and interesting ways to make it less and less like the real thing on a weekly basis.
And we also know how much everybody loves Pro Football Focus around here, and their great insights into the game, many of which they no longer allow access to for the general public, now that they have bigger clients to which they can sell their products.
Be that as it may, PFF has put out their list of the players that would make their Pro Bowl roster if the season ended today, dividing the rosters by conference, and the Pittsburgh Steelers got some representation, with all of it coming on the offensive side of the ball. There were three players chosen to represent Pittsburgh.
That Le’Veon Bell made their list at the running back position should probably go without saying, as he got the lead nod over Jay Ajayi for Miami and Melvin Gordon in San Diego. About Bell, it reads, “Bell remains the all-purpose yardage master, dominating on the ground or as a receiver for the Steelers’ offense”.
Bell, of course, is having a remarkable season, but so is Antonio Brown, even if it might not quite feel like it if you compare it to his previous couple of campaigns. But the All-Pro wide receiver heads PFF’s wide receiver column as well.
That was made note of in their write-up for the wide receivers, saying, “Antonio Brown hasn’t been quite the same unstoppable force we saw season ago, and yet he still has 93 catches for 1,130 yards and 11 touchdowns through 14 weeks”.
The third and final representative for PFF’s Pro Bowl picks from the Steelers is fifth-year guard David DeCastro, who was a first-team All-Pro last season, but who has had troubles drawing a lot of penalties in 2016. DeCastro was the third and three guards on the list for the AFC, noting that he “narrowly” edged out Kevin Zeitler of the Bengals, who was drafted at the same time.
You may have noticed that there was one particular absence of note from this list. PFF did not include Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on the list, opting instead for Tom Brady, Derek Carr, and Andrew Luck as their representatives for the AFC.
Carr and Luck have similar touchdown production to Roethlisberger, and Luck has thrown only one fewer interception, but Carr has less than half as many interceptions as the Steelers quarterback has thrown. Roethlisberger has the best accuracy of the three.
At the end of the day, the numbers for all three actually bear a fairly striking similarity, and it would be hard for me to argue one over the other, although I would put Roethlisberger ahead of Luck. I would imagine that the majority here, however, believe Roethlisberger is deserving of a Pro Bowl nod, even on a list from PFF.