The Chicago Bears have had a very disappointing season, although that doesn’t apply to defensive tackle Stephen Paea. The first round of voting for the 2015 Pro Bowl was announced yesterday and Paea leads all defensive tackles in votes.
Paea this season has 26 tackles, a forced fumble, two batted passes and 6.0 sacks, which equals his career sack total in three previous seasons. The 6.0 sacks are fourth most at his position.
Paea is in a contract year and told me during OTAs this needs to be the best year of his career. Mission accomplished, as he’s on track to make his first Pro Bowl.
On the defensive side of the ball, only defensive end Willie Young finished in the top 10 in voting at his position. Young, who leads the Bears with 8.5 sacks, is ninth in voting at his position, and third in the NFC behind the Vikings’ Everson Griffen and Detroit’s Ezekiel Ansah.
On offense, the Bears have two potential Pro Bowlers. Running back Matt Forte is fourth in votes, and third in the NFC. Forte, who has nearly 1,600 yards from scrimmage and a franchise-best 86 receptions, would be making the Pro Bowl for his third straight season.
Martellus Bennett is fifth in voting amongst tight ends and third in the NFC, behind the Saints’ Jimmy Graham and the Panthers’ Greg Olsen. Bennett, who has 77 receptions for 821 yards and six touchdowns, would be making his first Pro Bowl appearance. Bennett’s 77 catches are 10th most in the NFL and lead all tight ends.
Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of BearReport.com and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is in his fourth season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter.