Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, guard Josh Sitton and linebacker Clay Matthews were the Green Bay Packers’ three representatives for this year’s Pro Bowl.
Rodgers was named to his fifth Pro Bowl in the past seven seasons, despite ranking 12th in passer rating, 24th in completion percentage and 28th in yards per attempt. However, the Packers are 10-4 because he takes care of the football (third in interception percentage) and he continues to make plays (second in touchdown-to-interception ratio). Among Packers quarterbacks, only Brett Favre has been selected to more Pro Bowls with nine.
Sitton was named to his third Pro Bowl in the past four seasons and second in a row. He is the first Green Bay guard to be named to consecutive Pro Bowls since Marco Rivera was selected to three straight from 2002 through 2004. Despite being limited by injuries throughout the season, Sitton has helped lead the way for the league’s ninth-ranked rushing attack.
Clay Matthews was selected for his sixth Pro Bowl in his seven seasons, with the lone exception being 2013, when he missed half the season with a broken thumb. Only Willie Wood has been selected to more Pro Bowls among Packers defenders with eight, and Matthews tied Reggie White for No. 2 on the franchise list. Showing incredible versatility in his first full season at inside linebacker, Matthews ranks second on the team with 81 tackles and 5.5 sacks and first with 13 quarterback hits.
Fullback John Kuhn was named first alternate. Other alternates include receivers Randall Cobb and James Jones, running back Eddie Lacy, guard T.J. Lang, defensive tackle Mike Daniels, linebacker Julius Peppers and cornerback Sam Shields.
The three selections is indicative of the state of the Packers (10-4), who are one of five teams in the league with 10-plus wins but haven’t played like an elite team. Carolina (14-0) has 10 Pro Bowlers, followed by Arizona (12-2) and New England (12-2) with seven, and Denver (10-4) with four. Five teams have nine wins — Seattle has seven Pro Bowlers, Kansas City has five, Pittsburgh and the Jets have three, and Minnesota has one. Even the four-win Cowboys have more Pro Bowlers (four) than the Packers.
The Packers could end up with more Pro Bowlers when some players drop out due to injury or being in the Super Bowl, so this isn’t exactly an apples-to-apples comparison. Nonetheless, the Packers had seven Pro Bowlers last year, one in 2013, four in 2012, seven in 2011, eight in 2010, four in 2009, three in 2008, five in 2007 and two in 2006. That’s an average of 4.6 Pro Bowlers under coach Mike McCarthy.
Bill Huber is publisher of PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at email@example.com or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PackerReport.