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Pro Bowl Games

2024 Pro Bowl Games snubs: Josh Allen, Brandon Aiyuk among players left out

The rosters for the 2024 Pro Bowl Games have been revealed -- so now it's time to argue over the players who didn't make it through the initial selection process.

The number of worthy candidates far outweighs the 88 roster spots split between the two conferences. Toss in position limitations, and creating a set of teams that would satisfy everyone is impossible. Im-poss-ible. Someone will always be left out in the January cold.

It's hard to quibble with the men who made the rosters. Defining those who didn't make it as snubs should not be taken as criticism of the players selected. For me, this exercise is a way to acknowledge players having splendid years that might not have received the national attention they deserved. Consider the below list your "next 10" list, when replacements on the Pro Bowl rosters inevitably start racking up. Or maybe it'd be my Pro Bowl Practice Squad.

There were genuinely about 30-plus players that I considered here, which underscores the difficulty of compiling these lists. Some factors make keeping it to 10 difficult. What do you do with players who missed a chunk of time due to injury, like T.J. Hockenson, James Conner or Jevon Holland? The tackles in Minnesota could easily be viewed as Pro Bowlers, but what about the rough patches? How can you leave off the Rams' young defensive studs? Tristan Wirfs' transition to left tackle didn't go exactly as hoped, but the man didn't forget how to block. What about the Alex Highsmith-types, overshadowed by their own teammates -- can they ever get their due?

I honestly anguished over not mentioning many worthy players. I'm sure I missed several. Consider them double-snubbed. Below is my list of 10 players I personally thought were worthy of Pro Bowl inclusion. It will differ from your list. It should; otherwise, what are we even doing here?

ALSO CONSIDERED:  Kobie Turner, Rams DT; Ernest Jones Rams LB; Alex Highsmith, Steelers OLB; Demario Davis, Saints OLB; C.J. Mosley, Jets LB; Bobby Okereke, Giants LB; Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Browns LB; Jake Elliott, Eagles K; Jalen Hurts, Eagles QB; T.J. Hockenson, Vikings TE; Brian O'Neill, Vikings OT; Christian Darrisaw, Vikings OT; Isiah Pacheco, Chiefs RB; Ryan Kelly, Colts C; Kevin Zeitler, Ravens G; Elgton Jenkins, Packers G; Kolton Miller, Raiders OT; Tristan Wirfs, Buccaneers OT; Jeffery Simmons, Titans DT; Jared Goff, Lions QB; C.J. Stroud, Texans QB; Gregory Rousseau, Bills DE; James Conner, Cardinals RB; Carl Granderson, Saints DE; Taron Johnson, Bills CB; Zaire Franklin, Colts LB; Travis Etienne, Jaguars RB; Ivan Pace Jr., Vikings LB; DJ Moore, Bears WR; Breece Hall, Jets RB.

Dustin Hopkins
Cleveland Browns · K

Let's shoehorn a kicker onto our list to acknowledge all three phases of the game. Justin Tucker is the best ever at his position, but Tucker's spot on this year's roster feels like an honorary inclusion in a down year for the all-time great. Hopkins was money until suffering a hamstring injury on Christmas Eve. The Browns booter has nailed 91.7% of 36 attempts this season. Most importantly, he went 8-of-8 from 50-plus yards, with a long of 58. Hopkins' 6.6 field goals made over expected trails only Brandon Aubrey (8.5) and Matt Prater (6.8), per Next Gen Stats.

Bradley Chubb
Miami Dolphins · OLB

Chubb could be a placeholder for a handful of Pro Bowl-worthy Dolphins defenders. Jaelan Phillips was on the path to a career high in sacks before a torn Achilles ended his season in November. Jevon Holland probably would have made the all-star roster if he'd played an entire season. Christian Wilkins and Zach Sieler continue to eat in the middle (both are in the top 11 among DTs with 50-plus pressures, per Pro Football Focus). Andrew Van Ginkel has at least one "Where'd he come from???" play per week.

But I'll go with Chubb as my snubbed choice here, highlighting the painful nature of his Week 17 ACL tear. Chubb generated 11 sacks, 22 QB hits and a league-high six forced fumbles. A menace off the edge, Chubb has generated 78 QB pressures this season, seventh-most among all defenders, per Next Gen Stats, and his 17.6% QB pressure rate is better than the likes of Nick Bosa or Myles Garrett (both 17%). Jalen Ramsey getting a Pro Bowl nod despite playing in just nine games speaks to his big name and importance in Vic Fangio's system. But there were other Dolphins that deserved flowers for their play this season.

Derrick Brown
Carolina Panthers · DT

In a woeful season, Brown stood out as a bright spot for Carolina. Pass rushers get the headlines, but run-stuffers deserve love, too. The behemoth has gobbled up 96 tackles on the season -- two shy of the single-season mark for a defensive lineman, set by Christian Wilkins last year -- including six for loss. Brown's 74 stops are 10 more than the next closest at his position, per Next Gen Stats. His stop rate of 8.8% is also tops among DTs with at least 500 snaps. He might only have one sack, but he's not a stiff in the pass-rushing department, either, generating 31 QB pressures and a career-high 13 QB hits from the inside. Brown also earned six batted passes, per PFF, second-most among DTs. There's been a lot of bad in Carolina this season, but Brown has been excellent.

Kevin Dotson
Los Angeles Rams · G

The Rams' August trade for Dotson was low-key one of the best moves of 2023. After struggling in Pittsburgh, the guard stabilized what was a major issue for L.A. last season, paving Kyren Williams' path to the Pro Bowl. Dotson proved a perfect fit for how Sean McVay wanted to run things in 2023. It's funny how talent shines in different surroundings. The 27-year-old guard was also a stellar blocker in front of Matthew Stafford, allowing just seven QB hits, three of which came against the Ravens' fourth-ranked defense. Three Rams skill players -- Stafford, Williams and Puka Nacua -- all earned Pro Bowl nods, and those probably don't happen without L.A. finding stability along the O-line.

Amon-Ra St. Brown
Detroit Lions · WR

Earning a spot as a wideout is a tough nut to crack, but the Sun God deserves praise for helping spearhead the Lions' turnaround. St. Brown is fifth in the NFL with 1,371 receiving yards, is tied for second with 112 catches and is tied for fifth with nine receiving touchdowns. His 91.4 yards per game rank fifth-most, and his 70 first downs are tied for third among pass-catchers. Whenever Jared Goff needs a play, odds are, he's targeting St. Brown -- and odds are, St. Brown will convert. The 2021 fourth-round pick owns the ability to create space, plus the vise-grip hands to catch everything zipped his way. St. Brown is the complete package.

Quincy Williams
New York Jets · LB

I could have included several off-ball linebackers on this list -- including, but not limited to, Williams' Jets teammate C.J. Mosley, Bobby Okereke, Ernest Jones, Demario Davis and Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah -- but I'll use this space to share why I think Quincy should have been able to hang with his brother Quinnen Williams at the Pro Bowl. Williams has been a highlight reel this season, making big plays for a Gang Green defense that held the club above water as long as possible. Williams has gobbled up 131 tackles, including 15 for loss. The 27-year-old has been a stud in coverage, generating an interception and 10 passes defended, second-most among linebackers, behind only Fred Warner. He also leads all LBs with 93 stops, per Next Gen Stats. After years of living in his brother's shadow, the speedster came into his own in 2023. The next step is getting that Pro Bowl nod. 

Josh Allen
Buffalo Bills · QB

The Bills' midseason swoon and a glut of prime-time turnovers probably kept him from making the initial Pro Bowl roster, but doggonit, Allen still remains among the best of the best. Don't be thrown by his rank of seventh among QBs in passing yards (3,947) and passing TDs (27); his 457 rush yards (fourth among QBs) and 15 rushing scores (tied for the most among QBs) show what a dual-threat force he is. Yes, the turnovers in big moments have been bad, but Allen does not rank highly in turnover-worthy plays, per PFF, tying with Brock Purdy (16) -- behind Tua Tagovailoa (20) and Patrick Mahomes (18). Allen's ability to make ridiculous throws gets him into some trouble. It also stirs the Bills' drink and has gotten them back into playoff contention.

Brandon Aiyuk
San Francisco 49ers · WR

Maybe Aiyuk gets lost in a big-name 49ers offense, but the wideout has put up monster numbers -- despite tallying just 101 targets in 15 games, he sits at 1,317 receiving yards, making him the only wideout above the 1,200-yard plateau with fewer than 128 targets. Aiyuk leads all players with 18.3 yards per catch this season and boasts a catch percentage of 71.3. His 71.3 receiving EPA ranks third in the NFL, behind only CeeDee Lamb and Tyreek Hill. Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel and George Kittle rightfully garner attention for their play in San Francisco, but in the crucible of the big moment this season, it's been Aiyuk who has stepped up for the NFC's top club.

L'Jarius Sneed
Kansas City Chiefs · CB

Clearly, the voters and I have a difference of opinion when it comes to defensive backs. Perhaps most side with Ja'Marr Chase's assertion about the Chiefs secondary. But while you might be able to ding Sneed for all the penalties (17, per PFF), he is as physical as any corner in the NFL, and the results speak for themselves. The 26-year-old corner silences opponents. He's allowed 5-plus catches and 50-plus yards in a game just twice this season, per Next Gen Stats, and he's given up ZERO touchdowns in 462 coverage snaps. His -29.7 target EPA is third-best among all CBs in 2023. His play is not just Pro Bowl-worthy -- it's All-Pro quality.

Antoine Winfield Jr.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers · S

Anyone who's watched more than one Bucs game surely noticed the playmaker wearing No. 31 flying around the ball, wreaking havoc and generally destroying offensive game plans. So at first perusal of the NFC roster, I was certain I simply missed Winfield's name. Nope. He's not on the list. (And I just checked a 45th time, to be sure!) Bucs fans are sure to find this a travesty and a sham and a mockery. Winfield has been all over the field, generating 117 tackles, five tackles for loss, five sacks, seven QB hits, five forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, three interceptions and 12 passes defended. No offense to the three NFC safeties elected -- all are good players in their own right -- but it's stunning to me Winfield continues to be overlooked after the masterful season he's compiled.

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