Did Any Packers Deserve to Go to the Pro Bowl?

The NFL announced its selections for the Pro Bowl earlier this week and for the first time since 2017, no member of the Green Bay Packers qualified for the games. Only three other teams didn’t send a player to the Pro Bowl weekend.

The Packers did have one player named as a first alternate and four others named as second alternates. These players will join the Pro Bowl festivities if other players at their position are unable or unwilling to play.

But do any Packers deserve to be named to the NFC Pro Bowl team? This young group has largely succeeded as a unit with other players stepping up when injuries hit, and starters were unavailable.

One of the players who certainly deserved consideration was quarterback Jordan Love. Love is presently ranked 7th in the NFL in quarterback rating. One of the players technically ahead of him is Kirk Cousins who only played eight games before suffering a season-ending injury and is not available to appear in the Pro Bowl.

Love’s early season struggles obviously hurt his chances to earn a trip to the Pro Bowl. At the halfway mark of the season, he and the entire offense were struggling with everything from reading defenses to running the right pass patterns.

But Love finished strong despite numerous injuries to his running backs, receivers, and tight ends. He’s third in the league with 30 touchdown passes and has run for four more. The former Utah State star also has a quarterback rating of 100 or more in six of the last seven games.

Based on his strong finish, Love deserved at least strong consideration as an alternate.

The only first alternate on the Packers roster was edge rusher Rashan Gary. The former Michigan star leads the team with nine sacks and 22 quarterback hits. He is also among the league leaders in pressures.

But Gary has only one-half sack in the last five games. If he had reached double-digit sacks and been more consistent in the sack department, he likely would have made the team.

The first of the second alternates is defensive lineman Kenny Clark. The former UCLA star is third on the team with 6.5 sacks, a strong total for an interior lineman. Clark finished the season strong but inconsistency in the early part of the year combined with the overall struggles of the Green Bay defense probably kept him off the team.

Cornerback Jaire Alexander is another second alternate. Alexander received this honor based solely on his reputation. Injuries limited the Louisville alum to just six games so far this season. The injuries also prevented him from playing to his potential in coverage and hampered his tackling ability.

The Packers suspended Alexander for last week’s game in Minnesota for conduct detrimental to the team. He should not be a Pro Bowler this season although if he stays healthy and has a better attitude next season, there’s no reason he can’t return to elite form.

Guard Elgton Jenkins is also an alternate. Jenkins is a two-time Pro Bowler. Injuries caused him to miss two games so far this season and slowed him in some others. Pro Football Focus ranks Jenkins in the top third of NFL guards but his inconsistent run blocking likely kept him off the team.

Return specialist Keisean Nixon was also named an alternate. He may have the best argument for being added to the team, but his failure to score a touchdown this year didn’t work in his favor.

Nixon averaged 26.2-yards per kick return, more than 2.5 yards per runback less than last season when he was named All Pro. It still is the best mark in the league.

His average performance on punt returns also didn’t help. Nixon is averaging 6.8-yards per punt return.

Overall, the Packers won and lost as a team in 2023. They will make the playoffs if they win their season finale. Most of these players will take that over a trip to the Pro Bowl scrimmage anyway. Did any players deserve to go to the Pro Bowl? Probably not. But the progress this team has made is remarkable and the future looks bright.

 

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You can follow Gil Martin on Twitter @GilPackers

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5 points
 

Comments (35)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
Leatherhead's picture

January 06, 2024 at 11:30 am

All of our players are potential Pro Bowlers, which is why we need to fire LaFleur, Stenovich, Butkus, and Barry.

Facetiousness aside, we're making the playoffs despite having any Pro Bowl talent. How we did that with a bunch of incompetents in the coaching staff is a mystery to me.

-8 points
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LeotisHarris's picture

January 06, 2024 at 02:33 pm

Respectfully, the Packers have an opportunity to make the playoffs because of revenue sharing, the salary cap, and scheduling based upon the previous season's success/failure. The NFL has long focused on parity, and it has been successful. Those constants, along with an expanded number of playoff slots gives 14 of 32 teams a shot at post-season play. It's not the NHL where 50% of the teams must have future All-Star players and world-class coaching to lead them to the playoffs, but it's close.

Maybe promoting from within doesn't always get the best person for the job?

6 points
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Leatherhead's picture

January 06, 2024 at 04:31 pm

Leotis, everything you say is true.

Everything I'm saying is only since Wolf, so about 32 years. 32 teams, 32 years. Every single team in the league should have won 1 Super and lost one. We've won two and lost one, which is twice as much as the average team.

We've made the Championship game a bunch of times. In a 16 team conference, everybody should have won 2, and lost 2 in 32 years. We're so far beyond that that I can't do the math in my head, but it's way above average.

We should win the division once every 4 years, so 8 times in the past 32 years. I think we're like double that, too.

I understand that parity is the name of the game, but when someone is winning more than average, that's not by luck. We do a lot of things right in Green Bay,IMO.

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LeotisHarris's picture

January 06, 2024 at 08:40 pm

Es verdad, compadre. ::fistbump::

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HarryHodag's picture

January 06, 2024 at 02:43 pm

Thank you Leatherhead. Social media and access to the endless mountain of near meaningless statistics coupled with gambling has led to a near complete distortion of reality.

Football is wins and losses. Win and your in. If you think the NFL is a slam dunk just ask Philly and Kansas City. They were in the Super Bowl less than a year ago. Both teams will be in the playoffs but nowhere near as powerful as last year, or should I say 11 months ago?

My point? Neither team is likely to fire everyone just because much of the NFL has caught up with them. The Packers have widely overachieved given how things were shaping up to start the year. If the Packers lose they will have the same record as last year's team led by His Darkness, but the feeling heading into the next season is entirely different.
Fire everybody gets you every loser in the NFL, but the armchair GM's know more than the folks paid to do the job.

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egbertsouse's picture

January 06, 2024 at 03:31 pm

They're making the playoffs? Did you get that from your Ouiji Board or Magic 8-Ball?

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splitpea1's picture

January 06, 2024 at 11:40 am

No, and I hope nobody is losing sleep over it.

Before we start doing cartwheels about how far we've come, remember that: A) a successful season means finishing out with a winning record by beating the Bears at home, and B) the remarkable progress we've made has been exclusively on offense.

I hear some fans saying the Packers will be serious Super Bowl contenders in the not too distant future, but that's only if we're able to field a complete team with a playoff-caliber defense--and who knows how long that will take? It depends how committed the organization is to making substantive changes in their entire philosophical approach. I promise you there is more to it than a new DC strolling in and waving a magic wand over the current unit and "Voila!"

6 points
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Tundraboy's picture

January 06, 2024 at 08:19 pm

Thumbs up! That's why a lot more than Barry needs to change. How much before Murphy is on his farewell tour remains to be seen.

For now GPG, starting with the Bears!

3 points
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Ferrari-Driver's picture

January 06, 2024 at 11:47 am

IF...the selections of the pro bowl players are accurate and deserving, what it does is show you how important the word TEAM is to football. This is not an individual sport and if the coaches and players can function as one unified efficient unit, it will go a long way to competing and winning games against teams with multiple pro bowl players. What the Packers have accomplished to date is a testament to how well these players are working together and unselfishly...comparatively speaking.

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TxFred's picture

January 06, 2024 at 11:54 am

I think so. BUT, unless it is built into players contract, it is a joke. Who cares? Packer fans know their team & that is what matters. GPG !!!!

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LambeauPlain's picture

January 06, 2024 at 12:11 pm

The Pro Bowl "game" is a joke now. Few watch the "walk thru" practice. The selection process is just as silly based on this fact:

"Cornerback Jaire Alexander is another second alternate. Alexander received this honor based solely on his reputation." Did Rodgers get any votes? Cousins did. LOL.

Would you prefer a team of no pro bowlers winning a Lombardi...or a team of the most NFL pro bowlers watching the playoffs like the rest of us?

The 2022 Packers were 8-9 and this year may achieve another win and 9-8 with a playoff berth. That is some progress but the team could have another 5 potential wins with a competent DC who lost games after the NFL's youngest Offense gave him a lead.

Barry's supposed value proposition that he was hired to play with, and protect a lead is laughable now.

Just winning a 3 of those 5 games given up to be 12-5 and a top Playoff seed would have seen many more Packers getting PB votes.

5 points
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stockholder's picture

January 06, 2024 at 12:15 pm

Very Good Question Gil.
I've often judged drafts; on future All-pro guys.
Even that one player; that had a better draft profile.
("Over the guy that was taken.")
If a GM brings in the RIGHT players.
It doesn't matter if a Guy is All-Pro.
He'll have the respect of everybody around him.

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LLCHESTY's picture

January 06, 2024 at 12:32 pm

Your comment is the equivalent of loading punctuation marks into a shotgun shell and firing them at the written word. To each their own,- I guess.

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TarynsEyes's picture

January 06, 2024 at 12:35 pm

I've stayed away from making comments for near two weeks now, because of the severe repetitiveness of the articles and comments.

Tomorrow's game, should open up some new thinking, analysis, since it's the biggest game of the year for some players and coaches going forward, and I hope, that Pro Bowl considerations and lack of selections is the furthest thing from any player or coaches mind.

Making the playoffs this season is a far greater achievement for any than a PB, and any who feels disrespected, is speaking loudly to his real character flaw that is soon to be a full-blown' it's all about me' player.

Not one individual on this team merited a PB selection, if there is a true meritocracy for it, less a consideration, but as to seeking an award for achievement from the expectation at season's start, no other team can compare, though the Texans can be strongly considered a 1 or 1a candidate.

With that, if they lose to the Bears,' I wouldn't be more surprised if I woke up with my head sewn to the carpet', given the recent history of these types of games.

Some say it's the trenches, some say it's on Love, but it's all on MLF and the positions he puts the team in or not, and his failure in previous games to make the pressure in-game adjustments.

Pro Bowl, who gives a crap about the Pro Bowl.

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LeotisHarris's picture

January 06, 2024 at 02:50 pm

"I've stayed away from making comments for near two weeks now, because of the severe repetitiveness of the articles and comments."

Remember back in 1982 when Heavyweight Champion Larry Holmes pummeled Randall "Tex" Cobb for 15 rounds? The fight was so one-sided and brutal that ringside announcer and all-around annoying individual Howard Cosell ended his career as a boxing commentator. When asked how he felt about Cosell's decision, Cobb replied he'd go another 15 rounds with Holmes if it would get Cosell off of Monday Night Football.

5 points
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Bitternotsour's picture

January 06, 2024 at 03:24 pm

ah metaphor. i do so love a nice metaphor.

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Johnblood27's picture

January 06, 2024 at 04:48 pm

What's a meta for?

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Bitternotsour's picture

January 06, 2024 at 06:23 pm

actually, it's probably allegory, isn't it. i'm old. sue me.

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Johnblood27's picture

January 07, 2024 at 12:13 pm

it mighta got a lil bloody, but it wasn't all that gory...

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TarynsEyes's picture

January 06, 2024 at 03:25 pm

It's sad that is what you took as worthy of a fight, and as you implied about the fight mentioned, it would seem you're taking the role of Cobb, and like him, you'll lose, and I'll still be around.

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Johnblood27's picture

January 06, 2024 at 04:50 pm

but...

you will be pummeled for 15 rounds... or more...

get a good corner man

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Bitternotsour's picture

January 06, 2024 at 06:25 pm

Cut me Mick!

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Packerpasty's picture

January 06, 2024 at 02:52 pm

true, but some players get a bonus for making pro bowl....I think...maybe....other than that its a joke, Dodgeball???

2 points
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egbertsouse's picture

January 06, 2024 at 03:36 pm

Is Patches O'Houlihan going to coach? If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball! That would be worth watching.

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Since'75's picture

January 06, 2024 at 05:18 pm

"Pro Bowl, who gives a crap about the Pro Bowl."
************************
Unless of course, they named 5 Packers as starters in the Pro Bowl...lol

Then everyone would be drooling all over themselves talking about how great this team is being built.

But since we don't have any, they don't matter 😲

Just depends which way the wind is blowing.

That was NOT an attack on Taryn.
It was a general thought i had based on my extremely high IQ and good looks 😏💯👍

3 points
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Since'61's picture

January 06, 2024 at 01:37 pm

First, given inconsistency for many of the players and secondly others who missed time due to their injuries I don't think that any of the Packers have achieved a ProBowl status in 2023. The few altnerates the Packers have that's fine but essentially means nothing much like the ProBowl itself. The game is a joke and I can't remember the last time I actually watched the ProBowl but I know that it was decades ago.

Bottom line, who cares about the ProBowl. Beat the Bears and go from there or go home. Thanks, Since '61

12 points
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13TimeChamps's picture

January 06, 2024 at 01:57 pm

"Bottom line, who cares about the ProBowl."

Based on how many players don't even choose to participate in it....pretty much no one, except players who have bonuses written in their contracts. Even a lot of those don't show up. This is why they have so many "alternates". They need bodies to put on their show that hardly anyone watches.

Remember when Jeff Saturday made the PB a few years back with the Packers after having been benched earlier in the year? Alexander being named an alternate this year? It's become a joke.

5 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

January 06, 2024 at 02:04 pm

The only award that matters is ALL-PRO. If this team goes into retreat tomorrow, change the paradigm--kleen haus.

3 points
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Johnblood27's picture

January 06, 2024 at 04:51 pm

yah-vohl!

0 points
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egbertsouse's picture

January 06, 2024 at 03:38 pm

I care about the Pro-Bowl about as much as I cared about Rodgers winning the MVP every year.

5 points
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Since'75's picture

January 06, 2024 at 05:28 pm

The only people who care about the Pro Bowl anymore are the players, and the Parents who want to take their kids to a game for a good time.

I'm cool with both.

The players like it because it's 'status', whether the game has turned into a joke or not.
Plus some have bonus's tied to it.
It's also a free trip to go hang out with their buddies from around the league.
The players do have a lot of fun there and....good for them.
They are also paid 50, 60 grand or something like that so they have walking around money.

But '61 is right, the game itself has been a joke for a long, long time, to the point now where the league won't even pretend it's a game anymore.

3 points
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4thand10's picture

January 06, 2024 at 06:58 pm

9 sacks in a season doesn’t get anyone into a PB…. wow

0 points
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Since'75's picture

January 07, 2024 at 04:15 pm

Well,lol.......not when there are 25 players with more sacks.

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Fubared's picture

January 06, 2024 at 10:10 pm

We have so many pro bowlers on d how can anyone decide. The mystery D Barry has created will be talked in the hof for decades.
"Hey honey do you have any more wacky weed" I could use some more. Lol
Pro bowl? We're talking pro bowl? Oh please

1 points
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Green Bay Shareholder's picture

January 07, 2024 at 07:32 am

The Pro Bowl is unwatchable and has done nothing but get mote unwatchable every year. Why not just have the players have a virtual representation of themselves and let them play Madden remotely, would be a better game to watch, at least someone would care about winning! I think this is a prestige vote and the fact that Green Bay has zero can not be positive, anyone that is trying to spin it any other way has drank way, way too much Kool Aid. Yes we are a borderline Playoff team - ridiculously weak schedule the last 6 games and another ridiculously weak division which could possibly have 1 team with a winning record in it if we somehow screw up today's game like we did last year at home. Like someone already mentioned if we had 5 players voted in we would be crowing about it. Of course team is more important than I, but just think - are the teams with more players voted in typically better than the teams with less ? 🤔 Shouldn't be a difficult answer. I am doing cartwheels over Jordan Love and certainly think he should've gotten a nod in the voting - do I care as long as he plays well today and continues on his trajectory- of course not. But if he does, guess what - he will be voted in !! So don't say having zero players in the Pro Bowl is meaningless, you are trying to justify a lack of talent, of course winning means more, common sense. The biggest reasons for zero players are the contracts that were signed with Bahktiari, Alexander and Rodgers, lay blame where it exists. For most games this year we have had more payroll off the field than on it. Tough thing building a team and Green Bay has done overwhelmingly 1 thing right over the last 30 years - develop 3 QB's, the record and everything else is a residual dividend.

1 points
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