The Buccaneers are having their best season since 2010 when they finished 10-6. Two more wins, and the Buccaneers will finish 11-5, and that would be their best record since 2005 when the Bucs finished 11-5.
For all the team’s improvements this season, there was little love to go around when it came time to announce the Pro Bowl Award winners.
I understand, the Pro Bowl is a popularity contest and has very little to do with what you accomplish on the football field. That’s why the Pro Bowl has always been a joke.
The other problem is that players are voted to the Pro Bowl based on their reputation, and often, that reputation does not match performance.
The Buccaneers had one player make the Pro Bowl. Linebacker Jason Pierre Paul.
At the age of 31, Pierre Paul is having a sensational season with two games to go. Pierre Paul has 9.5 sacks, which is the third-highest of his career. Four forced fumbles, also a career-high, and two interceptions.
Three other Buccaneer defenders deserved Pro Bowl consideration but were shut out.
Linebacker Shaquill Barrett.
Barrett is not having the season he had last season when you look at total sacks, But in some ways, Barrett has been better.
Barrett has 71 quarterback pressures. No other player has more quarterback pressures than Barrett. I would say that most voters don’t even know who Shaq Barrett is, yet they are entrusted to vote for players to the Pro Bowl. Shameful.
How about the best linebacking duo in the NFL, Devin White and Lavonte David?
Lavonte David may go down as the most disrespected player in the history of the NFL. All David does is make plays. He shows up every Sunday, plays hard, is the ultimate teammate, and helps his team win.
David has 104 tackles on the season and has over 100 tackles in eight of nine seasons in the NFL. He has been the constant in the middle of the Bucs defense since 2012 and continues to make players on Sunday afternoon.
Devin White, in his second season, is third in the NFL in tackles. White has the most sacks of any middle linebacker in the league and is the only player since 2000 to have multiple games of three sacks and ten tackles, according to Carmen Vitali of Buccaneers.com.
White has 130 tackles, 13 for losses, eight sacks, one forced fumble, and one fumble recovery.
Carlton Davis has been the Bucs’ best secondary player all season. Davis was the leading vote-getter at his position by the fans. Yet, Davis is not deemed worthy enough for Pro Bowl honors.
Let’s move to the ball’s offensive side where Ali Marpet and Alex Cappa should have made the Pro Bowl team. Cappa was the leading fan vote-getter at his position and did not make the team.
Coach Bruce Arians said that the concussion that cost Marpet multiple games hurt him getting recognized by the voters. Marpet has been the best offensive linemen all season and has graded out the highest offensive linemen on the Buccaneers game after game.
Were Dominion voting machines used to tabulate the Pro Bowl votes? We’re votes switched at the last minute from Buccaneer players to players on other teams less deserving?