The Pro Bowl isn’t exactly the best product the NFL has to offer, yet this year it will be a very Baltimore Ravens heavy event:
The Baltimore Ravens fell short of the Pro Bowl, so you’ll see a lot of Ravens in the NFL Pro Bowl. 12 Ravens were voted into the Pro Bowl. Because Orlando Brown Jr. was a needed Pro Bowl alternate, the Ravens will still have 12 players despite Marcus Peters declining his invitation. What should we make of the Ravens heavy involvement in the Pro Bowl?
There has never been a year where the Pro Bowl has been more interesting for members of the Ravens Flock. The Ravens have a handful of players on offense and defense and Justin Tucker is the AFC kicker. They have their coaching staff calling the shots for the AFC. Playing in the Pro Bowl is a disappointment, because it means that there will be no Ravens Super Bowl. The Pro Bowl does offer a break from feeling bad about what happened in the Pro Bowl.
The Pro Bowl is a reminder that while the Ravens fell short of their ultimate goal, they still had an incredible season. When have the Ravens ever had a Pro Bowl quarterback? Having Lamar Jackson as the player with the most Pro Bowl votes is kind of cool. It’s fun. It’s not Super Bowl fun. It’s still fun.
On offense the Ravens have Jackson, Mark Ingram, Pat Ricard, Mark Andrews, Ronnie Stanley, Marshal Yanda and Orlando Brown Jr. representing the team. Baltimore craved having a top flight offense. This is a city used to great defenses with offensive units that just managed to get by, The Ravens had one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL. They broke an NFL record for rushing yards in a season and Jackson led the league in touchdown passes. That’s a big deal for the franchise, whether you care about this exhibition game or not.
This could be the last game we see Marshal Yanda play in. There is a decent amount of speculation that he could retire. While you have to hope that Yanda comes back for another go at it, that’s a bit of a story in this game.
Defensively, the Ravens have Matt Judon, Marlon Humphrey and Earl Thomas. Thomas returns to the Pro Bowl in his first year as a Raven, proving Eric DeCosta very wise. The Pro Bowl nod for Judon is an interesting accolade for him as he enters an offseason set to become an unrestricted free agent.
The Pro Bowl is supposed to be fun, even if it’s not the most entertaining football of the year. Try to think of having 12 Pro Bowl players as a celebration for a historic regular season. Try to have fun. The heavy number of Ravens in the Pro Bowl is a reminder that the future can be bright.