Arizona Cardinals Pro Bowl Snubs

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Every year there are players who should make the Pro Bowl, but don’t

The Arizona Cardinals have not had the kind of season they wanted, or expected, to have in 2016. After making the NFC Championship Game last season, they will miss the playoffs completely this year. Fans and players alike are disappointed.

There were some terrific individual performance, and some of those were acknowledged when the Pro Bowl rosters were announced. David Johnson makes his first appearance, as one of the best running backs in the league. Patrick Peterson also was elected after another strong season at cornerback, and Larry Fitzgerald joins them as the third representative for the Cardinals. There are a few other guys that made solid cases that didn’t make the squad.

The leader of the pack of snubbed Cardinals is Calais Campbell. The big defensive end is having another fantastic season, totaling six sacks, six passes defended, two forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, an interception, and a touchdown. Numbers don’t even tell the full story. His presence on the line is incalculably valuable, and without him, the Cardinals aren’t nearly as good on defense. Being an end in a 3-4 defense certainly hindered him here, since a lot of what he does doesn’t show up in the stat sheet. It earned him a spot as an alternate, but it can be argued that he should be a starter.

Another member of the defense with a Pro Bowl case is safety Tony Jefferson. He hasn’t put up any interceptions, which may have hurt him in the voting, but he leads the team in tackles, and has two forced fumbles, as well as two fumble recoveries. He also is credited with five passes defended. Like Campbell, his numbers don’t jump off the page, but he has been a key player on a defense that has been one of the league’s best against the pass.

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Mike Iupati has made the Pro Bowl in each of the previous four seasons, but this year was relegated to an alternate. This is mostly an indictment of the Cardinals offensive line as a whole. Iupati has been very good all year long, but overall, the line has been a problem. Carson Palmer has been the second-most sacked quarterback in the NFL, and this may have affected the voting for Iupati.

There are always going to be players who are left of the Pro Bowl roster who have a case to make it. That doesn’t mean the players who did make it don’t deserve it. However, it’s hard to argue that Campbell, Jefferson, and Iupati didn’t earn a spot.