The NFL is going to announce the NFC and AFC Pro Bowl rosters on Wednesday evening. Soon we will be discussing the picks and the snubs, especially with the players on the teams we all root for personally.
As for the Arizona Cardinals, they are sitting at 5-10 and looking generally quite bad. Offensively, they are the worst in the league. But defensively and on special teams, they are actually pretty good. They have a few players that should be Pro Bowl candidates.
Let's take a look at them and whether or not they will get the nod for the trip to Hawaii.
Punter Dave Zastudil
He leads the league with 106 punts and punt yards. He has an NFL record 44 punts inside the 20. His average is 46.3, seventh in the NFC and his net average is 41.3, fifth in the NFC. However, he is not the name that San Francisco's Andy Lee is, who with a 48.3 average and 43.3 net has better numbers and has been to multiple Pro Bowls already.
Verdict: Out. He is having a superb year, but his average and net average will not get the attention that the whole body of work merits
Defensive end Calais Campbell
According to coaching film numbers, he has 63 tackles, 49 solo, 5.5 sacks, 10 tackles for losses, seven deflected passes and 13 QB hits. He has not only been good at rushing the passer, but his play against teh run has been fantastic this season. Add in the fact that he is performing at this high after signing his big new deal and you can see he is one of the best at his position.
However, playing a 3-4 end position does not get you the big sack numbers that get voters' attention. He does get huge tackle numbers, something uncommon at his position.
Verdict: Out. Again, he is playing at a high level, but without gaudy sack numbers, players like Jared Allen will get in before him.
Linebacker Daryl Washington
Washington is having as gaudy a year statistically as you are going to see. With 128 tackles, 110 solo, 14 tackles for losses, nine sacks, an interception, two forced fumbles, six pass deflections and a fumble recovery. He is the player showcased the most on defense for Arizona. He is fast and is around the ball all the time. There are many other players in the conference at linebacker with more tackles, but none have the numbers across the board...and his tackle numbers are still way up there.
Verdict: In. The fact that he plays for a very good defense and has huge stats will be the difference.
Cornerback Patrick Peterson
He didn't start out with much in the way of numbers, but after four straight games with interceptions, he now has seven, one off the NFL lead. He has knocked away 15 passes. He is no schlub when it comes to tackling either. He has had his misses, but has logged 57 tackles. He lines up against every team's number one receiver and, aside from Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall, doesn't get a lot of help.
Verdict: In. His numbers are solid, he has star power and name recognition for having been to the Pro Bowl before. Plus, he has been earning the reputation of being one the of the best cover guys.
Safety Kerry Rhodes
He has been a playmaker all year. He has 62 tackles, 53 solos, a sack, four interceptions and two forced fumbles. Whether he has shed his "Hollywood" reputation is tough to tell, though. He has been snubbed before and with other names out there like Antrel Rolle and Ronde Barber, he might be on the outside looking in.
Verdict: Out. He gets snubbed like he has before. Bigger names on better teams will slip by
The rest of the team
Larry Fitzgerald would normally be up for debate, but he simply doesn't have the numbers to consider it. And anyone else on the offense? That is a laugher. There shouldn't be any Pro Bowler from the league's worst offensive unit, even if it has Larry Fitzgerald.