But given the Patriots dominance on defense, they could have easily gotten several more players onto the Pro Bowl roster for this season. New England hasn’t had a player appear in a Pro Bowl since 2015 given the Patriots have made three straight trips to the Super Bowl.
With this year’s postseason fate in doubt, New England could see their helmet donned in the Pro Bowl after all. But just three Patriots being named to the Pro Bowl from the outset is a little hard to fathom given the team’s status as the league’s top defense. Several players on the defensive side of the ball have enjoyed All-Pro caliber seasons and were among several notable snubs for this year’s game.
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Kyle Van Noy
Probably the most deserving Patriots player for Pro Bowl recognition this season, Van Noy is having a career year, leading the team with 7.0 sacks, 14 QB hits, and 20 pressures — all more than teammate Dont’a Hightower who was among those selected to the Pro Bowl.
Van Noy has also forced three fumbles, recovered two, and returned a one for a touchdown. Add four run stuffs and three pass breakups to his repertoire and the veteran linebacker has done a little bit of everything for the Patriots this season.
Another All-Pro caliber linebacker, Collins has hit his stride upon his return to New England this season. Recording 5.5 sacks, Collins has shown his ability to get to the quarterback adding seven QB hits and 12 pressures. He ranks second on the team with nine run stuffs.
Collins has been a key component to creating takeaways this season, picking off three passes including a pick-6 while forcing three fumbles, recovering one.
Although the Patriots offense has struggled this season, Edelman has been a real bright spot. He is on pace for career highs in both receiving yards and receptions and has been productive all season despite a flurry of injuries.
Edelman has more receiving yards (1,019) and receptions (92) than both Jarvis Landry (1,018 yards on 74 carches) and Tyreek Hill (727 yards on 49 catches), both of whom were named to the Pro Bowl.
The rookie punter led the fan voting for the majority of the polling period, falling out of first place in the final week and losing his Pro Bowl spot. He ultimately lost out to Brett Kern of the Tennessee Titans who is having a tremendous season in his own right.
But for Bailey, he has been named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week twice and has posted a net average of 41.3 yards per punt this season including 44 percent inside the 20. His time will come but it has been a deserving rookie season for Bailey.
It took long enough for him to be recognized on the NFL Top 100 list for this season, but McCourty has shown in 2019 he fully deserves that label. He set a franchise record with interceptions in four straight games, totaling five now on the season.
McCourty has allowed just nine catches in coverage this year for 37 yards and has broken up three passes. He also has a pair of QB hits, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery.