I came home last night to find my NFL Pro Bowl ballot waiting in my inbox. I sat down, and started working my way, position by position, through the options, taking great care to pick the best options, and not just my favorite players, even when it resulted in votes for players from Baltimore and Pittsburgh. After spending the requisite half hour comparing and contrasting the various competitors, I submitted my ballot. This got me thinking about which players from Cincinnati had a legitimate shot at making it to Hawaii. Here are some Bengals who might get a February vacation courtesy of the fans.
A.J. Green: Green is the most obvious candidate, and one who should be an easy choice. He is among the league leaders in receiving yards, and sits at the top of the NFL in touchdowns as well. He just ended an amazing nine game streak of at least one TD, and his highlight reel catches make him a nationally popular player, even though he plays in a small market. Green should make his second Pro Bowl with ease.
Geno Atkins: Another player who should be a shoo-in at defensive tackle, Atkins leads the team with nine sacks, tops for any DT in the league. He’s also tremendous in the running game, and has no real weaknesses. Guys like Haloti Ngata and Vince Wilfork are more well known, but Atkins is a great player and deserves to be recognized as being right alongside those guys.
Andy Dalton: Dalton has made a fantastic run over the past three games, in which he has thrown nine TDs and no interceptions. The Bengals have won all three games. Dalton, for the year, has favorable numbers, but faces serous opposition at QB, with Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger, and Matt Schaub, along with phenom Andrew Luck, all likely making it a difficult proposition for Dalton to make it.