Bengals fans should send Brandon Wilson to the 2018 Pro Bowl as the AFC Return Specialist.
In a season that is short on feel-good opportunities, the chance to reward a young man who has done something exceptional should be a priority for this fan base. Brandon Wilson is having a breakout year as the Bengals kick return specialist and leads the entire NFL with an average 35.0 yards per return (Y/Rt). Leading the NFC is Chicago’s Cordarrelle Patterson with 29.6 Yards per return with the next closest AFC kick returner being the Bill’s Andre Roberts. at 29.8 Y/Rt. Wilson is one of only 5 players to score a touchdown during a return this season and had a second touchdown taken from him in a controversial holding penalty against the Bills.
Rk Player Tm Rt Yds TD Lng Y/Rt
1 Brandon Wilson CIN 14 490 1 92 35.0
2 Andre Roberts BUF 13 387 0 66 29.8
3 Cordarrelle Patterson CHI 21 621 1 102 29.6
4 Jamal Agnew DET 17 454 1 100 26.7
5 Jakeem Grant MIA 22 553 1 101 25.1
6 Deonte Harris NOR 13 309 0 46 23.8
7 Trevor Davis 2TM 13 309 0 52 23.8
8 Mecole Hardman KAN 18 414 0 34 23.0
9 Steven Sims WAS 24 542 0 45 22.6
10 Miles Sanders PHI 14 314 0 67 22.4
Data provided by www.pro-football-reference.com
The Bengals 2017 6th rounder is not just having a good season, he’s having a historically good season. In the history of the NFL Wilson’s current average would rank as the11th best single-season (Min. 10 returns). A 35+ average is so rare that the last player to do it was Percy Harvin who rushed 16 times for 574 yds and 1 TD for an average of 35.88 Y/Rt in all the way back in 2013!
That seamed impressive, so just for fun I compared Wilson’s career average to every player dating back to 1920 (Min 10 Returns). Turns out Wilson’s average ranks 3rd. That’s right after the Baltimore Colts Jim Duncan, and right before HOFer Walter Payton. To add a little more perspective, using the same parameters Andre Roberts currently ranks 241st. If you’d like to see the raw data behind this fun little exercise, you can find it by clicking here. I’m personally interested in tracking this week by week.
Of coarse Wilson’s average can go down over time, but Bengals fans should still hope that they found something special in the Brandon Wilson. Hopefully, he’s a weapon in the return game that can give the Bengals an advantage in the field position battle for many seasons to come.
Bengals fans could be forgiven for not diving into the stats of a special teams player in a season that will soon be forgotten to history, but young players such as Wilson deserve to be recognized for their continued excellence during an ultimately lost season.
Bengals fans should take this opportunity to show the player, and the organization as a whole, that we see and want to reward success.
If you wish to support an exceptional player who is continuing to improve, even during a difficult season, then please share the following social media links so that Bengals fans everywhere can send a message to this organization that they see excellence, and they want more of it.
You can cast your vote for Wilson or any players you’d like by going to NFL.com/ProBowlVote.
You can also vote on Twitter beginning Nov. 28. Tweets within the final 48 hours will count as double. Fans should tweet the first and last name of the player, the player’s official Twitter handle, or a hashtag including the player’s first and last name. All three of these methods must include the hashtag: #ProBowlVote.