At the end of they day it’s just the Pro Bowl, which has become arguably the most meaningless event in sports. Still, it’s hard not to notice that Kansas City Chiefs’ inside linebacker Derrick Johnson won’t be representing the Chiefs in said meaningless event.
Eight Chiefs were elected to the Pro Bowl this year, and that’s an accomplishment that truly lets you know just how talented this team is. It should also let potential playoff opponents know that beating Kansas City will be no easy task.
Running back Jamaal Charles, offensive tackle Branden Albert, nose tackle Dontari Poe, outside linebacker Justin Houston, outside linebacker Tamba Hali, cornerback Brandon Flowers, safety Eric Berry and wideout/punt returner Dexter McCluster have all been selected to the Pro Bowl.
Charles, Hali, Berry, Houston and McCluster were all givens, because they’ve all been among the best in the league at their respective positions. Charles, in particular, should be in the league MVP race when all is said and done, so he’s a more than deserving recipient.
Albert, Flowers and even Poe to a certain extent were a bit surprising though, especially because Johnson was left off the list.
If I had the power to swap Pro Bowl choices, I’d say the more realistic list would feature Johnson instead of Flowers; and the key word I would use in that argument is the word consistency.
Flowers had made plays this season and he’s notched a sack and an interception, but he’s also gotten burned on multiple occasions as well. Remember those games when Kansas City was getting torched through the air by Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers? Flowers was on the receiving end of some of those aerial smackdowns.
Johnson, on the other-hand, has been the model of consistency for the Chiefs in 2013; and the case could be made that he’s the heart and soul of Kansas City’s defense.
He leads the team in tackles with 107, and No. 2 on that list, Berry, isn’t even close with 74. Johnson also leads the team in tackles for loss, with nine, and he’s notched seven passes defended, two interceptions, 4.5 sacks and two fumble recoveries.
Statically, he’s had a great year, but even when Johnson doesn’t end up in the stat book, No. 56 can normally be found right around the ball carrier or somewhere in the pile.
To leave Johnson off the Pro Bowl list is a travesty, and I don’t even care about the darn Pro Bowl.
He may not be flashy and he may not be excelling in the “pretty” stats department (sacks, interceptions), but he’s arguably been Kansas City’s best defender in 2013; and he’s certainly the most consistent.