Remember when Mario Williams signed with the Buffalo Bills earlier this year and NBC analyst Rodney Harrison criticized both him and the city, saying “he’ll get the lost in the shuffle and probably fall off the face of this earth?”
Perhaps he was right. Not just about Williams, but the team in general.
The Buffalo Bills are not well respected around the National Football League. Never was this more evident than Tuesday evening when the league officially announced its 2012 Pro Bowl roster and the Bills were completely blanked from representation.
C.J. Spiller was deserving—and you can make a strong statistical case for at least one between Kyle Williams, Mario Williams and Leodis McKelvin.
But for free safety Jairus Byrd not to receive the nod for the AFC is utterly laughable.
Byrd leads the Bills with five interceptions this season, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. He’s one of the best safeties in the league against the run and quite literally has made more significant plays than the rest of the defense combined. His five interceptions are tied for the AFC lead with New England’s Devin McCourty and four forced fumbles are also tied for an AFC-best with LaRon Landry of the Jets. Landry only has two interceptions and has often been a liability on a defense that has disappointed even more than Buffalo’s.
Landry, Ed Reed and Eric Berry were selected as the AFC safeties.
Spiller has rushed for 1,185 yards and added 387 more through the air despite being woefully underutilized most of the season by Gailey. So instead of blaming the process, direct your anger towards the head coach.
Arian Foster, Jamaal Charles and Ray Rice made the squad.
At least statistically, Mario Williams merited strong consideration. His 10.5 sacks rank him fourth among AFC defensive ends.
Kyle Williams is highly respected around the league to seemingly everyone except Pro Bowl voters. Williams is third in the AFC among sacks by a defensive tackle (five) with teammate Marcell Dareus (5.5) being directly in front of him. Williams also has 41 tackles on the season.
McKelvin led the NFL with an 18.7 average on punt returns, but he’s out for the season and on injured reserve.
If a Bill doesn’t represent the team in Hawaii it will be the second straight year, the first time that’s happened since 1985-86.
Here is the complete Pro Bowl roster.