Fans got it right on NFL Pro Bowl ballots in regards to Sebastian Janikowski

By Josh Walfish
Kyle Tereda: USA Today Sports

The NFL released the top vote getters at each position for each conference for the 2013 Pro Bowl now that the fan balloting is complete. Shockingly, there is a member of the Oakland Raiders on this list and if any player deserved to be on this list it would be this man.

Of course the leading vote getter among kickers is Sebastian Janikowski because there is nobody who can match what Seabass has done this season. He has hit 91 percent of his field goals and is a perfect 25-for-25 from less than 50 yards away. He’s hit two-thirds of his kicks from outside 50-yards including a long of 57 yards this season. More importantly, he is the only Oakland player playing at a Pro Bowl level who has a shot to get to Hawaii.

That’s not to take anything away from Phil Dawson and Justin Tucker, who could just as easily be named the AFC’s Pro Bowl kicker, but Janikowski has excelled while on a terrible team and the other two have excelled on average to great teams. Janikowski accounts for 42 percent of his team’s points, well ahead of Dawson (38) and Tucker (33) in that regard. Janikowski has also singlehandedly kept the Raiders in games with his clutch kicking.

Furthering Janikowski’s case is the fact he’s kicked the third-fewest extra points among kickers who have played all 15 games thus far, meaning his team relies on him to score three a lot more than it needs him to tack on one. He is one of two kickers with at least 30 field goal attempts to have not missed at least one from less than 50 yards out.

The point is there are plenty of kickers who may have been flashier than Janikowski, but he was the best kickr in the AFC when you consider his overall impact on every game for the Raiders.

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