The 2012 NFL season was a season of rebirth for New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie. In the wake of All-Pro teammate Darrelle Revis going down with a knee injury, Cromartie played the best football of his career.
After being elected team MVP by his Jets teammates last week, the accolades keep on coming. Cromartie was voted to the AFC’s Pro Bowl roster Wednesday evening, his first as a Jet and second of his seven-year career.
“It’s a great individual accomplishment,” Cromartie said, “but overall I’d rather be playing in the playoffs right now. I didn’t expect anything, to be honest with you. To me, I just went out and played football the best way I knew how.”
He most certainly did, and many around the league noticed and rewarded him for his outstanding play.
His emergence as a true shutdown corner was a welcome sight for the Jets, and a nightmare for opposing wide receivers, who probably thought they were finally going to catch a break after Revis went down in Week 3.
Revis made Pro Bowl appearances each of the last four seasons, and his 2013 return will once again give the Jets arguably the best cornerback tandem in the NFL. Even saying “arguably” is probably being generous, for that matter.
Cromartie and fellow Pro Bowl selection LaRon Landry were a big part of a Jets secondary that’s ranked second in the NFL with 187.4 passing yards allowed per game, through 15 games. And that’s without Revis.
For Antonio Cromartie, the 2012 season was a disappointment from a team standpoint, but a major step forward for him personally. He has the ability to be this good every year. Jets fans should be looking forward to it.