The NFL Pro Bowl selections have been made and five Chicago Bears has made the NFC team. On defense four players were selected; defensive tackle Henry Melton, defensive end Julius Peppers, and cornerbacks Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman. The lone offensive player for the Bears that made the Pro Bowl was wide receiver Brandon Marshall.
Melton has quickly developed into one of the team’s impact players on defense and one of the best DT’s in the league. Last season Melton had a breakout season with seven sacks in 15 games; this season he has six sacks in 13 games played. This couldn’t have come at a better time for Melton who is in a contract year. The Bears have been in contract talks with Melton throughout the year, but the two sides haven’t come to an agreement.
This will be Peppers ninth time making the Pro Bowl in his career and his third time as a member of the Bears. His 11 ½ sacks ranks seventh in the league and third in the NFC, and this have been accomplished with Peppers playing banged up throughout the season.
Jennings Pro Bowl selection has been well-deserved. He was benched towards the end of last year for ineffective play. Jennings worked hard in the off-season on his hands and technique in man and zone coverage. The hard work has shown on the field this year as Jennings has developed into a solid starting corner in this league. Jennings currently leads the league in interceptions with eight.
Tillman get his second Pro Bowl honor in his career. Tillman has always been a great corner throughout his career, but didn’t get enough National media attention simply because he’s not a flashy CB. However Tillman has forced 39 fumbles and 33 INT’s in his career. This season; Tillman has compiled 10 force fumbles, three INT’s (all going for touchdowns), and 82 tackles. At 31 years-old, Tillman is still playing at a high level in this league.
Brandon Marshall has rewritten the franchise record books in just his first season with the team. Marshall broke Marty Booker‘s single season record for receptions and also broke Marcus Robinson‘s single season record for receiving yards. Marshall is arguably a MVP candidate this year as he has been the Bears entire offense this season.
Pro Bowl Snubs: There’s always someone who didn’t make the team that you feel should have. For Bears fans, those guys are linebacker Lance Briggs and safety Major Wright. Briggs has arguably been the team’s defensive MVP. He’s on his way to an eighth 100 tackle season in 10 years as he’s going into Sunday’s game with 96. Briggs has proven the past few seasons that he’s been the team’s best linebacker.
Wright has been one of the most improved players on the team. He has definitely improved in coverage, and has been a force against the run whenever coming down into the box as an eighth defender. He has been in position on many occasions to make plays, as he has four interceptions and eight forced fumbles this season. Wright has definitely established himself as a possible young building block moving forward.
The Bears will be well represented at the Pro Bowl as all five players will be starters.