2014 Pro Bowl: 5 Reasons Why Knowshon Moreno Deserved More Votes
5 Reasons Why Knowshon Moreno was Snubbed for the Pro Bowl
There have been many surprises throughout the 2013 season, but few bigger or more noticeable than Knowshon Moreno. After beginning the year as the third back on the Denver Broncos' depth chart, Moreno has been nothing short of spectacular the entire year, playing a critical role in the Broncos' record-setting season.
Playing in a number of highly publicized, televised matchups, Moreno was able to showcase his ability to the vast majority of NFL fans throughout the season. But, when the Pro Bowl rosters were released on Friday, Moreno's name was noticeably absent from the names listed.
While it's difficult to argue that any of the players chosen at running back are unworthy, it's a tragedy of Greek proportions that a player that means as much to his team as Moreno does got snubbed for the trip to Hawaii. Moreno has played a key role in keeping the Denver offense running like a well-oiled machine, going above and beyond what Broncos' coaches have asked him to do.
Aside from making plays with his feet and hands, Moreno has taken pressure off Peyton Manning the entire season, allowing him to relax and do what Peyton does. The former Georgia Bulldog has seemed to finally find his form in his fifth NFL season, breaking out for a career year in both rushing and receiving.
While Moreno may well have another stab at it next season, the fact that his breakout year wasn't rewarded with a trip to the Pro Bowl is a disservice to NFL fans everywhere. Here are five reasons why.
5. He's Opened Up the Field for Peyton Manning
While the argument could be made that Michael Cera could've been successful as a RB in the Denver offense this season, Moreno has excelled and has truly made defenses think twice about playing for the pass. Defensive lines that let their guard down for a single play were sliced through like butter by Moreno. Without a respectable runner next to Manning in the backfield, defenses could have simply loaded the secondary to prevent Manning's deep ball. Moreno didn't allow this to happen.
4. Goal Line Threat
When Denver selected Monte Ball, the all-time NCAA Division I-FBS touchdown leader, in the second round of this year's NFL draft, many assumed the Broncos had found their goal line running back. But after problems holding onto the football early in the season, Ball was firmly placed in coach John Fox's doghouse, and Moreno had his opportunity to shine. Moreno has thrived off his underdog status, tallying 10 scores on the year, tied with Adrian Peterson and Eddie Lacy for third among all backs.
3. Pass Blocking
When Moreno began the season as the third running back on the Denver Broncos' depth chart, many said that the only thing keeping Moreno on the roster was his pass-blocking ability, which is crucial in a Manning-led offense.
Moreno quickly proved that he was capable of being an every-down running back, but his superb pass-blocking was still quite visible throughout the season. Moreno played an integral part in Manning's record-breaking season.
2. Recieving Out of the Backfield
Moreno has been extremely undervalued as a pass-catcher out of the backfield all season. He's recorded 55 receptions for 507 yards, good enough for sixth-best among running backs. Overshadowed by the likes of check-down juggernauts such as Jamaal Charles, Darren Sproles and Danny Woodhead, Moreno has quietly been among the best receivers at his position throughout the entire season.
Moreno has been a model of consistency throughout the season. He's put up solid numbers in both receiving and rushing yards in nearly every contest, being a perfect compliment to Manning's tendency to throw deep downfield. Moreno recorded over 100 total yards or a touchdown for 10 straight weeks at one point this season, delighting fantasy owners and Broncos fans alike. Moreno's performance every Sunday has been lightyears beyond what Denver could've expected heading into the year.