Tonight, the NFL announced the Pro Bowl rosters, and the Indianapolis Colts are well-represented on the list. Five Colts made the Pro Bowl: quarterback Andrew Luck, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, cornerback Vontae Davis, punter Pat McAfee, and kicker Adam Vinatieri. Furthermore, safety Mike Adams and linebacker D'Qwell Jackson are alternates.
Andrew Luck makes the Pro Bowl for the third straight season to start his career, and this year was the best he's been since entering the NFL. He has thrown for 4,601 yards and 38 touchdowns through fifteen games while completing 61.7% of his passes and adding 268 yards and three scores on the ground. Luck ranks third in the league in passing yards and second in passing touchdowns. He has had some rough weeks recently, but there was little doubt that he'd be representing the Colts in the Pro Bowl this season after the year he has had.
T.Y. Hilton earns his first career Pro Bowl nod, and it's a well-deserved one. He has caught 82 passes for 1,345 yards and seven touchdowns on the year, averaging 16.4 yards per catch. He ranks fifth in the league in receiving yards, fifth among qualified players in yards per catch, fifth in receptions of 20+ yards (21), and seventh in receiving first downs (62). He's been without a doubt the Colts' best receiving threat and Andrew Luck's favorite target and, while the receiving position is one loaded with talent and production throughout the league, Hilton absolutely deserved this spot.
Vontae Davis reaches his first career Pro Bowl after being snubbed by the fans, not even appearing in the top ten in the fan voting. Thankfully, the players and coaches rectified that and Davis has earned the Pro Bowl nod. He's been as good as any corner in football this season, and in fact when opposing quarterbacks throw against him they have a passer rating of just 39.1, which is the best mark for any corner in the NFL in 2014 (per Pro Football Focus). Furthermore, he hasn't allowed a single touchdown this season, as you'd have to go back to last season to find the last time he allowed a score. He has been tremendous this season and, while he hasn't been the Colts' most important player (that's Luck), he's been their best player this season.
Pat McAfee is finally making a trip to the Pro Bowl, and it's a well-deserved distinction for the player who has been arguably the league's best special teams player this season. He is fourth in punting average, second in net punting average, has tied his own franchise record with 27 punts pinned inside the 20 (as compared to just three touchbacks on punts), leads the league with the most touchbacks on kickoffs, leads the league with three successful onside kick tries (and he recovered one himself), and just for good measure he's notched three special teams tackles as well. McAfee has been a huge weapon for the Colts and has played as well as any punter and as any kickoff specialist in the league.
Adam Vinatieri, believe it or not, will be playing in just his third career Pro Bowl in nineteen seasons, despite being considered perhaps the greatest kicker of all time. This is the first time he has made the Pro Bowl as a member of the Colts, but he's more deserving this year than ever after putting together what might be his best season. He has yet to miss on a single kick all season, hitting on 28 of 28 field goal tries and, dating back to last season, making his last 34 attempts. He's a perfect 47-for-47 on extra point tries, too. Kickers are ultimately judged by makes and misses, and there has been nobody better in that area this year than Vinatieri, who's headed to Arizona at the end of the season too.
I really have no arguments whatsoever with this, which of course comes as a shock with the Pro Bowl. I thought there were five Colts that I would have voted in, and those five players were named to the Pro Bowl. I would have voted Mike Adams as an alternate, and that's exactly what he is. So there's really no argument whatsoever from me, and I'm sure many Colts fans will agree - the five most deserving Colts all made the Pro Bowl, and that's a good thing.
This year's Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, January 25, 2015 in Arizona, the site of the Super Bowl. Like last year, this year's Pro Bowl will be an unconferenced fantasy draft style, and the draft will be held on Wednesday, January 21, 2015.