It’s still possible that Colts quarterback Andrew Luck will make the Pro Bowl this year after his terrific season, but it’s no sure thing.
That’s because Luck is apparently the third alternate for the AFC at quarterback in the Pro Bowl, meaning that he was sixth among quarterbacks. That’s according to the Indianapolis Star’s Stephen Holder:
The AFC QBs voted into Pro Bowl were Brady, Carr, Roethlisberger. Alex Smith 1st alternate, obv. Not sure who is 2nd. Luck is 3rd.— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) January 17, 2017
Earlier today the NFL announced that Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith would replace injured Raiders star Derek Carr in the Pro Bowl. So Smith was the first alternate, coming in fourth behind the three quarterbacks who originally made the Pro Bowl in Tom Brady, Derek Carr, and Ben Roethlisberger. Furthermore, either Brady or Roethlisberger won’t play in the game due to the fact that one of them will be participating in the Super Bowl, so that means another alternate will be named as well. And, of course, with those two being veterans, it’s very possible that the one who doesn’t make the Super Bowl will opt to skip the Pro Bowl anyway, leaving room for another alternate.
So it’s still a reasonable possibility that Andrew Luck will make the Pro Bowl. Furthermore, we don’t know who the second alternate is ahead of Luck, but if it’s someone like Marcus Mariota, who is injured, then it would go to the third alternate, Luck, anyway. So there’s still a decent chance that Luck will make his fourth Pro Bowl in five seasons, but it’s ridiculous that he’s a third alternate in the first place.
Among quarterbacks in the AFC, Andrew Luck had the third-most passing yards, second-most touchdowns, second-highest yards per attempt, third-highest passer rating, and second-highest QBR. Yet he came in sixth in the Pro Bowl voting? That’s crazy; Luck was one of the three best quarterbacks in the AFC this year and deserved a Pro Bowl nod anyway, much less as a third alternate!
Ultimately, the Pro Bowl doesn’t matter, and this is exactly one of the reasons why: because the voting isn’t really always accurate in the first place. There are so many other things that go into it now - such as fan voting, etc. - that it’s not as much about the results on the field, and that’s clearly seen through the fact that Andrew Luck is only the third alternate. Maybe Luck will still get the nod and will get to join teammate T.Y. Hilton in Orlando, but either way, it will be Alex Smith starting the Pro Bowl over Andrew Luck. And nothing against Smith, who’s a solid quarterback, but that’s not indicative of how the two played this season.