There’s still a few weeks left, but right now there are a number of Patriots in contention for Pro Bowl spots. The team has six players ranking in the top 10 at their respective positions, including one positional leader. Here’s who has jumped out to a strong start…
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – NOVEMBER 20: Matthew Judon #9 of the New England Patriots celebrates during the first quarter at Gillette Stadium on November 20, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)
Judon leads all AFC outside linebackers with 61,617 votes to this point. He’s second overall at the position, with Micah Parsons of the Dallas Cowboys 2,000 votes ahead of him. Judon has made the Pro Bowl in each of the last three seasons.
It shouldn’t be surprising to see Judon doing so well in the voting. He leads the league with 13 sacks, which both a career high and record for the Patriots under Bill Belichick.
ST Matthew Slater
Oct 31, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Matthew Slater (18) during the game against the Los Angeles Chargers SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Slater ranks second among all special teams players, less than 1,000 votes behind Justice Hill of the Ravens. Slater has been voted to 10 Pro Bowls in his career – a special teams record – and has been the AFC’s special teams selection in 10 of the last 11 seasons, only missing 2018. This season, Slater has made five tackles and hasn’t been called for any penalties.
K Nick Folk
FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS – NOVEMBER 06: Nick Folk #6 of the New England Patriots kicks a field goal in the fourth quarter of a game against the Indianapolis Colts at Gillette Stadium on November 06, 2022 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)
Folk ranks fourth among all NFL kickers in Pro Bowl voting. It’s a tough position to get to the top of with future Hall of Famer Justin Tucker also on the ballot in the AFC, but Folk is in the mix. He’s looking to make his second Pro Bowl, with his first coming in his rookie year in 2007.
At 38 years old, Folk is having another outstanding season for the Patriots. His 24 field goal makes are the most in the NFL. He’s hit 85.7 percent of his true field goal attempts, and all of his extra points.
KR Marcus Jones
Nov 20, 2022; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots cornerback Marcus Jones (25) runs past New York Jets punter Braden Mann (7) on a return for a touchdown during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
With his game-winning punt return coinciding with the start of voting, it should come as a surprise that Jones is getting Pro Bowl attention from fans. The rookie’s 84-yard score was the first punt return TD of the year in the NFL. On the season, Jones is averaging 25.7 yards per kick return and 15.5 yards per punt return.
C David Andrews
Sep 18, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; New England Patriots center David Andrews (60) pass blocks at the line of scrimmage for quarterback Mac Jones (10) against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second quarter at Acrisure Stadium. Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Despite missing three games and counting, Andrews is still in the Pro Bowl conversation. He has the ninth-most votes among all centers. In seven NFL seasons, he’s never been elected to the Pro Bowl.
Andrews’ talent and value to the Patriots has been made very clear in the games he has missed this season. In the games he has played he’s performed at a high level, and is PFF’s ninth-rated center this season.
S Devin McCourty
EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY – OCTOBER 30: Devin McCourty #32 of the New England Patriots celebrates an interception during the second half against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on October 30, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
In his 13th NFL season, McCourty is still viewed as one of the top safeties in the game. He’s ninth among all players at the position in Pro Bowl voting. McCourty has been to the Pro Bowl twice before, as a rookie in 2010 and then again in 2016.
McCourty is still holding up the back end of the Patriots’ defense, a unit that ranks sixth in the league in scoring. He has two interceptions, five pass breakups, and 53 tackles this season.
For the Patriots’ not currently in Pro Bowl spots, there’s still plenty of times for things to change. Voting runs through Dec. 15 – with fans able to vote here. Rosters will be announced shortly after that, following player and coach voting. Each group counts for one-third of the overall outcome.
This year’s Pro Bowl Games will take place the week of Jan. 30 in Las Vegas. That week culminated with a flag football game on Feb. 5.
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarthor via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.