Three Buffalo Bills players have been named to the 2014 Pro Bowl: pass rusher Mario Williams, defensive lineman Kyle Williams and safety Jairus Byrd. Having three defenders heading to Honolulu reflects the reality that Buffalo's defense has had a highly productive first season under Mike Pettine, leading the NFL with 56 sacks and ranking second with 22 interceptions.
In his second season with the Bills, Mario Williams is currently tied for third in the NFL with 13 sacks. Kyle Williams is currently tied for eleventh in the NFL with 10.5 sacks, by far a career high for him and tied for the league lead among defensive tackles.
Byrd makes the cut despite missing the first five games of the season following a prolonged summer holdout and struggles with plantar fasciitis. In 10 games this season, Byrd has accumulated 45 tackles, four interceptions and one sack.
Two players that led their positions in fan voting did not make the cut this year: defensive lineman Marcell Dareus and rookie middle linebacker Kiko Alonso. Dareus barely squeaked past Jason Hatcher (Dallas) by roughly 6,000 votes, according to ESPN.com; Hatcher did not make the Pro Bowl, either. Alonso, meanwhile, was the leading vote-getter at inside linebacker by a country mile, cruising past Luke Kuechly by nearly 132,000 votes. Fan voting represents one-third of the selection process, with players and coaches weighing in as well.
Williams and Williams triggered escalators in their deals thanks to their all-star selections, as well.
Bills DT Kyle Williams ($150k) and DE Mario Williams ($400k) earn incentives with their Pro Bowl nods.— Brian McIntyre (@brian_mcintyre) December 28, 2013