The Buffalo Bills will be sending a couple players to the Pro Bowl this season, which will be played on January 29 in Orlando. Running back LeSean McCoy and outside linebacker/special teamer Lorenzo Alexander will be representing the Bills for the game.
McCoy, 28, was named to the Pro Bowl for the fifth time in his career, including each of the last four seasons (he missed the game last year due to injury). Shady currently sits at fifth in the NFL in rushing with 1,129 yards. His 5.5 yards per carry tally is well ahead of anybody else with triple-digit carries, and his 12 rushing touchdowns put him within striking distance of the single-season team record of 16 (which was set by O.J. Simpson in 1975). McCoy is easily the most talented player on the Bills, and it’s nice to see his Herculean efforts this season be noticed around the league.
Alexander, 33, made the Pro Bowl in 2012 as a special teamer while with the Redskins. His is an out-of-nowhere story you’re all familiar with by now. After recording nine sacks in his first nine NFL seasons, some of which were played on the offensive side of the ball, he turned into one of the best pass rushers in the NFL this season when an injury to first round pick Shaq Lawson allowed him to move into the starting lineup. The Lorax spent the first half of the season on top of the sack leaderboard after recording at least a half-sack in his first seven games, topped by his three-sack performance in the win over the Rams in Week 5. He’s since cooled off, but 1.5 sacks against the Browns have him tied for third in the NFL with two games to go. That’s not bad for a player who was signed to be a special teams ace, if that.
There are a few surprises among the players not headed to Orlando. Kyle Williams is always a deserving candidate, and has played up to his usual high standard even at 33 years old and coming off a major knee injury. Another 33-year-old, Richie Incognito, is tenth among guards in Pro Football Focus’ rankings and would have been a fine representative for the offensive line leading the best rushing attack in the NFL. Stephon Gilmore has been very inconsistent, but is still tied for second in the NFL with five picks and has been dominant at times.
A couple reminders. The Pro Bowl rosters are nowhere near finalized yet, so it’s possible that some of these players won’t head to Orlando while some other Bills will. Also, the Pro Bowl is reverting to the AFC vs. NFC format for the first time since 2012, putting an end to the rotating draft.
With that said, congrats to Shady and the Lorax, and thanks for a great effort this season.