The NFL announced the 2022 Pro Bowl rosters on Wednesday afternoon. As per usual, some notable omissions were recognized and called out on social media. The annual voting and selection process often comes with plenty of controversy, and the latest iteration has delivered more of the same.
There are plenty of deserving candidates who indeed made the final roster, but that talking point isn't quite as entertaining to explore, now is it? The Pro Bowl is often viewed as a popularity contest above anything else. Several meritorious contestants were overlooked perhaps due to a lack of national notoriety.
We've singled out three snubs in particular.
Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills
Perhaps the most obvious snub of them all, Allen's omission is truly shocking. Buffalo's elite quarterback arguably deserves to be among the top MVP candidates in the league, yet failed to get recognized in such fashion by being denied a trip (as of now) to Allegiant Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 6.
Buffalo's offense runs through Allen. Their lofty postseason hopes will do the same. The former Wyoming signal-caller was voted to his first Pro Bowl a year ago and has recaptured that breakout form throughout this season. Allen ranks fourth in the AFC in passing yards (3,734) and second in touchdowns (31). Allen is also incredibly dangerous as a scrambler, having gained 555 rushing yards, the most since his rookie season (631). He'll almost certainly set a new career-high in that category over the final three regular-season contests.
Allen has scored four touchdowns as a rusher and continues to keep opposing defenses on their toes with his dual-threat ability. Buffalo lacks talent at the running back position, abandons the run on a weekly basis, and overly relies on Stefon Diggs in the passing game. Allen never complains. He simply shows up on Sundays and plays at an elite level. He should be going to his second consecutive Pro Bowl.
Jeffery Simmons, DT, Tennessee Titans
Simmons' exclusion is stupefying, as the masses largely expected the former Mississippi State standout to receive his first trip to the NFL's annual all-star game. Simmons has taken a massive step forward in his ever-important third season. The 19th overall selection in the 2019 NFL Draft, Simmons has finally broken out of his shell while developing into the dominant defensive tackle his pre-draft scouting report indicated he was capable of becoming.
The LaSalle Parish, Louisiana native has recorded a career-high 7.5 sacks and a whopping 48 quarterback pressures through the first 14 games of the season. He's currently applying pressure on more than 10% of his pass-rushing snaps. For comparative purposes, Simmons has outperformed Pro Bowl selection Chris Jones in every statistical category imaginable: Sacks (7.5 to 7), Solo tackles (31 to 12), tackles for loss (11 to 6) while matching Jones in quarterback hits at 14 apiece.
Simmons more than deserved to receive his first Pro Bowl nod and is a good bet to receive the honor next season.
Cordarelle Patterson, RB/WR, Atlanta Falcons
A former first-round selection out of Tennessee, the 30-year-old Patterson has served as one of the league's most heartwarming stories in 2021. An electric and dynamic playmaker, Patterson has finally landed with a head coach that understands how to fully utilize his athletic skill set. Patterson has already set career-highs in rushing yards (565) and receiving yards (524) while recording double-digit offensive touchdowns (10) for the first time in his unpredictable career.
All in all, Patterson ranks fifth in the NFL in combined total yards (rushing, receiving, and kick return, in his case) and has been one of the most electrifying players to watch closely in the entire NFL.
Several factors likely unfairly worked against Patterson throughout the selection process. The Falcons have played in just one primetime game, a 25-0 defeat to the New England Patriots. Patterson has hardly been exposed to a national audience. Atlanta's below-average record of 6-8 doesn't help. Ironically, Patterson's dual-threat ability may also work against him, as he hasn't compiled a ton of yards in just one category (receiving or rushing).
Patterson's all-around performance deserved better.