The Pittsburgh Steelers are currently in a race with the Baltimore Ravens for the title of AFC North champions. However, they have something to celebrate before the potential AFC North crown.
The Steelers had five players selected to represent the team at the 2017 NFL Pro Bowl this year. The entire selection was based on the vote of the fans. This year, the Pro Bowl will be held in Orlando, Florida. Previously, it had normally been held in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The Steelers players that were selected were quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, running back Le’Veon Bell, center Maurkice Pouncey, wide receiver Antonio Brown and guard David DeCastro. No defensive players were picked from the Steelers.
For Roethlisberger, this is his fifth selection to the Pro Bowl. Thus far this season, Roethlisberger has 3,540 passing yards on 304 completed passes. He has recorded 26 touchdown passes this season.
Bell has been playing incredible December football. In the last four out of five games, he has rushed for over 100 yards, including a 236 yard rushing game against the Buffalo Bills. Helping him secure his second Pro Bowl nod, Bell has rushed for six touchdowns and 1,146 yards on 241 carries. In the air he is second on the receiving chart for the Steelers, catching 72 passes for 601 yards and a touchdown.
“The numbers don’t lie,” said teammate, fullback Roosevelt Nix. “And you are talking about somebody who missed three games. Who knows what would have happened if he played in those games.”
Brown has been quiet this season for the most part, but is still leading the Steelers receivers. In his fifth Pro Bowl nod season, Brown has recorded 96 receptions for 1,188 yards while scoring 11 touchdowns. Even Adam Jones from the Cincinnati Bengals praised Brown.
“I love playing against AB. He is the real deal,” said Jones. “If not the best in the league, he is definitely in the top 2, 3, 4 guy. You better tighten your shoes up and be ready when you play against him because he is going to give you everything he’s got. I always look forward to playing him. He can do everything. What can’t he do?”
As for Pouncey and DeCastro, the two have been plagued with injuries before, but are managing to keep healthy this 2016 season. In addition, Pouncey, who is receiving his fifth nod, and DeCastro, receiving his second vote, have helped the offensive line keep Roethlisberger safe and have opened holes for Bell to run. The offensive line has only allowed 17 sacks on Roethlisberger this season.
The Pro Bowl will be aired on ESPN on Sunday, January 29. The game is schedule to kick-off at 8 p.m. ET. But first, the Steelers will face the Baltimore Ravens on Christmas Day at 4:30 p.m. at Heinz Field.
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