Many hoped, after 12 weeks, the Raiders would sit in a better situation. At 5-6, in a full-fledged battle for the division, the 2016 Pro Bowlers matched the team’s inconsistent play. Last season, the Raiders sent seven players to the Pro Bowl. That marks their highest total since 1991, where eight players went to Honolulu.
This season, Oakland will not repeat and send seven to the Pro Bowl. Realistically, that number will shrink to half, at the minimum. Players like Derek Carr, Amari Cooper, and Reggie Nelson failed to produce as they did last year. Donald Penn and Kelechi Osemele played well, but others at their respected positions performed better this season. Although some of the players from last year’s Pro Bowl team struggled, not all have. Khalil Mack and Rodney Hudson continued their strong play from a year ago. In addition, some new faces could earn an invite.
Pro Bowler Players
Khalil Mack: 6.5 sacks, 52 tackles
The 2016 Defensive Player of the Year, Mack still dominates opposing offensive lines. Although the sack total declined from last season, no one can question his impact. Mack is a lock to make his third straight Pro Bowl.
Hudson remains the heart and soul of the line. He earned every cent of his contract he signed two years ago. Hudson is an elite offensive lineman and looks to join Mack.
Jared Cook: 42 receptions, 536 yards, 1 TD
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Entering his ninth season in the NFL, Jared Cook exceeded expectations when the Raiders signed the veteran this offseason. Among tight ends in the AFC, Cook ranks fifth in yards and receptions. Lately, his play cooled off a bit in the last few weeks. If Cook can get back on track against the Giants this weekend, the Pro Bowl could occur.
Karl Joseph: 58 tackles, 1.0 sack, 3 pass deflections, 1 FF
The 2016 first rounder is coming along just nicely this season. As the new leader in the secondary, Joseph lives for the run game. Unfortunately, the AFC looks stacked with safeties this season. Micah Hyde and Reshad Jones, to name a couple. With a strong final push, Joseph could grab an alternate spot.
Few guards possess the size and skills of Kelechi Osemele. In this case, Osemele recorded great games so far this season. Similar to Joseph, the mauling guard will merit strong alternate consideration.
Marquette King: 46 punts, 49.1 Y/P, 22 punts inside 20 yard
The coolest punter in the league enjoys a great season for the Raiders. In 2017, Marquette King averages 44.2 yards per punt (net). That ranks him second in the NFL and in the AFC. King should grab an invite. Hopefully, the Oakland Raiders punter will not take a photo with Aqib Talib this time.
Given these points, the more the Raiders win, the better of their chances.
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