The Atlanta Falcons are preparing for Super Bowl 51 instead of the Pro Bowl. It’s a good problem to have, but there is one regret we have as Falcons fans.
None of the six Atlanta Falcons elected to Sunday’s NFL Pro Bowl will play in the game. Instead of six Falcons in Orlando, the entire organization will board a flight to Houston tomorrow.
If there’s any injustice this season, it’s that Matt Bryant won’t be able to play in his first Pro Bowl. There have been other seasons Bryant was Pro Bowl worthy, seasons the Falcons weren’t a Super Bowl team. We can be 100% sure the Atlanta kicker prefers the Super Bowl experience above the Pro Bowl, but it would be nice to experience both.
Bryant could get into the Pro Bowl next season, but for all we know, the Falcons may end up back in the Super Bowl. At age 41, there’s no telling how much longer we’ll enjoy Bryant’s “golden leg of immunity” in the NFL either way.
The Pro Bowl is an NFL event that should really be retired sooner than Matt Bryant. It’s a game that requires gimmicks more than helmets and shoulder pads. I commend the NFL for bringing back the skills challenges, but how long before a player tears a knee playing dodge ball? Few fans may remember Patriots running back Robert Edwards tearing his knee during 1999 Pro Bowl festivities.
Edwards’s leg nearly had to be amputated after his awkward landing during the rookie flag football game. He rushed for 1,115 yards as a rookie out of Georgia, but was never the same again.
Word around the NFL is tomorrow’s Pro Bowl at Camping World Stadium is sold out. It’s good news for Orlando as the NFL is more inclined to keep the game there. I’m sure some players still prefer the trip to Hawaii, but there’s no shortage of family attractions in central Florida. Several players have put up family photos from their Disney trips all over social media.