Pro Bowl votes are in, which Atlanta Falcons were selected

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 26: Alex Mack /

Atlanta Falcons have two players voted into the Pro Bowl. Should there have been more?

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones and center Alex Mack were named to the Pro Bowl to represent the Falcons in Orlando (that’s if Atlanta doesn’t reach the Super Bowl). Jones was named to his fifth Pro Bowl selection and this marks his fourth straight appearance. Mack has now been a Pro Bowler for the fifth time with this selection being his third consecutive.

Jones has regressed in terms of his touchdowns in 2017 with only three but has still remained solid in regards to receptions and yards. Heading into Week 16, Jones has 76 receptions for 1,215 yards. His three touchdowns on the season still doesn’t negate from the fact that he’s in the conversation for being the best wide receiver in the NFL. After all, he does have the most receptions and yards for a wide receiver in their first 90 games.

Prior to Mack arriving in Atlanta, the Falcons struggled with their offensive line as Dirty Bird quarterback Matt Ryan was not able to get any protection for many seasons. Mack’s arrival in 2016 meant more protect for Ryan  in the pocket. The same can be said about Mack in 2017 despite the Falcons inconsistency. Ryan still has the fewest sacks in the NFL and the team still stands at 9-5 with an opportunity to clinch a playoff berth and perhaps even the division title.

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Linebacker Deion Jones was a surprising snub for the Pro Bowl. In his rookie campaign in 2016, he totaled 108 tackles, one forced fumble and three interceptions, but was not selected to the Pro Bowl. Fast forward to 2017, he has already surpassed his total amount of tackles from last year with 118 combined heading into Week 16, along with two interceptions. He has also proven that he can make big plays in crunch time as he was able to intercept New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees to seal a key divisional victory for the Falcons.

An honorable mention for another Falcons’ potential Pro Bowler on defense is Grady Jarrett. He has 47 combined tackles along with three sacks in 2017. His stats aren’t always the prettiest but his ability to create a pass rush and stop the run is to be commended. He has generated 21 yards for losses against opposing teams this season. This aggressiveness was evident in the Falcons’ Monday Night Football win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 15. In that game, he had 33 pass rush snaps, five total pressures on Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston, one sack, and totaled a 12.1 pass rush productivity (per Pro Football Focus). Jarrett has been able to make a name for himself as a feared defensive lineman for opposing offenses ever since his breakout game against the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.

Jones and Mack are well deserving Pro Bowl selections for the Falcons but players such as Jarrett and Deion Jones should have received a Pro Bowl nod as well. Falcons safety Keanu Neal could also make a strong case for a Pro Bowl selection with his 71 total tackles, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Heading into the last two games of the season, which prove to be very crucial ones against division foes in the Saints and Panthers, these defensive stars (in Jarrett, Jones, and Neal) will have a chance to prove why they should have been selected to head to the Pro Bowl.

Next: Interview with Good Morning Football’s Peter Schrager

Congratulations again to Julio Jones and Alex Mack!