NFL Pro Bowl: Four Vikings Selected but Plenty Left Out Because…. Minnesota

Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) free safety Harrison Smith (22) and outside linebacker Anthony Barr (55) line up against the St. Louis Rams during an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015, in Minneapolis. The Vikings won in overtime, 21-18. (Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)

On Tuesday night, it was announced that four members of the Vikings were chosen to represent the NFC in the 2018 Pro Bowl. Our lone offensive selection, Adam Thielen, will be joined by three defensive teammates: Everson Griffen, Anthony Barr, and Xavier Rhodes.

Unlike this year’s NBA All Star Game, the NFL’s version will be a Conference vs. Conference matchup (although they’ve tried the same thing). The NFC and AFC will face off from Camp World Stadium in Orlando on January 28th, 2018.

As entertaining as it would be to watch those four play in late January, any Vikings’ fan should be hoping it doesn’t happen. In 2010, the Pro Bowl was moved to take place before the Super Bowl. Thus, no players from either Super Bowl team take part in the exhibition contest. Our website founder mentioned it on the tweeter, earlier.

Minnesota’s Selections:

Adam Thielen (1st Career Pro Bowl)

Stand up Detroit Lakes!! Go crazy!! The undrafted, Minnesota grown, Mankato State product is now an NFL Pro-Bowler. Adam Thielen is accomplishing things this year that haven’t been done since Randy Moss wore Purple (the first time). Through 14 games, Thielen is 5th in the NFL with 1,190 receiving yards.

I’m not saying he is a fan favorite, but I’m definitely not saying he isn’t.

Everson Griffen (3rd Career Pro Bowl)

If Thielen isn’t the fan favorite, it’s Everson Griffen, right? His 8 game sack streak earlier this season tied a franchise record. On top of tying all time marks, Griffen has 13.0 total sacks this year. Finally, the man even asked for our input on the newest addition to his family. If that’s not love, i’m not sure what is:

Anthony Barr (3rd Career Pro Bowl)

Another Three-Peat! That makes two Phil Jackson-esque Vikings. Like Griffen, Anthony Barr has now made the Pro Bowl in 2015, 2016, and 2017. The former first round pick’s ability to make plays in both the run and pass from the LB position may be second-to-none.

A lot of the things he does best don’t show up in the box score. For example; When Barr locks down an opposing RB in coverage, it may result in someone else getting a sack. Here’s another example of something that didn’t show up in the stat sheet:

He took care of three would-be-tacklers at the end of that play. It’s good to know we have another option at fullback.

Xavier Rhodes (2nd Career Pro Bowl)

That’s two Pro Bowls for our lockdown corner. Back-to-back. We’ll let the numbers (or lack there off) speak for themselves. Here is how elite number-one WR’s have faired vs. MN this season (or haven’t faired):

None of the above five caught a TD in their respective matchup vs. the Purple.

With the Falcons and Saints both primed to make the Playoffs, Xavier’s play will continue to be vital to the Viking’s overall success.

Is there a misprint or did I mess up? While we here in Minnesota would put just about everyone on the purple defense in the Pro Bowl, that isn’t going to happen. However, there were some other Vikings (mostly defense) that seem to be missing from the list. Two of them are VERY surprising. Where are Harrison Smith and Linval Joseph? What the fu…..?

In addition to Harry and Hungry, you could also argue Case Keenum, Pat Elflein, Stefon Diggs, and Eric Kendricks as worthy selections.

On Tuesday afternoon, I posted an article breaking down the Vikings stout 3rd down defense. When I say stout, I mean the best in over 25 years type of stout. To view that article, click here: Minnesota Vikings 3rd Down Defense Best Since 1991

I’m going to wrap this piece up with the same theme as the above referenced Viking’s topic. Regular season accomplishments and different accolades, such as the Pro Bowl, are great. They’re great for the fans, the players, and the owner’s wallets.

No matter how great they are, if Minnesota doesn’t make the Super Bowl, this is basically all for not. It’s like mentioning the Green Bay Packers when discussing the 2017-2018 Playoffs. That shit is irrelevant.

Johnny Minnesota @TheJohnnyMN
Minnesota Sports Fan

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