Tom Brady Among Four Patriots Named to 2017 Pro Bowl
Four members of the New England Patriots have been selected to the 2017 NFL Pro Bowl team with one on offense, two on defense and one special teams player. Quarterback Tom Brady has been named to the Pro Bowl for the 12th time, which is a franchise record. Safety Devin McCourty will be making his third appearance in the Pro Bowl and linebacker Dont’a Hightower will be making his first Pro Bowl appearance. Rounding out the fourth member of the Patriots is Matthew Slater who will be making his sixth Pro Bowl appearance.
After missing the first quarter of the 2016 NFL season, Tom Brady has bounced back with a vengeance by leading the AFC in completion percentage (66.9%) to go along with a quarterback rating of 109.7 and a league-low two interceptions among the NFL’s starting quarterbacks. This year Brady became the NFL’s most winningest quarterback while also becoming the fifth player in NFL history to reach the 60,000 passing yard milestone.
Devin McCourty has been rapidly becoming a leader for the Patriots, not just on defense, but on the entire team. He has started all 14 games for the Patriots this year and is even a captain for the Patriots. He is third on the team in tackles and over the past few seasons he has risen to be one of the game's top safeties. He has made quite a few plays over the last few games that have helped the Patriots win some big games. including last Monday against the Ravens and Sunday against the Broncos.
Despite missing two games earlier in the year due to injuries, linebacker Dont’a Hightower has become one of the game’s best at his position. He is fourth on the team with 64 total tackles to go along with 2.5 sacks and one forced fumble. He is the Patriots best run defender and has taken on a whole new role since the Patriots dealt Jamie Collins to the Browns earlier in the year. He has been more of a blitzing linebacker that on occasion will drop into coverage as he also has two pass defense this year.
In terms of consistency, look no further than special teams ace, Matthew Slater, because he is just that; an ace. Slater’s special teams expertise has earned him his sixth straight Pro Bowl appearance. Since 2011, the Patriots have selected Slater as their special teams captain and he has been selected to the Pro Bowl by the season’s end. He has led the Patriots in special teams tackles in five of his eight years in the league. This season he is second on the team in special teams tackles as the injury bug has also affected Slater which caused him to miss time.
The 2017 Pro Bowl is on Sunday, January 29th and it will take place at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.