Orlando, FL- The 2018 NFL Pro Bowl is upon us as the best players from both the AFC and NFC gather in Orlando, Florida for a friendly competition in the Florida sun.
A showcase of the best talent in the NFL, the Pro Bowl is a chance for fans to watch their favorite players one final time this season, as they team up with and against each respected conference’s best. This sets up unique matchups that cannot be seen anywhere else in a fun environment inside Camping World Stadium.
The Pro Bowl historically has been played at Aloha Stadium in Halawa, Hawaii, but the NFL has begun moving the game to different locations, and last year decided upon Orlando to host it’s 2017 showcase game. It was a successful move, as the game was attended by over 60,000 fans, and this success has led the NFL to return the game for a second consecutive year, as the NFL hopes to replicate that success from last season. Last year’s matchup was won by the AFC 20-13, tying up the overall series at 22-wins and setting up a 2018 game for the lead of the series.
Coaching the AFC is Mike Tomlin from the Pittsburgh Steelers, whose high-powered offense led the Steelers into the playoffs for the fourth straight year. The Steelers will be well represented in the Pro Bowl, as Tomlin is bringing quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, running back Le’Veon Bell, star wide receiver Antonio Brown, fullback Nix Roosevelt, lineman Alejandro Villanueva, lineman David DeCastro, lineman Maurkice Pouncey, defensive end Cameron Heyward, and kicker Chris Boswell. The nine players selected to the Pro Bowl is most for any AFC team and an acknowledgment of the success the Steelers had this season.
The next largest group selected from one team is the Jacksonville Jaguars, whose strong defensive season is awarded with five defensive players selected to the Pro Bowl. Leading the Jaguars is cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who in just his second NFL season has risen as one of the top lockdown cornerbacks in the league today. Along with Ramsey, the Jaguars will be represented by cornerback A.J. Bouye, linebacker Telvin Smith, defensive tackle Malik Jackson, and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue.
Highlighting the rest of the AFC offense is quarterbacks Alex Smith from the Kansas City Chiefs, running back Kareem Hunt also from the Kansas City Chiefs, and wide receiver Keenan Allen from the Los Angeles Chargers. On the defensive side, the roster is rounded out by defensive end Joey Bosa from the Chargers, defensive tackle Geno Atkins from the Cincinnati Bengals, linebacker Von Miller from the Denver Broncos, and cornerback Aqib Talib also from the Broncos. The AFC roster is stocked with talent as they try and repeat as winners of the Pro Bowl and gain control of the series lead.
The NFC is led by head coach Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints, who surprised many around the NFL as they won the NFC South, much in thanks to the leadership of Payton. Much like the Steelers in the AFC, the Saints will be well represented at the 2018 Pro Bowl. Quarterback Drew Brees makes his 11th career Pro Bowl, as he continues to add to his hall of fame resume. The running back tandem of Mark Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara, also make the roster, along with receiver Michael Thomas, lineman Larry Warford, defensive end Cameron Jordan, and cornerback Marshawn Lattimore. Seven total selection awards the Saints for their strong season.
Highlighting the offense of the NFC roster is quarterbacks Jared Goff of the Los Angeles Rams and Russell Wilson from the Seattle Seahawks, running back Todd Gurley from the Los Angeles Rams, receiver Adam Thielen from the Minnesota Vikings, and tight end Jason Witten from the Dallas Cowboys who makes his 11th career Pro Bowl. On defense the AFC roster is rounded out by; defense end Michael Bennett from the Seattle Seahawks, linebacker Thomas Davis from the Carolina Panthers, Lineback Deion Jones from the Atlanta Falcons, safety Earl Thomas from the Seattle Seahawks, and safety Keanu Neal from the Atlanta Falcons.
The stage is set for a fun matchup at the 2018 NFL Pro Bowl, as the two conferences play for bragging rights and control of the series lead. The talent on both rosters is undeniable, and it will be fun to watch the fantasy matchups the on the Pro Bowl can create.
The 2018 NFL Pro Bowl kicks off at 3:00 pm on ESPN from Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida.