The Baltimore Ravens surprisingly sent four players to the Pro Bowl in a season that has not lived up to their expectations. Kicker Justin Tucker made his first Pro Bowl, and outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata and guard Marshal Yanda are repeat selections.
This is the seventh season that the Ravens had at least four Pro Bowl players. This year, a Ravens team that is fighting to make the playoffs has twice as many Pro Bowl players as the AFC North champion Cincinnati Bengals and one fewer than the last-place Cleveland Browns.
Tucker was the Ravens' most-deserving Pro Bowl selection and was really the only lock from the defending Super Bowl champions to make the all-star event. In his second NFL season, he leads the league with 35 field goals and had the longest streak in the league this season with 33 straight field goals. Tucker has hit three game-winning field goals this season, including a 61-yarder in Detroit earlier this month.
"What an incredible honor it is to be recognized like this by the players, coaches and fans of the NFL,” Tucker said. "I will forever be thankful to the Ravens for giving me a chance to come in and compete for a job after going undrafted last year."
The other three Ravens Pro Bowl players made it more on reputation. Suggs (six Pro Bowls), Ngata (five) and Yanda (three) have combined for 14 Pro Bowl invitations.
Suggs is tied for 14th in the NFL with 10 sacks, but he went six consecutive games without one and had five games with two or fewer tackles. Ngata ranks second among Ravens linemen in tackles and has only 1.5 sacks (his fewest since 2009), although he has come on strong at the end of the season. And Yanda hasn't been at the top of his game because he was coming off offseason shoulder surgery.
Fullback Vonta Leach, whose role has significantly been reduced this year to a handful of plays a game, was voted as a first-team alternate.
Daryl Smith is the only NFL player with over 115 tackles, four sacks, 10 passes defensed, two interceptions and one forced fumble. Jones leads the Ravens' defensive linemen in tackles and sacks. And Jimmy Smith is the second-best cornerback in the AFC North behind the Cleveland Browns' Joe Haden.
Click here for the complete Pro Bowl roster.