NFL Countdown #7: Four teams tied for the most Pro Bowlers on the same team with 7.
The Pro Bowl sucks. It stinks and I hate it. An all-star game with all of the league's most exciting players sounds great on paper, but in practice it's garbage. The game is held the week prior to the Super Bowl, so that makes some of the best players unavailable. A lot of other players don't play in the game for health concerns, then the ones who do show up try to walk the narrow line between putting up numbers and avoiding injury. The NFL's Pro Bowl is on par with baseball and basketball for viewership, but each of those other sports sees around double the viewers for their respective championships. The 2019 Super Bowl had around 148 million viewers, and only 8 million of those people tuned into the Pro Bowl. The NFL is leaving money on the table by gathering all of the best players in one place and making them play a half-hearted game of football.
Football is the best sport in the world, but it's pretty clear that players need some kind of chemistry to play a game worth watching. People have floated hundreds of ideas for different ways to make the game more exciting, but I think it's time we scrap the football altogether. Instead of the Pro Bowl being a game that no one watches, let's make it a boxing tournament.
To make it fit with today's theme, I took the seven players that made the Pro Bowl from the Chiefs, Packers, Seahawks, and Ravens, and separated them into different weight classes. While it would be great to see Calais Campbell in the ring with Justin Tucker, nobody would ever let that happen, even in an imaginary boxing tournament.
Under 225 lbs Division
My initial instinct on this one told me Tyreek Hill had a shot at the title, but I quickly realized he only fights people much smaller than him. None of his opponents will be his 4-year-old son or a pregnant woman, so he can't rely on strategies he's used in the past for any of these fights. He is an incredible athlete, but I think his teammate Tyrann Mathieu takes home the belt from this division. The honey badger is ruthless, and he would easily outbox the likes of Justin Tucker and Jaire Alexander.
Second place in the under 225 division would probably go to Jamal Adams. He's the second-heaviest in his weight class, and definitely hits the hardest on a football field. Adams plays all over the field and is always involved in the action, so I think he would be able to eat a ton of punches while laying the wood on pretty much anyone but Tyrann Mathieu.
Aaron Rodgers against Justin Tucker would be a fight for the ages. Easily the funniest matchup on the whole card, but I think arm beats leg in a boxing ring. Rodgers gets his one win for the night and leaves to be a surly weirdo somewhere else.
Winner: Tyrann Mathieu
Runner-up: Jamal Adams
Best Matchup: Marlon Humphrey vs. Aaron Jones
Here's where we see the bigger skill position players and some really scary dudes. I think the Chiefs are sitting Mahomes for this event, leaving them with Travis Kelce and Frank Clark to compete. These guys should be able to hold their own, so the Chiefs can afford sit Mahomes and avoid watching their star QB eat right hooks from Bobby Wagner. The Ravens and Packers each only have one player in this division, but I think Za'Darius Smith would wipe the floor with Baltimore's longsnapper. I would much rather see a longsnapper battle between the Ravens and Seahawks, but Seattle has enough dogs to avoid throwing their special teams player in the ring.
The Seahawks have an intriguing group of guys in this division. Bobby Wagner, Nick Bellore, and DK Metcalf each have the heavy hands to knock their opponents out with any punch they throw, and I think Metcalf is an interesting pick to win the medium weight division. Going into the 2019 NFL Draft, there were serious concerns about Metcalf's athleticism, but his play through his first two years in the NFL has shown us that his muscles are not just for show. DK would be electric and easily look like the favorite before his matches started, but I'm taking Frank Clark to win the division. Frank Clark is a bad man, and I think he would be the kind of psycho that would stand with his hands at his sides eating punches before launching a single haymaker that drops his opponent. DK would dance around him and connect on a lot of jabs, but Clark would end the match with his first punch.
Winner: Frank Clark
Runner-up: Za'Darius Smith
Best Matchup: Nick Bellore vs. Travis Kelce
The main event: a bunch of gigantic humans trying to punch each other in the face before running out of gas. The big boy division is where things really get interesting. Any single matchup from this division would make me follow all of the events of the Pro Bowl weekend. I want to know what Calais Campbell is eating before his matchup. I want to see videos on Twitter of David Bakhtiari partying and slamming beers the night before his fight. I want to hear Patrick Ricard's entire fighting history, because I guarantee that dude was handing out broken noses at recess like candy on Halloween. Just picture Matt Judon and Elgton Jenkins getting into a little tiff during the weigh in, with John Harbaugh and Matt LaFleur holding them back. Everything about this division makes me so mad that the Pro Bowl boxing tournament doesn't exist.
Matt Judon has the edge in athleticism in the 275+ lb division, but there's no way he's even reaching Calais Campbell's giant face all the way up there. If they were going MMA-style fighting I think Judon would take this division, but in a boxing match I don't think he's got the reach to win it all with four guys over 6'6" in the same weight class. His teammate Orlando Brown is the clear favorite, standing at 6'8", 345 lbs, but he's just 25 years old and probably hasn't had to fight before because no one in their right mind would mess with a human that large. David Bakhtiari, on the other hand, has always overperformed while being undersized, and drinks a beer like a man who has seen some stuff. In a bar fight where weapons are allowed, Bakhtiari takes this division in a landslide. I think he has the stones to go toe-to-toe with any of these guys, but Chris Jones has the tenacity to overpower his opponents and there's no way anyone could knock him out.
Winner: Chris Jones
Runner-up: Calais Campbell
Best Matchup: Eric Fisher vs. Orlando Brown