The ballots have been counted. Three players will represent the 2010 AFC West Champion Kansas City Chiefs in the 2011 Pro Bowl. Earning invites to the NFL’s All-Star Game are two first-timers and a player who will make his fifth trip to Hawaii.
Kansas City’s Pro Bowlers are WR
“When players are recognized off of (winning) teams for some of that success I think it’s a good thing,” head coach Todd Haley said last week. “Obviously these guys work so hard all year and to be recognized by their peers, the fans and the coaches is a big thing and a great honor.”
Dwayne Bowe: Bowe is heading to Hawaii for the first time after establishing career highs in receiving yards (1,094) and TDs (15). He currently leads the Chiefs in all receiving categories and his 15 TD receptions currently lead all NFL receivers. Bowe has registered five 100-yard receiving games this season and established a Chiefs record by catching a TD pass in seven-straight games. He’s started each of Kansas City’s 15 contests.
Jamaal Charles: Charles earns his first-career Pro Bowl invite after producing his second consecutive 1,000-yard season. He currently ranks second in the NFL’s rushing race, 56 yards behind Houston RB Arian Foster for the NFL’s rushing crown. Charles has also established career marks in the receiving game with 43 catches for 455 yards.
Charles leads the league with a 6.39 rushing average and holds a career 6.04 yards per carry average, which is the best mark in NFL history. He also owns 10 100 yard performances with nine coming in the last two seasons (four in 2010).
Brian Waters: Waters received his fifth Pro Bowl invitation while serving as a key member of the NFL’s top-ranked rushing offense. Averaging 167.5 yards per game, the Chiefs have produced six 200-yard team rushing performances. He’s started all 15 games this season at left guard and briefly played left tackle as an injury replacement earlier this season as well.
Waters previously earned Pro Bowl selections from 2004-06 and again in 2008. He’s played in 162 games (148 starts) since joining the Chiefs in 2000 as a free agent.
Though each of the three Pro Bowl representatives are well deserving of the honor, the Chiefs roster is filled with players who have turned in “Pro Bowl caliber” seasons relative to Kansas City’s dark horse run to a division championship. The amount of Pro Bowl invitations a team receives doesn’t necessarily run parallel with on-field success.
Kansas City’s three invites are the least of any division championship team that the franchise has produced. The previous low for a Chiefs division champion was five Pro Bowlers on the 1993 squad. Ironically, that ’93 squad fared better than any team in franchise history since the NFL/AFL merger in 1970.
Pro Bowl invites aren’t a measure of team success until advancement becomes sustained. As reflected by this year’s Pro Bowl roster, perennial playoff contenders typically see the more individual accolades.
As the Chiefs continue to progress, the Pro Bowl invitations will grow.
“That’s nice when it comes with starting to be a successful team, those kind of things start to occur, which I think is great because these guys put so much out there,” Haley said. “As far as talking about individual guys, we’ve just had a bunch of guys that have been such a big impact for our team.”
Kansas City’s resurgence has been expedited through buy-in and brotherhood. The entire roster has made personal sacrifice to produce a winner and the Chiefs three Pro Bowlers represent a miniature team within a team.
The 2011 Pro Bowl returns to Hawaii’s Aloha Stadium with kickoff set to take place Sunday, January 30th at 6:00 PM (CST). The game will be televised on FOX.
Chiefs Pro Bowlers Since 2000
2000 (3): TE Tony Gonzalez, QB Elvis Grbac, G Will Shields
2001 (3): TE Tony Gonzalez, RB Priest Holmes, G Will Shields
2002 (5): TE Tony Gonzalez, KR Dante Hall, RB Priest Holmes, T Willie Roaf, G Will Shields
*2003 (9): TE Tony Gonzalez, QB Trent Green, KR Dante Hall, RB Priest Holmes, FB Tony Richardson, T Willie Roaf, G Will Shields, ST Gary Stills, S Jerome Woods
2004 (6): LS Kendall Gammon, TE Tony Gonzalez, FB Tony Richardson, T Willie Roaf, G Will Shields, G Brian Waters
2005 (6): TE Tony Gonzalez, QB Trent Green, RB Larry Johnson, T Willie Roaf, G Will Shields, G Brian Waters
*2006 (4): TE Tony Gonzalez, RB Larry Johnson, G Will Shields, G Brian Waters
2007 (2): DE Jared Allen, TE Tony Gonzalez
2008 (2): TE Tony Gonzalez, G Brian Waters
2009 (0): None
*2010 (3): WR Dwayne Bowe, RB Jamaal Charles, G Brian Waters
*indicates playoff team
Chiefs Pro Bowlers on Division Champion Teams (Post NFL Merger)
1971 (11): LB Bobby Bell, DT Buck Buchanan, G Ed Budde, DT Curley Culp, QB Len Dawson, MLB Willie Lanier, K Kan Stenerud, WR Otis Taylor, CB Emmitt Thomas, T Jim Tyrer, P Jerrel Wilson
1993 (5): RB Marcus Allen, T John Alt, QB Joe Montana, DE Neil Smith, LB Derrick Thomas
1995 (7): FB Kimble Anders, QB Steve Bono, CB Dale Carter, DT Dan Saleaumua, G Will Shields, DE Neil Smith, LB Derrick Thomas
1997 (6): FB Kimble Anders, CB Dale Carter, CB James Hasty, WR Andre Rison, G Will Shields, LB Derrick Thomas
2003 (9): TE Tony Gonzalez, QB Trent Green, KR Dante Hall, RB Priest Holmes, FB Tony Richardson, T Willie Roaf, G Will Shields, ST Gary Stills, S Jerome Woods
2010 (3): WR Dwayne Bowe, RB Jamaal Charles, G Brian Waters