The Kansas City Chiefs now have almost half of their starters going to the Pro Bowl.
News came down late Monday night that linebacker Derrick Johnson and quarterback Alex Smith will be on the roster, per the Kansas City Star. For Johnson, it will be his third straight appearance in Hawaii while Smith is making his first trip to Honolulu.
Johnson is replacing the injured San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman, who suffered a torn ACL and PCL in the NFC Championship game. Smith is going in place of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who pulled out of the game after falling in the AFC title contest.
I think everybody around here thought Johnson was the most deserving Chiefs player who didn't get a Pro Bowl invitation. The 31-year-old from Texas had one of his best season, tallying 107 tackles, 4.5 sacks and a pair of interceptions. It's the fourth straight season of 100+ tackles for Johnson.
The selection of Smith is a shocker to me. Down the stretch, Smith was terrific and had he played the entire season the way he played the last six games and in the playoffs, he would be a no-brainer. However, Smith struggled to put up solid numbers behind a bad offensive line and a bad batch of receivers most of the year.
Smith ended the year with 3,3,13 passing yards, 23 touchdowns and only seven interceptions. A very nice year for sure but low in the yardage, in fact ranking just 17th. Still, Smith was a huge reason the Chiefs went from 2-14 to 11-5, and was the only reason their postseason mess was even a game, throwing for a career-high 378 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions.
With Johnson and Smith now in the Pro Bowl, they join Dexter McCluster, Branden Albert, Justin Houston, Tamba Hali, Brandon Flowers, Eric Berry, Dontari Poe and Jamaal Charles in Hawaii. The 10 representatives for Kansas City is the most since the team sent 12 in 1966 to the AFL All-Star game.
Perhaps the foundation is pretty solid after all.
Once more, congrats to Mr. Johnson and Mr. Smith. Here's to hoping next year they won't be allowed to play in this game.
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