Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Steelers offense produces five Pro Bowlers; defense shut out

Jeremy FowlerESPN Staff Writer 20, 2016
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Ben Roethlisberger, QB, fifth Pro Bowl selection: This is the third straight selection for Roethlisberger, whose yardage numbers are down (272.3 yards per game) but whose passer rating of 94.9 is slightly better than last year. Roethlisberger's knee injury in October hurt his bottom line, but naming three AFC quarterbacks better than Roethlisberger is a difficult proposition.
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Le'Veon Bell, RB, second Pro Bowl selection: Bell's status as a Pro Bowler was never in doubt. Despite missing three games because of a suspension, Bell has made up for lost time with 158.8 total yards per game, easily a league high. Bell has been the catalyst for the Steelers' five-game winning streak, running the ball 28.2 times per game during that span.
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Antonio Brown, WR, fifth Pro Bowl selection: Brown is an easy call, as he ranks in the NFL's top three in yards (1,188), receptions (96) and touchdowns (11). Brown remains among the league's most prolific playmakers, and being from South Florida, he might just make the trip to Orlando.
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David DeCastro, G, second Pro Bowl selection: DeCastro was an All-Pro last season, and though he'll have competition for a repeat, he has played at a Pro Bowl level as a leader on one of the game's best offensive lines. DeCastro often takes on the most prolific opposing nose tackles, and the Steelers use him creatively, like in pulling situations.
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Maurkice Pouncey, C, fifth Pro Bowl selection: After missing all of last season because of a foot/ankle injury that required seven surgeries, Pouncey produced an impressive comeback by regaining his place as a premier center. The ankle hasn't hampered his explosiveness, and he's known as one of the team's locker-room leaders.
Ryan Shazier, linebacker: Missing three games to a knee injury hurt his case, but Shazier has All-Pro potential and his play is heating up in December once again. Shazier has 3.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and one interception.
Mike Mitchell, safety: Mitchell might not have the Pro Bowl stats (one interception at a position that values picks for perception purposes), but he quietly has helped the Steelers shore up their defensive issues with sure-handed play in the backfield.

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