Patrick Mahomes named to AFC Pro Bowl roster, Josh Allen get snubbed? | First Things First

Patrick Mahomes named to AFC Pro Bowl roster, Josh Allen get snubbed? | First Things First


The rosters for the 2024 Pro Bowl Games have been revealed — so now it’s time to argue over the players who didn’t make it through the initial selection process.


Patrick Mahomes named to AFC Pro Bowl roster, Josh Allen get snubbed? | First Things First

The number of worthy candidates far outweighs the 88 roster spots split between the two conferences. Toss in position limitations, and creating a set of teams that would satisfy everyone is impossible. Im-poss-ible. Someone will always be left out in the January cold.

It’s hard to quibble with the men who made the rosters. Defining those who didn’t make it as snubs should not be taken as criticism of the players selected. For me, this exercise is a way to acknowledge players having splendid years that might not have received the national attention they deserved. Consider the below list your “next 10” list, when replacements on the Pro Bowl rosters inevitably start racking up. Or maybe it’d be my Pro Bowl Practice Squad.

ORCHARD PARK – For now, Dion Dawkins and James Cook will be the Buffalo Bills’ representatives at this year’s Pro Bowl weekend in Orlando, Florida.

Both players deserve the honor as Dawkins has been a rock at left tackle as he has allowed just one sack all year while being a force in the run game, particularly on the tackle pull plays that have become a Buffalo staple. He became the first Bills’ offensive lineman to earn three or more selections since Ruben Brown was voted in eight times from 1996-2003.


And Cook has been a revelation in his second season as he’s the NFL’s third-leading rusher with 1,086 yards, and his 1,515 yards from scrimmage are second among running backs behind only Christian McCaffrey of the 49ers. Cook is the first Bills’ running back voted in since LeSean McCoy in 2017.

So yes, those were two obvious choices for the voters who are comprised of fans, players and coaches.

But is there any question that in this annual popularity contest, a multitude of players around the league were snubbed? Of course not, and in Buffalo, three jump immediately to mind: Quarterback Josh Allen, cornerback Rasul Douglas, and wide receiver Stefon Diggs.

Here’s my case for those three players:

I don’t have a problem with the voters choosing Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa as the AFC starter and Lamar Jackson as the backup; they have both had remarkable seasons and Jackson is now the frontrunner to win league MVP honors. But people, come on, is everyone’s patron saint of NFL quarterbacks, Patrick Mahomes, having a better season than Allen? I don’t think so.



Since coming to the Bills at the trade deadline, Douglas has been a play-making machine as he has four interceptions, four pass breakups, two fumble recoveries, a sack, 29 tackles, and is allowing only 52.8% of the passes into his coverage area to be completed. He was just named AFC defensive player of the week.

However, he wasn’t playing at this level in the seven games he dressed for Green Bay before the trade, and that, coupled with the fact that he split his time between the NFC and AFC, may have hindered his chances.

Still, it was a snub because across the whole season, Pro Football Focus has Douglas graded as the fourth-most effective cornerback in the NFL and his five interceptions are tied for second.

Miami’s Jalen Ramsey is a great player, but he had no business beating out Douglas as he has played in only nine games and grades out lower than Douglas. Ramsey made it purely on reputation as a now seven-time invitee which is often the case when it comes to Pro Bowl voting. And the fact that Douglas is nowhere on the alternate list which goes five deep is ridiculous.

Mahomes has averaged 15 yards per game passing more than Allen (261.4 to 246.7), and his completion percentage is slightly higher (67.2 to 65.6), but the two players each have 27 TD passes, Allen has two more interceptions, Allen’s yards per attempt and per completion are slightly better, and here’s the kicker – Allen has set an NFL QB record (along with the Eagles Jalen Hurts) with 15 rushing TDs while Mahomes has zero.

Allen’s 42 total touchdowns lead the NFL by four over Hurts, and that’s 15 more than Mahomes. Further, Allen is directing a Buffalo offense that is scoring 4.5 points more per game than Mahomes’ Chiefs, is gaining 12 yards more per game, and has a league-leading third-down conversion rate that is 5% better than Kansas City’s.

Allen is the first alternate, so if anyone drops out, he would get the call if he chooses to participate.

Diggs has 100 catches which is fourth-most among AFC receivers, but timing is everything, right? His recent downturn probably hurt him in the balloting, and on the flip side, Cooper picked a great time to set an all-time Browns record for receiving yards in a game with 265 last week against the Texans during the closing period for Pro Bowl voting.

Miami’s Tyreek Hill as a starter and the Chargers’ Keenan Allen as a reserve were no-brainers, but Cooper as a starter and the Bengals’ Ja’Marr Chase as a reserve certainly raise an eyebrow.

Cooper has 72 catches, 28 fewer than Diggs, and three fewer TDs, but thanks to that 265-yard explosion he has 1,250 yards which is 154 more than Diggs. As for Chase, he has four fewer catches and one fewer TD than Diggs. Diggs is the first alternate, but he probably should already be on the AFC team.

Other Buffalo Bills players snubbed from Pro Bowl
Defensive tackle Ed Oliver is having the best season of his career, and while the voters’ choices of Chris Jones of the Chiefs, Justin Madubuike of the Ravens and Quinnen Williams of the Jets are inarguable, Oliver as a third alternate seems way too low.

Linebacker Terrel Bernard, in his first year as a starter, is the first NFL defender since Seth Joyner of the Eagles 1991 to amass at least six sacks, three interceptions and three fumble recoveries in the same season, and he also leads the Bills with 134 tackles. Like Douglas, he isn’t listed anywhere on the alternate list.