Lamar Jackson leads way for Ravens’ NFL-best 12 Pro Bowl selections

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Lamar Jackson ended the Baltimore Ravens’ 23-year drought without a Pro Bowl quarterback, and the league’s top team celebrated an NFL-best 12 players receiving invitations to the all-star event scheduled for Jan. 26 in Orlando, Florida.

Jackson, the front-runner for NFL Most Valuable Player, became the first Baltimore quarterback selected to the Pro Bowl since Vinny Testaverde in 1996, the franchise’s inaugural season. The only team that has gone longer without a Pro Bowl QB is the Miami Dolphins, whose last Pro Bowl quarterback was Dan Marino in 1995, according to research by the Elias Sports Bureau.

In his first full season as an NFL starting quarterback, Jackson leads the NFL with 33 touchdown passes and has run for 1,103 yards, an NFL single-season record for a quarterback. He topped all players in this year’s Pro Bowl fan voting, receiving 704,699 votes, nearly 165,000 more than any other player.

“This honor is all about my teammates and our coaches because without them, the success we’ve had as a team wouldn’t be possible,” Jackson said. “I’m also grateful for all the fans who continue to support us and who have helped make this season so special. Ultimately, it’s about winning, and we still have a lot of work to do before we accomplish our biggest goals.”

The Ravens (12-2), who own the NFL’s best record, tied an NFL mark for most players on the Pro Bowl roster before injury replacements. The 2007 Dallas Cowboys, with 13 Pro Bowl players (two alternates), hold the record after injury replacements.

The New Orleans Saints topped all NFC teams with seven selections, including quarterback Drew Brees, who is headed to his 13th Pro Bowl after setting the NFL record for career touchdown passes on Monday, and Michael Thomas, who leads the NFL in receptions (133) and receiving yards (1,552).1

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was not selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time since 2008, when he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the season opener. With his streak ending, Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly and Dallas Cowboys Tyron Smith left tackle now have the longest active Pro Bowl streaks, at six straight years.

Brady, whose 14 Pro Bowls are tied for the most all time, ranks 20th this season with an 86.5 passer rating. This marks the first time since 2003 that the Patriots had no offensive players make the Pro Bowl.

The Pro Bowl teams feature differing trends at quarterback. In the NFC, every quarterback selected to the initial roster is at least 31 years old (Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers and Brees). None of the AFC quarterbacks is 25 (Jackson, Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson).

Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett, who leads the NFL with 16.5 sacks, is one of 26 first-time Pro Bowl selections.

“To make the Pro Bowl, it’s a dream come true,” Barrett said. “That’s the best way I can sum it up. I dreamed of this growing up. It’s a huge honor, and I can only hope that I’ll have more to follow.”