KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Chiefs are sending eight players to the Pro Bowl, which is tied for most in the league with the San Francisco 49ers, as announced by the league Friday night.
Getting the nod through voting by fans, coaches and players are left tackle Branden Albert, safety Eric Berry, running back Jamaal Charles, cornerback Brandon Flowers, outside linebacker Justin Houston, outside linebacker Tamba Hali, punt returner Dexter McCluster and defensive tackle Dontari Poe.
“Just to be mentioned with the Pro Bowl ballot, to be nominated is an honor,” Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson said during Thursday’s media session. “It speaks volumes for the types of guys we have, the type of year you have. The bottom line is, if you win games, you typically send guys to the Pro Bowl.”
Winning is something the Chiefs have done 11 times entering Week 17, largely to the contributions of the players selected for the Pro Bowl.
Friday’s announcement marks a third Pro Bowl for Charles, who previously made it in 2010 and 2012. Charles is having an MVP-type season, ranking second in the league in yards from scrimmage (1,980) and has 19 total touchdowns (12 rushing).
Berry (2010, 2012) and Hali (2011, 2012) also earn their third Pro Bowl recognition, while Houston (2012) garners his second.
Berry currently ranks second on the team with 74 total tackles (66 solo) and has returned two of his three interception for touchdowns. The fourth-year pro also has a career-high 3.5 sacks.
Hali’s 11 sacks are currently tied for sixth-most in the league, and it represents the same number of sacks for Houston, who has missed four straight games with an elbow injury.
Meanwhile, Albert, McCluster, Flowers and Poe are first-time Pro Bowl selectees.
Albert started 12 games, but has missed the last three with a knee injury. He’s set to return to the lineup and could see action Sunday against the San Diego Chargers.
McCluster made the Pro Bowl roster as a punt returner, where he’s returned two for a touchdown this season. He’s returned 57 punts for 654 yards (11.5 yards per return) and established a single-season team record with 177 punt return yards, including a 74-yard touchdown return, in Week 14.
Flowers, who missed two games this season, has 68 tackles (63 solo) and proved his versatility defending either the slot receiver or outside receiver. He also has a sack and an interception on the year.
Poe, a second-year pro and the team’s first-round pick in 2012, emerged this season with 51 tackles (43 solo) and 4.5 sacks.
The Chiefs led the NFL with five defensive players, but one missing player arguably should’ve made it six.
The voters snubbed inside linebacker Derrick Johnson, a two-time Pro Bowler. Johnson has put together a strong season, totaling 107 tackles (95 solo), 4.5 sacks and two interceptions.
Also getting snubbed is punter Dustin Colquitt.
Still, players may not get too upset over the slights if they take after their head coach, much like the entire team has done all season.
“I’ve never been big on that to be honest with you,” coach Andy Reid told reporters about the Pro Bowl process during Friday’s media session. “I’m happy for the guys when and if they make it. I’m proud of them for it, but we don’t get caught up in all of the individual accolades. (We’re) just getting ourselves ready to play.”
The Pro Bowl, which is played at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, is scheduled to air Sunday, Jan. 26 on NBC at 7 p.m. ET.