The NFL announced their Pro Bowl teams tonight, with running back Devonta Freeman and wide receiver Julio Jones being named to the team. As has been the case the past few years, the Pro Bowl is no longer dileneated into AFC and NFC, but instead will have players from both conferences selected by a pair of team captains in a fantasy draft. That draft will be held on January 27, 2016 and the captains this year will be Hall of Fame wide receivers Jerry Rice and Michael Irvin. The game itself will be played on January 31 in Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.
This marks the first Pro Bowl trip for Freeman, who was also announced among the top 10 vote-getters in fan polling last week. Through Week Eight, Freeman led the NFL with 709 rushing yards. Since then, he now ranks ninth with 907 yards. However his 10 rushing touchdowns is currently tied with Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill for the most in the league. Freeman’s 1,450 yards from scrimmage (combining rushing and receiving yards) rank as the fourth-most in the league among running backs thanks to the third-most receiving yards (543) among his position group. His 68 receptions is the second most among running backs, only behind Detroit Lions’ Theo Riddick (69). Should Freeman gain the 93 rushing yards over the final two weeks of the season to break 1,000 yards, he will be the first Falcons running back to do so since 2011.
Jones is named to the Pro Bowl for the third consecutive year, thanks to his league-leading 118 receptions. Jones also currently ranks second behind Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Antonio Brown with 1,544 receiving yards. Jones also has seven touchdown receptions, which is tied for the 18th most in the league. Should Jones continue on the same pace he’s shown thus far in 2015, he is set to finish with the second most receptions in a single season with 135, behind only Marvin Harrison’s record of 143. His 118 receptions currently rank as the 11th most in a season in NFL history. His pace for 1,764 receiving yards will also mark the fourth highest total in league history, with his current total ranking 31st. Jones’ reception total has already eclipsed the all-time Falcons single-season mark set by Roddy White in 2010 with 115 catches. Jones needs 50 more yards to eclipse his own team record of 1,593 receiving yards set last season.