INDIANAPOLIS — The Pro Bowl picks are in, and it seems as if two Indianapolis Colts players are headed to Orlando for the annual postseason all-star matchup.
Well, according to Pro Football Focus' Sam Monson, anyway.
Monson this week released his 2017 Pro Bowl picks at each position across both leagues, which includes Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and wide receiver T.Y. Hilton.
For those not into clicking, here's what Monson wrote about Luck and his two other AFC quarterback picks, Tom Brady and Derek Carr:
"Tom Brady has been the best quarterback in football this season by a fairly wide margin. Both Derek Carr and Andrew Luck have put together the best seasons of their respective careers, but remain a good distance from the untouchable standards Brady has set after returning from his "Deflategate" suspension."
And here's what he had to say about his four wide receivers, Hilton, Antonio Brown, A.J. Green and Emmanuel Sanders:
"Antonio Brown hasn't been quite the same unstoppable force we saw season ago, and yet he still has 93 catches for 1,130 yards and 11 touchdowns through 14 weeks. T.Y. Hilton quietly trails only Atlanta's Julio Jones in receiving yards, while A.J. Green was having the best season of his career before injuring his hamstring. Emmanuel Sanders has been extremely reliable for the Broncos, despite quarterback issues in Denver."
I would have to say it's hard to argue against both Luck and Hilton making the Pro Bowl this season.
A three-time Pro Bowler, Luck has returned from an injury-plagued 2015 season as an even more efficient quarterback in 2016. In 12 games, he has completed 282 of 448 passes for a completion percentage of 63 percent, which would be the best of his five-year career.
Despite missing the Colts' Week 12 matchup against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Luck's 3,381 passing yards currently rank 11th in the NFL (and fifth in the AFC) — and just one yard behind Seattle's Russell Wilson for 10th place — while his 25 passing touchdowns are tied for the fifth most in the league (and second in the AFC).
Luck has also put up solid numbers while being one of the most pressured quarterback in the league; he has been sacked 37 times already this season, which is tied for the second most in the league.
Hilton, meanwhile, has once again put up huge numbers at the wide receiver position for the Colts in 2016, despite fighting through some injuries.
Through 13 games, "The Ghost" — who has been selected to the last two Pro Bowls — has 78 receptions for 1,203 yards and six touchdowns. With three games remaining in the 2016 season, Hilton has one more touchdown reception than he did a season ago (and is one away from tying his career high of seven), and he also has more receptions and yards than his 2015 total, when he was voted to his second Pro Bowl.
Hilton also stacks up favorably when it comes to his rankings among his NFL counterparts. He ranks tied for seventh in the NFL (and fourth in the AFC) in receptions, second in the NFL (and first in the AFC) in receiving yards and is tied for 11th in the NFL (and tied for fourth in the AFC) in touchdowns.
I would make one change to Monson's AFC picks, however, and that's at punter, where he has the Oakland Raiders' Marquette King. King has put in a fine season, but I think his rise as more of a personality has people jaded a bit.
In his place should be Pat McAfee, and there's no question about it.
McAfee is leading the league in punting average, and if not for four blown downed punts by the Colts' coverage unit this season, he would be leading in net punting — by far.
Plus, McAfee is already the top punter personality in the NFL. Oh, and he does kickoffs real well, too.
And he's a good dude.
The 2017 NFL Pro Bowl — which will feature a return to the traditional AFC-vs.-NFC game format following three years using a revised, "unconferenced" format — is being played at 8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 29, at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
Fan voting for the 2017 Pro Bowl is now closed, and rosters are expected to be announced in January.