T.Y. Hilton, Pat McAfee to Represent Colts at Pro Bowl

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Dec 11, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) catches a pass for a 35 yard touchdown against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Houston defeated Indianapolis 22-17. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 11, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) catches a pass for a 35 yard touchdown against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Houston defeated Indianapolis 22-17. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /
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The NFL announced its Pro Bowl rosters, and two members of the Indianapolis Colts, wide receiver T.Y. Hilton and punter Pat McAfee, were named to the AFC ‘all-star’ game roster.

Both were well-deserved selections.

It’s Hilton’s 3rd straight Pro Bowl selection, while it’s McAfee’s 2nd Pro Bowl overall.

Dec 5, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) runs with the ball after making a catch during the first half against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 5, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (13) runs with the ball after making a catch during the first half against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports /

Hilton is the league’s second-leading wide receiver with 1,248 total receiving yards–just 5 receiving yards behind the Atlanta Falcons Julio Jones for the lead. He also has a team-high 81 receptions and a tied for team high of 6 receiving touchdowns with the Colts.

According to Pro Football Focus (subscription), he’s the league’s 5th best rated wide receiver overall with a +86.4 grade so far this season.

The 5th-year wide receiver needs just 2 receptions, 97 receiving yards, and 2 touchdown receptions to set career highs in all major receiving categories.

Meanwhile, Pat McAfee continues to be one of the best punters in the business and was honored by his latest selection:

Aug 20, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee (1) talks to a teammate during a game against the Baltimore Ravens at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 20, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee (1) talks to a teammate during a game against the Baltimore Ravens at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /

The 29 year old punter is tied for the league lead in highest average yards at 49.1 average yards per punt, and his net average yards at 42.8 average yards per punt is the 3rd most in the NFL respectively.

McAfee also handles holding duties for placekicker Adam Vinatieri, as well as kickoff duties for the Colts.

Otherwise, the biggest snub for the Colts appears to be quarterback Andrew Luck.

With the NFL going back to the traditional AFC vs. NFC format, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, and Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger were chosen instead for the AFC–all of whom are well deserving in their own right.

Currently, Luck has the 11th most passing yards, 5th most touchdown passes, and the 8th best rated passer rating overall among all NFL quarterbacks.

Per Pro Football Focus, he’s their 2nd best rated quarterback overall among all passers with a +91.8 grade overall–just behind Brady.

Dec 18, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) during the second quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Colts defeated the Vikings 34-6. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 18, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) during the second quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Colts defeated the Vikings 34-6. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports /

Other than maybe San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers, Luck seems to be next in line for being a potential Pro Bowl quarterback replacement for at least one of the three quarterbacks chosen ahead of him.

There’s a pretty good chance that one of those quarterbacks will ultimately drop out if their respective team reaches the AFC Championship Game or Super Bowl.

Some notable other Colts, who were potentially snubbed are kicker Adam Vinatieri and outside linebacker Erik Walden–both of whom are having strong seasons.

Having made 25 of 28 field goals (89.3%) and all of his 39 extra points (as well as breaking the NFL all-time record with his 44th consecutive field goal this season), Vinatieri could very well be next in line to chosen Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker–should he eventually drop out.

However, it’s hard to ultimately disagree with Tucker’s selection, as the reigning Pro Bowler has made 33 of 34 field goals (97.1%) including a perfect 10 of 10 field goals from 50+ yards, as well as all 25 of his extra points.

Likewise, Walden leads the Colts with 10.0 sacks (tied 10th most in the NFL), a career high, as he never previously recorded double-digit sacks in his 9-year career.

However, Walden was unfortunately passed over for the Denver Broncos Von Miller (13.5 sacks), the Buffalo Bills Lorenzo Alexander (11.5 sacks), and the Tennessee Titans Brian Orakpo (11.0 sacks) at a crowded outside linebacker position–all worthy selections.

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