Bucs have 1 Pro Bowler, 6 alternates
A year after nine players were named initially or as alternates to the Pro Bowl, the Bucs have one Pro Bowler in right tackle Tristan Wirfs, in addition to six alternates. Quarterback Tom Brady and safety Antoine Winfield Jr. were named first alternates with defensive tackle Vita Vea, kicker Ryan Succop, right guard Shaq Mason and inside linebacker Devin White listed as other alternates.
Last year, outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett, quarterback Tom Brady, center Ryan Jensen and left guard Ali Marpet joined Wirfs as selected Pro Bowlers as the Bucs won the NFC South with a 13-4 record, which tied for the best mark in the NFC. White, Winfield, Vea and broad receiver Mike Evans joined the five chosen to make it a Pewter Pro Bowl.
This year it’s only Wirfs for now, which makes sense given the Bucs’ disappointing 6-8 record this season. In his first three seasons in the NFL, Wirfs has landed two Pro Bowl selections, been named an Associated Press first-team All-Pro (2021) and named to the PFWA All-Rookie Team (2020). starting on Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl LV Championship team in his rookie season.
Wirfs has made a total of 771 offensive snaps this season and according to Pro Football Focus (PFF) stats, he has only yielded four total pressures, one quarterback hit and one sack. Among offensive linemen with 750 or more offensive snaps, Wirfs has the least pressing and fewest quarterback rushes (two) allowed in the NFL this season, with four fewer than any other qualified player in each of those categories. He is 1 of 5 qualified tackles to have given up one or fewer sacks this season and is 1 of 8 qualified tackles to have allowed one or fewer quarterback hits.
Wirfs is the highest rated right tackle in the NFL in 2022, according to PFF, with an overall grade of 86.8 and a pass-blocking rating of 90.0. His pass protection rating ranks second among all offensive linemen and first among right tackles.
This season, Tampa Bay allows sacks on just 3.0 percent of pass plays — the highest in the league. The Buccaneers are also tied for the league lead in fewest sacks surrendered (19). In the past three seasons since Wirfs was called up, the Buccaneers lead the league in sacks allowed per pass attempt (3.1%), while also recording the most games without giving up a sack during that span (14). Behind its offensive line, Tampa Bay ranks fourth in the NFL in passing offenses, averaging 268.4 yards per game.
Wirfs becomes third Bucs O-Lineman to make multiple Pro Bowls
Wirfs becomes the third offensive lineman to receive multiple Pro Bowl selections while with Tampa Bay joining Tony Mayberry (three) and Davin Joseph (two). He is the only one of the group to have been selected multiple times in the player’s first three seasons.
The NFL abolished the traditional Pro Bowl game due to concerns about player safety and the lack of effort and enthusiasm that made the game out of reach for some fans. Instead, the league has moved to a skills competition for the 2023 Pro Bowl Games, which will take place on Sunday, February 5 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. The festivities will conclude with a flag football game broadcast live on ABC and ESPN.
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