When you look good, you feel good. When you feel good, you play well. And when you play well, you get to take your talents to Orlando to represent your team in the Pro Bowl.
Five members of the Chicago Bears – pass-rusher Khalil Mack, defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, cornerback Kyle Fuller, safety Eddie Jackson, and return specialist Tarik Cohen have been selected to play on the NFC’s Pro Bowl team. The Bears didn’t have any Pro Bowl representatives last year and haven’t had three or more players representing in the NFL’s annual all-star contest since 2013. This is another noteworthy accomplishment for a franchise that has found new life since the start of the calendar year.
As for the players representing the navy blue and orange …
Khalil Mack‘s first Pro Bowl appearance as a member of the Bears is the fourth of his career. Mack has 12.5 sacks, a league-leading six forced fumbles, and a pick-six in 12 games in which he has led the way toward transforming a fringe top-10 defense into a dominating top-3 unit.
Kyle Fuller has been working his way to this since he was drafted by Phil Emery way back in 2014. No Bears 2019 Pro Bowl representative has gone through as much as Fuller, who has gone from first-round pick with a star on the rise, to potential bust, to injury riddled afterthought, to on the cusp of missing the roster, to contract-year breakout stud, to one of the NFL’s top cornerbacks. It’s been a heck of a journey for Fuller, who is tied for the league lead with seven interceptions and 21 passes defended. While Fuller is well on his way to earning first-team All-Pro honors, getting a Pro Bowl nomination is one way to cement his status among the league’s best right now.
Eddie Jackson is one of two Bears Pro Bowlers to have been selected in the 2017 NFL Draft. Jackson has six interceptions, three defensive touchdowns, a sack, and 15 passes defended. He is the first Bears safety to make the Pro Bowl since Mike Brown in 2005 and could be the team’s first All-Pro safety since Brown was named in 2001.
Tarik Cohen has been selected as a Pro Bowl return specialist … and with good reason. Cohen leads the NFL in punt return yardage (413) and ranks third in yards per return (13.3). And even though he hasn’t taken one to the house yet, Cohen is always a big-play threat whenever he gets his hands on a kick.
Akiem Hicks has played at a Pro Bowl level in each of his three seasons in Chicago, but is only now just starting to receive recognition for his efforts. The defensive tackle position is stacked, but Hicks has steadily racked up sacks, quarterback hits, and tackles-for-loss since arriving in 2016. The 2018 season has seen Hicks pick up six sacks, 11 tackles-for-loss, and 14 quarterback hits while being an anchor on the defensive line.
You can check out the full Pro Bowl rosters from the AFC and NFC here.
Now, here’s hoping we don’t get to see any of those guys participate in the Pro Bowl in Orlando because they’ll be playing in the other, more prestigious “Bowl” in Atlanta the following week.