In what was a lost season for the Chicago Bears, it shouldn’t be lost on us how some individuals made it worth our time to tune in weekly and yell at our television sets for three-plus hours.
And while Roquan Smith, Robert Quinn, and Jakeem Grant Sr. weren’t bestowed tip-top honors from All-Pro voters, earning second-team status is still a sign of a job well done:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 14, 2022
The Associated Press, which votes on the NFL’s official All-Pro honors, released voting today recognizing the league’s top players. You can check out the voting here. It’s still a bummer to see Smith and Quinn not get first-team honors. This is to say the players ahead of them weren’t worthy of it themselves, but Smith and Quinn balling out for a bad team shouldn’t diminish their excellence.
It’s another close-but-no-cigar season for him in terms of All-Pro recognition. Nevertheless, another year of second-team love still looks good on the résumé. Especially with Smith in line for a raise as he enters the final year of his rookie contract.
And then there is Grant, who was runner-up in All-Pro balloting as a punt returner. Trading for Grant turned out to be a prudent move for the Bears, who saw their special teams improve as the season went on. Grant’s arrival softened the blow of not having Cordarrelle Patterson’s do-it-all skill-set on the roster. Getting Pro Bowl and All-Pro recognition as he is about to hit free agency could be a nice consolation prize.
As for Quinn, he is probably the biggest snub.
Quinn came through with the second-most sacks in the NFL this year, breaking and setting the Bears’ single-season record. Myles Garrett, who came away with first-team recognition, had 2.5 fewer sacks while playing one more game than Quinn. Garrett also wasn’t as productive down the stretch, coming away with just two sacks and five quarterback hits in five games after turning the calendar over to December. Meanwhile, Quinn put up 6.5 sacks, and 8 QB hits in his final five games. Oof. If Quinn didn’t get first-team All-Pro honors because Matt Nagy let Garrett have his way with the Bears offensive line, someone should write a sternly written letter and leave it on the former coach’s doorstep.
And I’ll leave it at that.