NFL Pro Bowl: League takes action after INT leader JC Jackson was initially left out of poll by Patriots


This year’s Pro Bowl will be nothing like anything you’ve seen before, largely because you won’t see it at all – not in real life, anyway. The NFL officially canceled the 2021 event due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the game itself will take place virtually via Madden 21, but if you logged in early Wednesday morning, you immediately noticed a glaring and bizarre omission if you were going to vote for one or more of the New England Patriots. The team’s 2020 champion, cornerback JC Jackson, was not a candidate to land his very first Pro Bowl in what is the best season of his young career.

The league has since moved, fairly quickly at that, to add it to the cornerback ballot.

Jackson hardly had a chance to be potentially snubbed by voters for lack of notoriety, having been initially snubbed by the Patriots. The team explained the glaring omission by highlighting the NFL’s requirement to list 11 defensive starters, by Henry McKenna of USA today, and no additional players. And with that, they picked cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore and Jason McCourty.

“We have listed the two cornerbacks who started the most games with the cornerback and have the longest tenure,” they said.

Jackson leads both the Patriots and the entire league with six interceptions, and that’s in just four starts with seven games to go to add more to his tally. Another interception will see him surpass career-best three-time cornerback and Pro Bowl teammate Gilmore, who earned in 2019 when the two-time first-team All-Pro clinched the defensive player of the year award. . This puts what Jackson is doing in a much clearer light, as he’s literally turned on in beast mode.

Moreover, the Patriots would not guarantee that the additional player named – if he was allowed to start – would have been Jackson. In their words, strange as it may sound, it would have been a draw at this point.

“If we could list a third CB, we would have listed JC Jackson or Jonathan Jones,” they admitted.

For reference, Jones has just one interception in two more starts than Jackson, and less than half of Jackson’s SEB (broken passes) has five to nine games. Jackson’s absence from the Pro Bowl ballot revealed a glaring flaw in the system, although now fixed, in that a rotary player could be much more productive than a starter but removed simply because he is not. not atop the map totem pole curious how the Patriots see Jackson. Granted, he’s not a starter, but he does top two of them, and you could argue for giving him more playing time than Jones in the future.

An undrafted free agent from the Patriots in 2018, Jackson has made 14 interceptions in 15 starts, 11 of which were seized in just the past two seasons. He will be a restricted free agent in 2021, which will give rise to an intriguing conversation in that regard.


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