It’s the final exhibition match before Super Bowl Sunday. The University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., will host Saturday’s 2015 NFL Pro Bowl. Hall of Fame wide receivers Cris Carter and Michael Irvin will serve as alumni captains. Jason Garrett of the Dallas Cowboys and John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens will coach the event. ESPN will air the game at 7 pm. Saturday’s contest will be the third time that the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl are held in the same area. Five former Alabama players were selected, but four will participate in the Pro Bowl.
C.J. Mosley, ILB, Baltimore Ravens
C.J. Mosley had a stellar rookie season. His 133 total tackles was tops among rookies in 2014. Mosley recorded three sacks, eight passes defended, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Baltimore was fourth in the National Football League against the run, allowing 88.3 yards per game. Mosley’s style of play helped Baltimore accomplish a playoff berth at 10-6. He was named second-team All-Pro. Mosley was voted to the All-AFC team and All-Rookie team by the Pro Football Writers Association.
Marcell Dareus, DT, Buffalo Bills
Buffalo finished 2014 at 9-7. Its defense improved, keeping the team in a playoff push for much of the season. Marcell Dareus was an anchor on the defensive line. He totaled 48 tackles and 10 sacks (second on the team). The Bills finished 11th in the league against the run, allowing 106.4 yards per game. Buffalo’s pass defense was stifling, surrendering 205.8 yards per contest (third in the league). Dareus was voted First-team All-Pro. Saturday’s game will be his second Pro Bowl appearance (2013).
Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints
2014 was dreadful for New Orleans (7-9), but Mark Ingram will make his first Pro Bowl appearance. He finished the regular season with a career-high 1,109 yards from scrimmage (954 rushing, 145 receiving). Ingram recorded five rushing touchdowns, averaging 74.2 yards per game. He became the first Saints’ running back to rush for 100 yards in consecutive games since Deuce McAllister in 2006. Ingram is New Orleans’s first Pro Bowl running back since McAllister in 2003.
Evan Mathis, OG, Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia didn’t make the playoffs, despite a 10-6 record. Evan Mathis set the tone in the run game. He guided LeSean McCoy to 1,319 rushing yards and five touchdowns. Darren Sproles totaled 329 yards and six touchdowns. The Eagles were ninth in the league in rushing, posting 124.5 yards per game. Mathis excelled in pass protection, as Philadelphia finished sixth in passing (272.3 yards per game). Like Dareus, this will be Mathis’s second Pro Bowl appearance.
Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
Julio Jones was one of few bright spots for Atlanta in 2014. The Falcons are littered with offensive talent, yet it continues to be inconsistent on offense and defense. Jones led the team in receptions (104), targets (164) and yards (1,593). He finished second on the team in touchdowns with six. Jones is the NFC’s leader in receiving yards. He won’t make the trip to Arizona because of a late-season oblique injury. Jones is a two-time Pro Bowler (2012, 2014).