Getty David Andrews

The NFL released its 2021 Pro Bowl rosters and the New England Patriots have three players on the AFC squad. Cornerback J.C. Jackson, outside linebacker Matthew Judon and special teams ace Matthew Slater were all elected to the team.

Sports Illustrated’s Mike D’Abate acknowledged Jackson, Judon and Matthew Slater’s inclusion on the AFC Pro Bowl roster, but he also took note of three Patriots who may have been snubbed.

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“Conspicuous by his absence from Wednesday’s selection was kicker Nick Folk,” D’Abate wrote. “The 37-year-old made a very strong case to earn a spot on the Pro Bowl roster. Folk leads the league in made field goals (34), as well as attempts (37), and ranks second in field goal percentage among qualified kickers, making 91.9 percent of his tries. Folk’s omission from the selections remains one of this season’s more prominent snubs.”

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Was Nick Folk Really Snubbed For a Spot on the AFC Pro Bowl Roster?

The term “snub” is often overused, and I think this is one of those instances. Snub, by definition, is to: rebuff, ignore, or spurn disdainfully. That’s not the case here. Folk has been steady, or even strong, but the man who went in over him is Baltimore Ravens legend and future Hall-of-Famer Justin Tucker.

Before you think that perhaps Tucker’s selection (his fifth in his career) is a bit of a lifetime achievement acknowledgment, examine the numbers closely. Yes, Folk has made more field goals than anyone in the NFL. However, Tucker has made a higher percentage of his attempts, 93.5% to 91.9% for Folk. Also, Folk has missed four extra-points this season. Tucker is a perfect 27-for-27 in this category, and finally, the Ravens’ legend also handles kickoff duties with 40 touchbacks this season.

That number and his average yards per kickoff are down from earlier in his career. However, Folk has only handled kickoffs 12 times, producing just 3 touchbacks in those opportunities. Let’s also not forget Tucker nailed an NFL-record, 66-yard field goal earlier this season.

Give Folk some love, but without question, Tucker was the right choice. The Patriots might have a better case looking at the second portion of D’Abate’s honorable mentions.


David Andrews Has a Strong Case He Deserved to Be a Pro-Bowler

“Center David Andrews and long snapper Joe Cardona were also considered string candidates for selection, as each led the voting at their respective positions in the recent weeks,” D’Abate wrote. “However, neither were selected to the initial roster.”

Andrews has put together another solid and possibly underrated season as the Patriots’ center. The Los Angeles Chargers Corey Linsley and the Indianapolis Colts’ Ryan Kelly have both been great, but Andrews has fewer penalties than both of them with just 2. There’s more to their position, but when you also consider he’s handling a bit more as he is the man snapping the ball to a rookie quarterback, it also appears Andrews might not be getting enough recognition for his play.

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