The National Football League announced on Tuesday that linebackers Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson will represent the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2012 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl. The Pro Bowl will be played at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012. Both Hali and Johnson are first-time selections.
At this point in the season, Chiefs fans will take whatever good news that they can get, so it is nice to see that both Johnson and Hali didn’t get overlooked for this honor like many people thought happened last year.
Hali (6-3, 275)has started all 15 games in 2011 and currently ranks second in the AFC with 12.0 sacks for 80 yards in losses. He is tied for third in the conference with four forced fumbles. Hali has 79 tackles (64 solo) and a team-best 12 tackles for loss with 31 QB pressures.
He recently moved into fourth place in franchise history annals in career sacks (53.5) and now has 12 multi-sack performances, including three during the 2011 campaign. Hali tied a career-high with three sacks against Green Bay on December 18th.
Johnson (6-3, 242)set a single-season franchise record with 172 tackles (126 solo) heading into Week 17. He has registered double-digit tackle totals in 10 games this season, including three 16-tackle performances. Johnson has also recorded 11 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks (-10.0 yards), two INTs, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, 11 QB pressures and five passes defensed.
Johnson was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week following his magnificent performance on Monday Night Football vs. San Diego in Week 8.
Johnson has played in 105 games (92 starts) during his seven-year career with Kansas City. He ranks sixth in team history with 743 tackles (567 solo). Johnson has notched 16.0 sacks (-111.0 yards), nine interceptions, including three returned for TDs, 16 forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, 49 passes defensed and 35 QB pressures. Chiefs’ fans know that if DJ had better hands, he’d probably have around 50 interceptions and 25 returned for touchdowns. Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but not by much.
Shockingly, no offensive player for the Chiefs made the Pro Bowl, but that’s what happens when the team only averages 13.7 points per game and ranks 31st in the league. In one last tip of the cap to former coach, Todd Haley, and current general manager, Scott Pioli, former Chiefs offensive lineman, Brian Waters, was named to the Pro Bowl as a member of the New England Patriots. Waters was deemed dispensable by one or more of these gentlemen, but didn’t seem to have a problem starting all season for the conference’s #1 offense.
Two other former Chiefs, perennial “player at risk” and fan favorite, defensive lineman Jared Allen, was named to the NFC squad (again) for Minnesota, while the greatest tight end in NFL history, Tony Gonzalez, will make his 12th appearance as a member of the Atlanta Falcons. Gonzalez has appeared in more Pro Bowls than any tight end in history.
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