The Pro Bowl Vote has officially launched and will conclude on December 13. There's now less than a month to rack up as many votes as possible for the Redskins at every position. Let's take a look at the cases to be made for each Redskins player on the ballot.
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As a reminder, during the final two weeks of voting, you can vote via Twitter using #ProBowlVote and a player's first and last names. And new this year, during the final two days, all hashtag votes will count as double.
At 33 years old, Adrian Peterson is having his best season since 2015 and has been integral in Washington getting to first place in the NFC East this season. In the Redskins wins this year, Peterson has averaged 104.8 yards on the ground at 4.8 yards per carry. Peterson has been difficult to bring down this season, and is tied for the sixth-most broken tackles among running backs in the league per Football Outsiders. The five running backs with more broken tackles than Peterson are an average age of 24.5. Peterson's production as a running back at 33 is not only impressive, it's unprecedented.
The rookie first-round pick out of Alabama has been an anchor for the Redskins defensive line, because he's big, heavy and is good at stopping things. Most notably, Payne has helped the Redskins jump from the worst run defense in the league last year to allowing the fifth-fewest yards on the ground per game in 2018. Couple that with his production in pass rushing (three sacks) and you have the case for Payne to be the first Redskins rookie to make the Pro Bowl since Robert Griffin III in 2012.
D.J. Swearinger Sr.
Most of what needs to be said about Swearinger he's already said himself, and rightfully so. The sixth-year safety is experiencing a career year, and is graded as Pro Football Focus' second-highest graded safety in the league (min. 360 snaps). He has four interceptions on the season, tied for second-most in the league. On top of that he is the vocal leader for the defense, and has taken it upon himself to guide the Redskins defense into the upper echelon.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
Speaking of highly graded safeties, newly acquired free safety Clinton-Dix holds the third-best grade among safeties according to PFF. While he's only played three games as a Redskin, he's quickly cemented himself into the starting free safety role right next to Swearinger. Like his new counterpart at safety, Clinton-Dix has had a nose for the football this season, and has three interceptions of his own. In his game against Tampa Bay, he was inches away from his first pick as a Redskin. Odds are he's not far away from getting one for real.
The third Alabama player on this list, Allen has become a key piece of the Redskins defense. The second-year defensive end has played 75.4 percent of defensive snaps, and has earned a place on the defensive line as a three-down player. His numerous highlights this season are varied and include strip sacks, chasing down screens from the opposite side of the field, or just plugging up gaps in the run game. Allen does whatever the defense needs him to do, and he does it at full speed and full effort every down.
The All-Pro cornerback is having the ball come his way more this season, and he's been making the most of it. His two interceptions and two forced fumbles have been game changers, and his activity in the run game is consistent each week. Norman has faced the toughest threat each week, as he's been following No. 1 receivers after Quinton Dunbar went down with an injury in Week 6. He's matched up 1-on-1 with Julio Jones, Mike Evans and DeAndre Hopkins in the last three weeks alone, and he will probably continue to shadow No. 1 receivers on an island until Dunbar is able to play consistently again.
Foster is coming off one of his best games of the year, where he had his first interception of the season and second fumble recovery. The eight-year veteran has been a huge boost to the run defense this year, which has seen a notable improvement from last year. Foster missed 11 games last year due to injury, and the Redskins have benefited from his play at inside linebacker this year. He's on pace for a career-high 142 tackles, and he's tied for second-most in the NFL through 10 games. Foster is the vocal leader of the defense, and his staunch run defense has improved the unit as a whole.
Ioannidis is experiencing a breakout year despite sharing interior defensive line duties with two former first-round picks out of Alabama, Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne. Ioannidis himself was a 2016 fifth-round pick who played college ball at Temple. He's increased his playing time each year, but 2018 has been the year he's put it all together. He currently leads the team with 7.5 sacks, bull rushing his way through opposing linemen at a brisk rate. Ioannidis' 7.5 sacks are the second-most in the league by a defensive tackle, just behind reigning NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald's 12.5.
The 2018 season has been another battle of attrition for the offensive line. The Redskins have shuffled it around to deal with season-ending injuries to starting guards Brandon Scherff and Shawn Lauvao, and a thumb injury to left tackle Trent Williams. Moses himself has dealt with injuries to his elbow and knee, but he has started all 10 games this season, and has helped pave the way for Adrian Peterson's career resurgence at the age of 33.
After a slow start to the year, Ryan Kerrigan is back to owning real estate in the minds of opposing quarterbacks. Through the first five games of the season Kerrigan only notched one sack, but in his last five games he's had six sacks and two forced fumbles, one leading to a defensive touchdown that proved the difference in a Week 7 win over Dallas. Kerrigan leads the team in pressures at 20.5 per Football Outsiders, and he's been a game changer since he began heating up again.
The All-Pro left tackle has dealt with multiple injuries this season, the most recent being a thumb injury that's kept him out since Week 8. When he's played, Williams has been his usual, dominant self. In 269 pass blocking snaps Williams has only given up one sack, according to Pro Football Focus. Williams is slated to return for the Redskins Week 12 matchup with the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving, and if he's able to go he'll provide some much needed blind side protection for Colt McCoy, who will be getting his first start since 2015. Williams was also able to help his former college teammate and longtime friend Adrian Peterson get his career back on track at the age of 33.
Way is reminding everyone that punters are people too, as he's been nearly automatic at pinning opposing offenses inside of 20 yards this season, giving the Redskins defense premium starting field position. prior to Thursday, of Way's 47 punts, 28 of them have been downed inside the 20-yard line. Way's performance in Week 9 against Tampa Bay earned him NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors, as four of his five punts were downed inside the 20-yard line, and his punts carried a net average of 47.8 yards, the best mark in the NFL for Week 10. Way has been named an honorary member of the defense by defensive captain Mason Foster, a testament to his Pro-Bowl level play of this season.
Brown mostly stays out of the headlines, but his play on the field is hard to ignore. Pro Football Focus has Brown as the second-highest graded starting linebacker (min. 300 snaps) in the league with a stellar 87.7 grade on the season. Brown only has two missed tackles on the season according to PFF, a testament to his reliable play on the field. Brown, along with Foster, have formed a solid inside linebacker tandem to back up the big name players up front on the defensive line.
Hopkins has been a consistent force for the Redskins this season, giving head coach Jay Gruden an option he can rely on for points. Hitting his field goals at an 85 percent clip, he's on pace for his second-best field goal percentage of his career. Converting 8-of-11 field goals from 40 or more yards, Hopkins has proven that he can hit from distance, partially why head coach Jay Gruden had the confidence to send him out for a 63-yard attempt against the Texans. (Ryan Homler).
Despite Washington's inconsistent passing game in 2018, Jordan Reed has remained the reliable option that he is. The six-year veteran is leading the Redskins in receptions and receiving yards yet again, and has proven he can produce in any situation. When starting quarterback Alex Smith suffered a season-ending leg injury in Week 11, backup quarterback Colt McCoy hit Reed for a nine-yard touchdown on his first pass attempt since 2015. Reed has battled numerous injuries, but has started every game this year, continuing his dominance as a receiver at the tight end position.