Four Cardinals were named to the Pro Bowl Tuesday (clockwise from top left): WR Larry Fitzgerald, OLB Chandler Jones, ST Budda Baker and CB Patrick Peterson.
The season on the field didn't go the way the Cardinals wanted it to go, but individually, the team had some standout seasons from popular players – a big reason the Cards had four players named to the Pro Bowl Tuesday.
There was the rookie, Budda Baker, getting the NFC's nod on special teams. There was linebacker Chandler Jones, in the middle of his best season, earning his first Pro Bowl selection as a Cardinal and his second in his career. Then there were the two superstars, with wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald earning his 11th nod in 14 seasons and cornerback Patrick Peterson getting his seventh selection in seven NFL seasons.
Safety Tyrann Mathieu – who was eighth in the NFL in fan votes among free safeties – and running back
Adrian Peterson were named as alternates.
The three veterans are no surprise. That Baker emerged as the top vote-getter in all the NFL for special teams underscored the season the safety had in the transition game, with 15 tackles thus far. He also recovered the "mortar" onside kick of Phil Dawson Sunday in Washington. In addtion, Baker is already playing well on defense – perhaps moving in the direction to a future Pro Bowl bid on at safety.
That was the path Patrick Peterson took, making the Pro Bowl as a return man in 2011 and then getting six straight trips as a cornerback. Peterson has just one interception this season but ranks among the top corners in the league, according to Pro Football Focus, in terms of snaps played per pass attempt – meaning teams simply don't throw at Peterson much. That's while Peterson is almost exclusively put on the opposition's No. 1 receiver. Peterson also has nine pass breakups, 28 tackles and a fumble recovery.
Jones not only was a lock to make the Pro Bowl but deserves to be in the discussion for NFL defensive Player of the Year. He has 15 sacks – third all-time in franchise history, and just short of Simeon Rice's record of 16½ -- along with 25 tackles for loss. Both lead the NFL. Jones also has two forced fumbles, a pass defensed and 35 quarterback hits to go with 60 tackles.
Fitzgerald will once again gain 1,000 yards – he needs 18 to reach that plateau – and right now has 92 receptions for 982 yards and five touchdowns with two games left. This season, Fitzgerald has moved from ninth to third on the NFL's all-time list for receiving yards, and moved closer to second in all-time receptions.
GOLDEN TO IR AMONG MOVES
The Cardinals officially placed wide receiver Brittan Golden (arm) on injured reserve Tuesday, filling the roster spot with running back Bronson Hill, who had been released Saturday.
The Cardinals also cut linebacker Kevin Snyder from the practice squad, and signed wide receiver Rashad Ross and linebacker Vontarrius Dora to the practice squad. Dora had been on the practice squad earlier this season.
Some of the top images from the Cardinals' 20-15 loss in Washington on Sunday