BALTIMORE (WJZ/BALTIMORE RAVENS) — Six Baltimore Ravens were voted to the Pro Bowl, the NFL announced Wednesday evening. Ed Reed, Haloti Ngata, Vonta Leach, Ray Rice, Marshal Yanda and Jacoby Jones were selected to play in the NFL’s All-Star game, which will be held on Jan. 27 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.
Reed was selected to the ninth Pro Bowl of his 11-year career. In 15 games, he has totaled 58 tackles and four interceptions returned for 78 yards (one for a 34-yard touchdown). Adding 15 passes defensed and three fumble recoveries, Reed became the NFL’s all-time leader in interception return yards in Week 1 vs. Cincinnati. On 61 career thefts – a mark that leads all active players – Reed has posted 1,541 career interception return yards, which are 58 more than Hall of Famer Rod Woodson, who had 1,483 yards on 71 picks.
Earning the fourth Pro Bowl honor of his seven-year career, Ngata has produced 51 tackles and five sacks (-50 yards) in 14 games. Dating back to the 2011 campaign, Ngata has racked up 10 sacks and 115 tackles, a mark that ranks third among all NFL defensive tackles.
In his second season with the Ravens, Leach was named a Pro Bowler for the third time in his nine-year career. He has helped pave the way for Rice, who currently ranks sixth in the NFL in yards from scrimmage (1,616) and has scored 10 total touchdowns (nine rushing and one receiving). In addition to his strong blocking, Leach has been a valuable receiver out of the backfield, pulling in 20 passes for 141 yards.
Rice was named to the third Pro Bowl of his five-year career. Entering Week 17, he ranks sixth in the NFL (and second in the AFC) in yards from scrimmage per game (107.7), posting 1,616 total yards (1,138 rushing and 478 receiving). Rice and Tampa Bay RB Doug Martin are the only players who have produced at least 1,000 rushing yards and 400 receiving yards during the 2012 campaign. Rice’s 61 receptions tie (TE Dennis Pitta) for second on the team and rank second in the NFL among running backs (New Orleans RB Darren Sproles, 67). This year, Rice became the first Raven ever to rush for 1,000 yards in four-consecutive seasons. He’s also added 10 total touchdowns (nine rushing and one receiving).
The six-year veteran Yanda earned his second-consecutive Pro Bowl, serving as a stabilizing force on the Ravens’ offensive line. With Yanda’s efforts, Rice ranks sixth in the NFL with 1,616 yards from scrimmage and has 10 total touchdowns. Yanda’s pass blocking has also been stout, as he has not allowed a sack all season.
In his first year with the Ravens, Jones ranks No. 1 in the NFL with a 32.1-yard kickoff return average (32 returns for 1,026 yards). Jones, who has posted two KOR-TDs (an NFL-record 108-yarder and a 105-yarder), is the only player with dual KOR-TDs this season. He’s also the first Raven ever to have multiple KOR-TDs in a single season and a career. The six-year veteran owns an NFL-best three combined kick return scores (two KOR and one punt return), becoming the first Raven to tally three total kick return TDs in a season. Jones’ 9.3-yard punt return average (335 yards on 36 attempts) ranks 15th in the NFL.
“My guys have done a great job blocking; I give all praise to them,” Jones stated. “This means a lot. It says you are in the elite of the elite, which is tough to do, and that takes a lot of consistency and hard work. But again, a lot of praise goes to the guys blocking in front of me. I had a chance to come here, and it’s been a breath of fresh air. As soon as I walked through the door, they told me to be myself and that they’d give me an opportunity. They told me to make plays when they call my number, and that’s what I’ve tried to do – make plays when they call my number.”
One Raven who did not make the Pro Bowl but was selected as a first alternate is Bernard Pollard. He would receive an invitation if a player in front of him cannot attend due to injury or Super Bowl participation.