The NFL announced the 2019 Pro Bowl rosters on Tuesday, and the Los Angeles Chargers have the most players named to the All-Star game since the 2007 season.
Seven Bolts, a league-high, were selected to represent the AFC including rookie Derwin James, who will make his Pro Bowl Debut at free safety. Joining him are WR Keenan Allen, RB Melvin Gordon, DE Melvin Ingram, special teamer Adrian Phillips, C Mike Pouncey and QB Philip Rivers.
"It means everything that I've been working for is finally coming into fruition," Phillips said. "My wife and I were walking our dog in the offseason and every year I make goals that I want to accomplish for the season and one of my goals was to be a Pro Bowler/All Pro on special teams. I completed one half of that goal already and there's still more to be done. But it means everything. It's a lot of motivation and it just means to really believe in what you're doing and speak it into existence."
Alongside James, Phillips will also make his Pro Bowl debut this year. Both were selected as starters. It marks the second honor for Allen, Gordon and Ingram, the fourth for Pouncey and the eighth for Rivers.
"We feel like we have so many Pro Bowlers on this team, pretty much all 22 starters and even some on special teams, we feel like everybody that we have is the best in the league at their position," Phillips continued. "So to see the league recognize that, to see the fans out there recognize that, it just kind of confirms what the front office already thought, what our coaches thought and what the players believe. To be a part of those group of guys, it's an elite group for the year. To be a part of that means that you've been playing at the highest level and it's not going unnoticed."
However, there's a chance they won't be the only Chargers who may head to the Sunshine State in January. Three Bolts were selected as Pro Bowl alternates including T Russell Okung (first), CB Casey Hayward (second) and FB Derek Watt (third).
Allen will be making his second career trip to Orlando as he enters Week 16 with 88 catches for 1,074 yards and six touchdowns. The 6-2 receiver has eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the second straight year and for the third time in his career. Allen currently ranks fifth in the AFC with his 88 receptions while his 1,074 yards rank sixth.
Gordon has been selected to the Pro Bowl for the second time in his career and for the first time since 2016. Despite missing four games in 2018, the Wisconsin native has amassed 1,255 yards from scrimmage and a career-best 13 total touchdowns. Gordon sports a career-best 5.2 yards-per-carry average and has totaled 802 yards on the ground and 453 yards receiving while hauling in 44 passes. Gordon currently ranks tied for second in the NFL with 82 points.
Ingram, who was a first alternate at defensive end last season but played in the game, got the nod this year. Ingram has registered seven sacks and 39 total tackles, including eight for loss. The South Carolina product has added 16 quarterback hits, one interception and one forced fumble. Ingram has tallied 42 career sacks, ranking seventh all-time in franchise history.
James, the 17th overall pick in the 2018 draft, is the first Chargers rookie voted to start at the Pro Bowl since Shawne Merriman started at linebacker in the 2006 Pro Bowl. James currently leads the team with 93 combined tackles and paces the squad with 12 passes defensed. The Florida State standout has added 3.5 sacks, three interceptions and six quarterback hits.
Phillips will be making his first Pro Bowl appearance. The safety has been a versatile piece for the Chargers on defense and special teams as he has totaled 58 tackles on the season. On special teams, he leads the NFL with 15 total tackles. Phillips has added an interception and eight passes defensed on the season.
Named an all-star for the fourth time in his career, Pouncey has solidified the Chargers rushing attack. The former Florida Gator blocks for the NFL's No. 6 offense, including paving the way for running back Melvin Gordon to post five-straight games with a score and at least 120 scrimmage yards, the longest such streak in a decade. Pouncey is part of a line that protected quarterback Philip Rivers to post the most efficient game in NFL history, where he set all-time marks for single-game consecutive completions (25) and single-game completion percentage with at least 20 attempts (96.6).
Rivers was voted to his eighth Pro Bowl on the strength of one of his best seasons of his career. The signal-caller sports a single-season career-best 112.4 rating entering Week 16. His 31 passing touchdowns are the most through 14 games of any season of his career. Rivers leads the AFC with a 69.4 completion percentage and his 8.8 yards per attempt also paces the conference. Against Arizona, the 15-year pro broke the NFL record with 25-straight completions and a 96.6 completion percentage against the Cardinals in Week 12.
A two-time Pro Bowl tackle, including a selection for the Bolts last season, Okung provides stability and consistency on the blind side of quarterback Philip Rivers. The Oklahoma State product blocks for the NFL's No. 6 offense to produce 100-yard outputs on the ground in nine games this season. Okung is part of a line that protected Rivers to post the most efficient game in NFL history, where he set all-time marks for single-game consecutive completions (25) and single-game completion percentage with at least 20 attempts (96.6).
Since joining the Bolts in 2016, Hayward has been one of the NFL's best cornerbacks. He has started all 14 games this season and appeared on 98 percent (875-of-895) defensive snaps this year on the league's No. 8 defense. Hayward has 40 tackles (37 solo), a tackle for loss and six passes defensed. The former Vanderbilt Commodore is part of a secondary that has allowed the fifth-fewest passing touchdowns of 20-plus yards in the NFL, and allows just 225.4 passing yards-per-game.
Watt has provided lead blocking to one of the most dynamic backfields in football, including Pro Bowl running back Melvin Gordon. The Wisconsin native helped block for an offense that averages 121.9 rushing yards-per-game, and paved the way for Gordon to post his third consecutive season with at least 10 touchdowns and 1,200 scrimmage yards.
Take a look at which of your Bolts were selected into the 2019 Pro Bowl in Orlando.