Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has been named to his third consecutive Pro Bowl in just his fourth NFL season. Joining Watson on the AFC's Pro Bowl roster is Texans left tackle Laremy Tunsil, with the offensive duo the only Houstonians to make this year's shortlist.
Watson, the Texans signal-caller known for his Houdini-esque ability to extend plays, is enjoying a career year despite coaching changes, losing the majority of his wide receivers throughout the course of the season, and the offensive line showing massive regression.
Watson is currently second only to reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs in passing yards with 4,134, while he leads the league in yard gained per passing attempt (8.8), and yards gained per pass completion (12.5). These accomplishments are even more impressive when including the fact he has been sacked 44 times this year, with only the Philadelphia Eagles' Carson Wentz ahead of him in this stat.
Meanwhile, protecting Watson's blindside for the second straight year is Tunsil who has allowed just two sacks all season. Despite a rough few games recently which have seen his penalty count slowly rise, Tunsil remains one of the premier tackles in the NFL, with Pro Football Focus giving him a 75.8 rating on the year.
Still only 25 and 26 years old respectively, Watson and Tunsil will be big selling points to general manager and head coaching candidates come the new year, as will one particular player who will count himself among the bigger Pro Bowl snubs of this season.
Linebacker Zach Cunningham leads the league in tackles with 137, while also having recorded career-highs in sacks (3.0) and quarterback hits (4) with two games still to go.
Other than Cunningham there are few others who should be surprised by their absence from the Pro Bowl roster.
Right tackle Tytus Howard has had a relatively solid year but is not yet among the league's best, while wideout Will Fuller would have been a strong contender had it not been for his PED suspension. Linebacker Tyrell Adams could have been another on the shortlist had he played all season, given that despite only having started 10 games he has managed to amass a career-high 109 tackles.
Elsewhere, two former Texans made the shortlist with Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins reaching Pro Bowl No. 5, while Kansas City Chiefs safety Tyrann Mathieu has made it for just the second time in his career.