Sat. Jun 15th, 2024
Tampa Bay Bucs v New Orleans Saints
Photo by Perry Knotts/Getty Images

Bucs veterans replacing those unable to attend.

The National Football League announced today that Tampa Bay Bucs quarterback Baker Mayfield and tackle Tristan Wirfs have been named to the 2024 NFL Pro Bowl Games. Mayfield is replacing Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, who is unable to participate due to injury, and Wirfs is replacing left tackle Trent Williams of the San Francisco 49ers, who will be playing in Super Bowl LVIII. In addition, Tampa Bay wide receiverMike Evans, who was named to the initial 2024 Pro Bowl games roster, will miss the event due to injury.

Mayfield, who was recently selected as 2023’s Most Improved Player by the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA), is a first-time Pro Bowl selection after putting forth a 2023 season in which he established career highs in completions (364), passing yards (4,044), passing touchdowns (28) and completion percentage (64.3%). He was 1-of-2 players this season with 28-or-more passing touchdowns and 10-or-fewer interceptions, joining Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott. Mayfield ranked among league-leaders in passing touchdowns (seventh), passing yards (ninth), completions (10th) and passer rating (12th). He became the second player in Bucs history to throw for 4,000+ yards, 25-or-more touchdowns and 10-or-fewer interceptions in a single season, along with Tom Brady (2022).

He orchestrated a Bucs offense that saw year-over-year increases in points scored, point differential, turnover margin, passing touchdowns, passer rating, net yards per pass attempt, third-down conversion rate, fourth-down conversion rate and time of possession. He led Tampa Bay to victories in five of the team’s final six games of the regular season, recording the club’s first four-game win streak since the 2021 season. During the streak, Mayfield became the first visiting quarterback in NFL history to post a perfect passer rating (158.3) at Lambeau Field, earning his fourth career Player of the Week honors.

In the postseason, Mayfield was the league’s leading passer through the Divisional Round, completing 48-of-77 passes (62.3%) for 686 yards and six touchdowns compared to two interceptions for a passer rating of 106.3. Mayfield’s 106.3 passer rating represents the highest postseason mark by a quarterback in franchise history, with his six passing touchdowns ranking second. He became the first quarterback in team history to record a postseason game with 300+ passing yards and three-or-more touchdowns, accomplishing the feat in both playoff contests.

Mayfield is the third quarterback in franchise history to earn a Pro Bowl selection in the player’s first season with Tampa Bay, and the sixth Bucs quarterback to make the Pro Bowl.

Wirfs, who just wrapped up his fourth season in the NFL, has now been selected to the Pro Bowl in each of the past three seasons (2021-23). Thus far in his career, he has garnered three Pro Bowl selections, one Associated Press first-team All-Pro selection (2021) and was a member of the PFWA All-Rookie Team (2020), in addition to starting on Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl LV Championship team in his rookie season.

Earning Pro Bowl recognition again for his efforts in the 2023 season, Wirfs joins Tony Mayberry (1997-99) as the only offensive linemen in franchise history with three consecutive trips to the Pro Bowl. He’s also the first Bucs player at any position to accomplish this feat since Gerald McCoy made six consecutive Pro Bowls from 2012-17.

In 2023, Wirfs totaled 1,233 offensive snaps, including the postseason, and per Pro Football Focus (PFF) metrics, he yielded just five sacks and just six quarterback hits over 19 games played in his first season after making the transition from right tackle to left tackle.

Among all tackles with 850-or-more pass-blocking snaps in 2023, Wirfs ranked fourth with an 84.3 pass-blocking grade and sixth with an 81.1 overall offensive grade, per PFF.

Over the past four seasons since Wirfs was drafted, the Bucs lead the league in fewest sacks allowed per pass attempt (3.8%), in addition to allowing the second-fewest total sacks (107) and the second-fewest quarterback hits (293) during that span. This season alone, Tampa Bay allowed the seventh-fewest quarterback hits (78) and tied for the 12th-fewest sacks (40).

The 2024 Pro Bowl Games are set to take place February 1-4 in Orlando. The festivities will be broadcasted on ESPN, ABC, Disney XD, ESPN+, ESPN Deportes and NFL+.

(Courtesy of the Bucs Communications Department.)

By admin