It took him 12 years but “the best kicker in football, hands down,” according to Raiders coach Hue Jackson, finally made the AFC Pro Bowl team on Tuesday.
Kicker Sebastian Janikowski was named to his first Pro Bowl, joining punterShane Lechler and defensive tackle Richard Seymour as the Raiders’ three representatives in the Jan. 29 all-star game in Honolulu. It is the seventh time both Lechler and Seymour were selected.
Janikowski, the team’s first-round pick in 2000, has converted 27-of-31 field goals and leads the team with 115 points. He kicked a 36-yard game-winner " his third field goal of the day " in overtime to give Oakland (8-7) a 16-13 win in Kansas City and keep its’ playoff hopes alive.
In a season-opening win in Denver, Janikowski tied an NFL record held by Tom Dempsey of New Orleans (1971) and Jason Elam of Denver (1998) with a 63-yard field goal. He also set a club record by going 6-for-6 in field goal attempts in a 25-20 win over the Chicago Bears.
“It feels great,” Janikowski said. “It took me awhile, I mean, only 12 y ears, but it feels great and it’s a great honor and I’m happy to be there,” Janikowski said. “I’m looking forward to it. I can’t do it without (long snapper) Jon Condo and (holder) Shane Lechler and the offensive line. They protected and did a great job and that’s what it takes.”
Janikowski, who is the all-time scoring leader in franchise history with 1,247 points, missed only one game this season with a nagging hamstring injury
Janikowski and Lechler both won the fan portion of the balloting " with fans, coaches and players each counting one-third.
Lechler leads the NFL in gross punting with a 50.5 average. He has kicked a club-record 80-yarder and a 76-yarder this season, as well as have 27 of his 77 punts dowend inside the 20-yard-line.
“I’m excited and it never gets old because whenever you get voted in by your peers, I think that’s the ultimate accomplishment,” Lechler said. “I’m so excited for Seabass. It’s been so overdue for him.”
Seymour was not the lock he usually he is, as he struggled through a couple of games with a knee injury and has 10 penalties. But he’s often double-teamed and does have six sacks, plus he had two season-saving blocked field goals in the win over Kansas City Sunday.
(The Raiders could have a fourth Pro Bowler once the AFC coach is named. He picks the long snapper and since both kickers are Raiders, one has to figure Jon Condo has a good shot. He made the Pro Bowl after the 2009 season.)
Strong safety Tyvon Branch, defensive tackle Tommy Kelly, fullback Marcel Reece and injured running back Darren McFadden were named alternates.
“I give my teammates and my coaches a lot of credit, they put me in the right position to make plays,” Seymour said. “I couldn’t be the player that I am without Tommy Kelly and the guys beside me so those guys are definitely deserving as well and their time is coming soon.”
http://blog.sfgate.com/raiders/2011/12/ ... -pro-bowl/
Congrat to Lechler, Janikowski and Seymour! It's about damn time Janikowski makes a Pro Bowl.