Four New Orleans Saints players rank in the top-10 of their position in early Pro Bowl voting, the NFL announced Thursday.
Drew Brees (8th), Mark Ingram (7th), Max Unger (5th) and Benjamin Watson (8th) all rank in the top 10 of their position in Pro Bowl votes.
Brees is 238 for 342 (69.6%) for 2,763 yards, 18 touchdowns, seven interceptions and a 102.8 quarterback rating this season. He ranks in the top 5 in the NFL for a number of categories including completion percentage (2nd), yards (2nd), completions (3rd), touchdowns (7th) and quarterback rating (7th).
Ingram has rushed 140 times for 584 yards (4.2 avg.) and five touchdowns this season. The fifth year tailback has 37 receptions for 316 yards (8.5 avg.). Ingram ranks third in the NFL in first downs (52), fourth in yards from scrimmage (900) and eight in rushing yards (584).
Unger is the starting center on an offensive line that has helped the Saints lead the NFL in total yards per game (421.7) and fourth down efficiency (87.5). The offense also ranks second in the league passing net yards per game (326.7), first downs per game (24.9) and third down efficiency (48.1%).
Watson has caught 43 balls for 532 yards (12.4 avg.) and three touchdowns this season. The 10-year veteran ranks fourth among tight ends in receptions, fifth in yards and tied for fifth in first downs (26). Watson has 10 receptions of 20 yards or more this season, which ranks third among tight ends in the NFL.
Fan voting for the 2016 Pro Bowl will continue online and on web-enabled mobile phones here until voting concludes on Tuesday, December 15. The Pro Bowl players will be announced on Tuesday, December 22 live on NFL Network.
Players will later be assigned to teams through the Pro Bowl Draft during the week leading up to the game, which will air on ESPN2.
The 2016 Pro Bowl will be played on Sunday, January 31, 2016 and televised live on ESPN from Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. Game tickets go on sale to the general public on Monday, November 16.
The 2016 Pro Bowl will continue using the revised game format that debuted with the 2014 Pro Bowl, with NFL Legends captains having final say over Pro Bowl Draft decisions. The Pro Bowl will remain "unconferenced," with several key playing rules changed. Players will be selected without regard to conference in voting by fans, coaches and players, and later assigned to Pro Bowl teams via a fantasy football-style draft.
The Pro Bowl players are determined by the consensus votes of fans, players and coaches. Each group's vote counts one-third toward determining the 88 All-Star players who will be eligible for the Pro Bowl Draft.
NFL players and coaches will cast their votes on Friday, December 18. The NFL is the only sports league that combines voting by fans, coaches and players to determine its all-star teams.
Photos of Mark Ingram against the Indianapolis Colts. Photos by Michael C. Hebert. (New Orleans Saints photos)