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Analysis: Judon punches Pro Bowl Games ticket

The Patriots linebacker will be headed back to the Pro Bowl as the all-star game evolves into a flag football game with competitive events.

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Matthew Judon will make it two Pro Bowl trips in two seasons with the Patriots as the outside linebacker was named to the 2023 Pro Bowl Games on Wednesday night. Judon secured the highest vote total for an AFC outside linebacker as this will be his fourth-straight Pro Bowl going back to his final two seasons with the Ravens as well.

With 14.5 sacks, Judon is having another excellent year for the Patriots after arriving via free agency in 2021 on a four-year deal. Judon is just four sacks away from tying Andre Tippett's single-season team record (18.5), though he has just 1.5 sacks in his last four games as he's drawn more attention from opposing blockers while also being used as a decoy to open up opportunities for other rushers like Josh Uche (10.5 sacks). He had 12.5 sacks in 2021.

Defensive coordinator Brian Callahan of the Bengals had high praise for Judon this week, "They're as good as anybody. With Judon and Uche in double digits… Judon is playing as well as any defensive end in football," said Callahan.

In 2021, Judon was joined by Matthew Slater with their Pro Bowl selections, while Mac Jones was added to the AFC roster and turned in a winning performance in the "Thread the Needle" event.

The Pro Bowl has evolved this season to the Pro Bowl Games that will feature a number of challenges and then will culminate with a flag football game. Judon is sure to provide plenty of entertainment with the new format allowing his personality to shine.

Matthew Slater just missed out as an AFC Special Teams representative, breaking a streak of three straight. Slater has ten Pro Bowls in fifteen seasons. Stay tuned for further additions like Mac last year as players decline due to playoff games or injury.

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