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Bills land three defensive players in NFL Pro Bowl

Three out of four ain’t bad.

Buffalo Bills defensive linemen Kyle Williams, Marcell Dareus and Mario Williams were selected to the 2015 Pro Bowl, the NFL announced Tuesday night.

That leaves only defensive end Jerry Hughes from the Bills’ defensive line out of the all-star game, and with 9.5 sacks, he made a pretty strong case to get there, too.

Dareus will make his second straight Pro Bowl appearance after making it into the game last year as an alternate. He leads all NFL defensive tackles with 10 sacks, and his 28.5 career sacks are second at the position since he entered the league in 2011 – just a half sack behind Cincinnati’s Geno Atkins.

Kyle Williams has 41 tackles, including eight for losses, 5.5 sacks and 14 quarterback hits this season. He’s making his third straight Pro Bowl appearance and the fourth of his nine-year career.

Also a nine-year veteran, Mario Williams has 13.5 sacks this season, joining Bruce Smith as the only players in franchise history to record back-to-back seasons with 13 or more sacks. Mario Williams is also making his fourth career Pro Bowl appearance, also making it in 2008, ’09 and ’13.

Hughes had the strongest case among Bills players not to make the game. Beyond his sack stats, he has developed into an every-down player this season. But competition at defensive end was stiff. In addition to Mario Williams, the five other players at the position are Houston’s J.J. Watt, Miami’s Cameron Wake, Denver’s DeMarcus Ware, Arizona’s Calais Campbell and St. Louis’ Robert Quinn. Campbell is the only player on that list who will make his first Pro Bowl appearance.

Bills kicker Dan Carpenter has also had a season worthy of consideration but was beaten out by New England’s Stephen Gostkowski and Indianapolis’ Adam Vinatieri – each of whom will make their third appearance.

The Denver Broncos led all teams with nine players selected, led by quarterback Peyton Manning, who was named to his 14th Pro Bowl.

For the sixth straight year, the Pro Bowl will be held the Sunday before the Super Bowl.

It will be played Jan. 25 from University of Phoenix Stadium in Arizona.

For the second straight year, it will be “unconferenced.” Teams will be “drafted” by Hall of Famers Michael Irvin and Cris Carter during an NFL Network special Jan. 21.

The 86 players chosen Tuesday were selected through a vote of fans, players and coaches – each counting one third. Two more players, who have to be long snappers, will be named after the coaching staffs are determined.


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