*For the second-straight year, Landon Collins will be a starter for the NFC in the Pro Bowl: *
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Landon Collins has been elected as the starting strong safety on the NFC Pro Bowl team for the second consecutive season. And while he is justifiably proud of the accomplishment, it doesn't illicit the joy that he had as a first-timer last year. Then, the Giants were an 11-5 playoff team. Now, they're 2-12 and in last place in the NFC East.
"It's definitely a mixed feeling, because I want all my guys to succeed, as a team and as a whole," Collins said. "We all want to succeed and by me just doing it, it's a good feeling, but at the same time a bad feeling, because I want everybody to be happy, not just myself."
Collins has led the team in tackles in each of his three seasons, with 108 (80 solo) as a rookie, and 125 (100 solo) last year. He currently has 98 tackles (73 solo), which is 32 more than anyone else on the team. If his injured ankle heals enough for him to play in one or both of the season's final two games, he will finish with more than 100 tackles for the third straight year.
Collins has started all 47 games (including one in the postseason) since the Giants selected him on the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft. On Sunday against Philadelphia, he left the game for good in the second quarter because of his sprained ankle.
He earned his third NFL Defensive Player of the Week honors for his performance in the Nov. 19 victory against Kansas City, when he had a career-high 14 tackles (10 solo) - a figure he matched four days later in Washington – and an interception.
But Collins has said he hasn't been as dominant as he was in 2016, when he had five interceptions, 4.0 sacks, and 13 passes defensed, and was the only player in NFL history to have 100 or more solo tackles, and at least 2.0 sacks, five interceptions, and 12 passes defensed. This year, he has two interceptions, no sacks, and four passes defensed.
"I think my second half was better than my first half, because of my (ankle) injury (which he first suffered on Oct. 8, but didn't miss a game)," Collins said. "And I think I've played pretty good to get everybody's attention, and being one of the best in the game right now. I'm just humbled by it and grateful for it, going back-to-back times. It's a blessing."
The Pro Bowl will be played on Jan. 28 in Camping World Stadium in Orlando. Last year, Collins started in the AFC's 20-13 victory against the NFC.
"It was kind of hectic, trying to get all of my family and stuff around, and just trying to get all of that situated," he said. "I think this go around, it's going to be way better."