NFL Game Summary - Pro Bowl
(Sunday, January 27th)
Final Score: NFC 62, AFC 35
Honolulu, HI (Sports Network) - If play didn't improve commissioner Roger
Goodell threatened to expunge the Pro Bowl.
The motivated players didn't want to be known as the group to lead to the
game's cancellation and take away an honor for future participants.
Scoring was still aplenty, although effort was shown throughout in the NFC's
62-35 victory over the AFC.
The past two years the game was played as if it was a bad walkthrough.
The NFC's 62 points was a new Pro Bowl single-game mark, eclipsing the AFC's
total of 59 from last year.
Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph, a late entrant for Atlanta Falcons
tight end Tony Gonzalez, was named the game's MVP with a touchdown and 122
yards receiving on five receptions.
Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt went out for a pass as a wide receiver
and retiring Green Bay Packers center Jeff Saturday lined up on the AFC side
for one play to snap to his longtime teammate Peyton Manning.
Saturday, who entered the league as a non-drafted free agent, played for the
Colts from 1999-2011 before joining Green Bay. In addition to making six Pro
Bowls, Saturday was a first-team All-Pro twice and second-team All-Pro two
In the year of the rookie quarterback, the Seattle Seahawks' Russell Wilson
and the Indianapolis Colts' Andrew Luck were among 30 players making their
debut in the Pro Bowl, which was the 43rd meeting between the AFC and NFC All-
Stars. The NFC took a 22-21 lead in the all-time series.
Wilson tossed three touchdown passes and accumulated 98 yards through the air
on 8-of-10 passing. Luck threw two scores to go with an interception and led
the AFC in passing yards with 205 on 12-of-19 efficiency.
Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who is one of the favorites for the MVP
Award and was nine yards shy of Eric Dickerson's all-time rushing mark,
carried the ball just five times for 13 yards.
New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz set a Pro-Bowl record with 10
receptions for 96 yards and a score.
The Cincinnati Bengals' A.J. Green hauled in three scores and caught seven
balls for 119 yards.
Another frontrunner for the MVP Award, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton
Manning, completed 6-of-12 passes for 43 yards and a touchdown.
After Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson returned an interception
42 yards for a score to put the AFC on top, 14-10, early in the second
quarter, the NFC countered with 28 unanswered points that bridged the second
and third frames to seize control.
Cruz caught a 9-yard touchdown and Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch
plunged in from a yard out before Rudolph caught a 3-yard score with six ticks
left in the second as the NFC went into the locker room with a 31-14
Wilson hit Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin for a 28-yard
touchdown on the NFC's first touch of the third to make it 38-14.
The margin reached its apex at 55-21 on the second play of the fourth when
Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh nailed a 26-yard field goal.
This marked the fourth consecutive year in which the Pro Bowl was held one
week prior to the Super Bowl, thereby removing members of the San Francisco
49ers and Baltimore Ravens, who will meet in Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans
on Feb. 3.
The NFC was hit particularly hard by the absence of San Francisco players
since a conference-high nine 49ers were picked to play in Hawaii, marking
nearly 21 percent of the conference's 43-man roster. That list included
projected starters Joe Staley and Mike Iupati on the offensive line and Justin
Smith, Aldon Smith, Patrick Willis, Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner from San
Francisco's imposing defense. Running back Frank Gore and linebacker NaVorro
Bowman also needed to be replaced.
Over in the AFC, six Ravens were tabbed for the contest: veteran safety Ed
Reed and defensive tackle Haloti Ngata from Dean Pees' defense, running back
Ray Rice, his lead blocker Vonta Leach and guard Marshal Yanda from the
offense, along with return specialist Jacoby Jones.
Overall 16 players declined invitations, citing injury -- eight from both
sides, including all three NFC quarterbacks -- the Packers' Aaron Rodgers,
the Atlanta Falcons' Matt Ryan and Washington Redskins rookie Robert Griffin
The game does remain a success as a television vehicle, with last year's
encounter being watched by an average of 12.5 million viewers, making it the
most-watched All-Star game in American sports for the third consecutive year
... Each player on the winning NFC team receives $50,000, while each on the
AFC squad ended up with $25,000 ... This was the 33rd time in the past 34
years in which the Pro Bowl was held at Aloha Stadium, with the 2010 edition
having taken place at Miami's Sun Life Stadium.
01/28 00:11:19 ET