Pro Bowl 2012: 5 Bold Predictions for the 2012 NFL Pro Bowl
The 2012 NFL Pro Bowl is just one day away, and things are beginning to heat up in Hawaii.
While the Pro Bowl is hit or miss every year, the 2012 version of the Pro Bowl is shaping up to be one of the best in recent memory, with a lot of first-time Pro Bowl appearances by the youth of the NFL.
The NFC currently holds the series record at 21-20 over the AFC, which provides the AFC with the opportunity to tie things up with a win this year. While the AFC's roster is depleted more so than the NFC's, by injuries and Super Bowl appearances, the 2012 Pro Bowl is shaping up to be one to remember.
Ahead are five predictions for the 2012 NFL Pro Bowl.
AFC & NFC Will Break the Record for Most Touchdowns in a Pro Bowl
The current record for the most combined touchdowns in a Pro Bowl is 14, which came back in the offensive explosion of 2004.
There's more offensive firepower this year than ever before, and that's why the AFC and NFC will have no problem scoring 15 total touchdowns, breaking the record for combined touchdowns in a Pro Bowl.
With offensive powerhouses taking the field like Ben Roethlisberger, Mike Wallace, A.J. Green, Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers and LeSean McCoy, there's no doubting that there will be plenty of offense when both teams take the field this Sunday.
Much like the regular season finale between the Packers and the Lions, I expect a ton of offense and minimal defense. It's just more fun that way.
Teams Will Combine for 100+ Points
Over the past 10 years, the average margin of victory in the Pro Bowl has been 9.8 points, and I expect this year's Pro Bowl to fall right under that average, with a ridiculous amount of points scored.
There's only been one time in NFL history that the AFC and NFC have combined for 100+ points, which came in the 2004 Pro Bowl. This year's going to be the second time that happens.
This past regular season featured a lot of games that didn't include a lot of defense, as evidenced by Drew Brees breaking Dan Marino's record for passing yards in a single season. With Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton on one side of the ball, and Ben Roethlisberger, Andy Dalton and Phillip Rivers on the other side, there's no doubting that there's going to be a ridiculous amount of offensive fireworks in Hawaii on Sunday.
It will come down to the wire, but in the last three or four minutes, the AFC is going to score a go-ahead touchdown, that puts the point total over 100 points, making it only the second Pro Bowl to do so.
1st Time Pro Bowlers Will Outshine Veterans
There are plenty of first-time Pro Bowlers on this year's Pro Bowl rosters, with players like Andy Dalton, Cam Newton, A.J. Green, Jimmy Graham and LeSean McCoy.
What sets these guys apart from players who have been to Pro Bowls before is the fact that these first-time guys have the enthusiasm and excitement about playing in their first Pro Bowl that many veterans have lost.
This year, with so may first-timers on each conference's Pro Bowl roster, the youth will outplay the aged veterans of the league.
The 2012 Pro Bowl will put the youth of the NFL on display, proving just how dominant players like Newton, McCoy, Green and Dalton are going to be in the years to come.
AFC Will Win, Tying the Pro-Bowl Series at 21-21
In a shocking turn of events, the AFC is going to come out on top in the 2012 NFL Pro Bowl.
When you look at both sides' respective rosters, the AFC is much more depleted by injuries or Super Bowl appearances, missing 18 pro-bowlers, as compared to the NFC, who is missing only eight pro-bowlers. That doesn't mean that the AFC won't come out on top though.
Across the board, there are more teammate combos on the AFC side, with connections like the Bengals' trio of rookie QB Andy Dalton, WR A.J. Green and second-year TE Jermaine Gresham, in addition to the Chargers' connection of Phillip Rivers, Ryan Matthew, Vincent Jackson and Antonio Gates.
There aren't nearly as many teammate combos on the NFC that go as deep as the AFC, and that lack of chemistry will ultimately prove to be the difference maker in the 2012 Pro Bowl.
The AFC will get the win, 55 to 52, bringing the all-time record between the AFC and the NFC to a tie at 21-21.
Score Prediction: AFC 55 -- NFC 52
Cam Newton Will Be the 2012 Pro Bowl MVP
Here's where things get crazy. Something is going to happen in the 2012 Pro Bowl that hasn't happened since the 1986 Pro Bowl, and that is that the Pro Bowl MVP is going to be a player on the losing team. Back in 1986, the NFC lost to the AFC 10-6, but Packers DE Reggie White was named the Pro Bowl MVP.
The same thing is going to happen in 2012, with the AFC beating the NFC, but Panthers' QB Cam Newton being named the 2012 Pro Bowl MVP. Cam Newton is going to put his ridiculous athleticism on display against the AFC defense, and it won't be because they don't have talent.
Newton is going to put up ridiculous stats because defenses aren't allowed to blitz, they're not allowed to play anything but a 4-3 and they can't press receivers unless it's within the 5-yard line.
Newton will add to his absurd rookie season by joining Adrian Peterson and Marshal Faulk as the only rookies to ever win the Pro Bowl MVP trophy.
Newton Stat Prediction: 255 Passing Yards, 135 Rushing Yards, 5 Total Touchdowns