The Best Highlights from the 2013 NFL Pro Bowl
Unfortunately, the lion's share of them were made by players on the NFC, which dominated the action for most of the contest and won by a score of 62-35.
One thing that we can say for certain about this contest, though, is that the game was far more watchable than the laugh fest we witnessed in 2012.
Here are the biggest plays from this game for your viewing pleasure.
First TD of the Game for the AFC
It took four tries, as John Fox opted to let the offense go for it on 4th-and-goal at the six-yard line, but Manning found A.J. Green—the talented young receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals—open in the middle of the end zone for an easy score.
First TD of the Game for the NFC
In response to the AFC's opening salvo, Drew Brees and the NFC took little time to match Manning.
Brees led an eight-play drive that chewed up 81 yards in under four minutes, finishing it off in style with a gorgeous 36-yard strike to Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson to tie the game at seven points apiece.
Jeff Saturday and Peyton Manning Hook Up One Last Time
Saturday and Manning were teammates for 13 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts.
Saturday announced his plans to retire on "The Grady and Big Joe Show" on 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis (h/t IndyStar.com).
As a gesture of their time together, Saturday (NFC) lined up in front of Manning (AFC) for one play with about five minutes left in the first quarter of the game—a running play that lost two yards.
The result of the play is meaningless. The gesture was priceless.
Derrick Johnson With a Pick-Six
After both sides traded punts a couple times, the game got interesting in a hurry early in the second quarter.
Eli Manning had taken over for Brees by this time, and he attempted to hit Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph.
Unfortunately for Manning, he never saw Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Johnson, who stepped in front of the pass and ran it back 42 yards for a touchdown.
This score put the AFC up by a score of 14-10.
Victor Cruz Does the Salsa
After Manning's interception, he and the NFC moved the ball at will on the next offensive possession.
Manning completed six of eight passes on this 10-play drive—five of which were caught by Cruz. The dynamic duo concluded the drive with a nine-yard touchdown pass, and Cruz performed his famous "Salsa" dance celebration.
This score put the NFC on top by a score of 17-14.
Kyle Rudolph Caps Off A Huge First Half with a TD
With just six seconds remaining in the first half, Eli Manning connected with Rudolph on a six-yard touchdown pass—a gorgeous play that saw Manning lob the ball over the top of Justin Houston, hitting Rudolph in stride at the back of the end zone.
Rudolph's first-half totals: Five catches for 122 yards and a touchdown.
This score put the NFC up by a score of 31-14 at the half.
Russell Wilson Makes J.J. Watt Look Foolish, Throws a TD
After Matt Schaub was intercepted by Earl Thomas, the NFC threw Wilson into the game for the first time.
He didn't take long to make the most electric play of the game, deftly avoiding a sack by Watt, rolling to his left and finding fellow rookie, running back Doug Martin, for a 28-yard touchdown strike.
Funny side note: Wilson was trying to hit Rudolph in the play, but Martin jumped in front of the pass to make the catch.
This amazing play put the NFC up by a score of 38-14.
Controversy at the Pro Bowl?
Matt Schaub and the AFC offense somehow managed to put together a drive that put the AFC back on the board midway through the third quarter.
But the "touchdown" pass from Schaub to Josh Cribbs shoudn't have counted, as Cribbs never maintained possession when he hit the ground.
Perhaps the refs just felt bad for the AFC squad at that point, though, because they ruled it a touchdown pass. This "score" made it a 38-21 score in favor of the NFC.
Wilson Hooks Up with Larry Fitzgerald for Another NFC TD
After a 92-yard kickoff return by Leon Washington, Wilson and the NFC offense began the next drive at the AFC's 15-yard line.
From there, Wilson made a couple of remarkable plays (shocking, we know) and concluded the drive on 4th-and-4 with a sweet nine-yard touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald in the end zone.
This score put the NFC up by a score of 45-21.
Wilson and the NFC Pile On the Points
After the AFC failed a reverse punt, the NFC took over again in scoring range.
Wilson found Vincent Jackson in the back of the end zone—Jackson's second score of the game—on the right side for his third touchdown pass in six attempts.
The NFC took a commanding 52-21 lead into the fourth quarter.
Andrew Luck and A.J. Green Hook Up for Six
After getting outscored by 31 points in quarters two and three, the AFC came back with a touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
Luck engineered a nine-play drive that went 80 yards in just over three minutes, and he concluded the drive with a gorgeous four-yard touchdown strike to Green in the back right corner of the end zone.
This touchdown pulled the AFC a bit closer, but the NFC still led by a score of 55-28.
Luck and Green Strike Again
The NFC scored another touchdown in the fourth quarter when Jerome Felton ran it in from one yard out on a fullback dive.
Then, Luck and the AFC offense hit the field once again, and once again, Green made a phenomenal play on a beautiful pass from the rookie quarterback.
This one made all the rest look vanilla, though, as Luck hit Green in stride down the right sideline on a 49-yard bomb. Green ran a perfect route, and Luck's pass couldn't have been more on the money.
The score after this touchdown was 62-35 in favor of the NFC.
Jason Pierre-Paul Intercepts Andrew Luck...Covering J.J. Watt
For fun, the AFC's coaching staff put Watt in on offense and tried to get him an offensive touchdown.
Unfortunately, Pierre-Paul busted up the party by intercepting Luck's pass in the end zone.
The NFC dominated the action, winning by a score of 62-35.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?