Christian McCaffrey, More Show Support for Flag Football, Revamped Pro Bowl Games

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVFebruary 6, 2023

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 05: Christian McCaffrey #23 of the San Francisco 49ers and NFC looks on during the 2023 NFL Pro Bowl Games at Allegiant Stadium on February 05, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)
Jeff Bottari/Getty Images

The NFL Pro Bowl Games were a hit among some of the league's players.

This year featured a series of competitions and three flag football games instead of the traditional contest that pitted the two conferences against each other ahead of the Super Bowl. The NFC won 35-33 but needed a comeback after the AFC built a cumulative lead by winning five of the eight competitions.

"I definitely don't need to take more hits," San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey told reporters. "So, I'm a proponent for it."

He wasn't the only one who enjoyed the experience in Las Vegas.

"Overall, it was a very cool experience," Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker said. "It was definitely a good experience for the fans to be able to see our faces, since we're always in helmets. It was really good to interact with them.

"So, yeah, let's keep it going, for sure."

The event was spread out across multiple days and featured competitions such as dodgeball, longest drive, precision passing and best catch, in addition to the three flag football games.

There was no shortage of intensity in the final flag football game, with Kirk Cousins throwing touchdowns to Amon-Ra St. Brown, Kyle Juszczyk and George Kittle. There was even some controversy at the end with a flag in the end zone on a fourth-down play that prevented the AFC from getting the ball back when trailing in the last minute.

It didn't sit well with AFC head coach Peyton Manning that the NFC kneeled out the clock from there, and he argued they shouldn't have been allowed to do so since teams weren't supposed to run the ball that close to the goal line.

"I didn't know what to expect, but I think it turned out pretty well," Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith said. "It got very competitive at the end, and I think that's what they wanted."

It doesn't seem like the new format is going to change anytime soon.