Although this event has no bearing on the NFL regular season, it does give some time for some of the NFL players to play some backyard football in Hawaii at Aloha Stadium. This event could be made more interesting if it had bearing like the MLB All-Star Game, but homefield advantage is determine by seed, not by an external event like the All-Star Game for baseball. The Pro Bowlers who attended this event got their daily boost of endorsements out in the open and more jerseys and memorabilia were sold in the process. The television advertisers can also advertise their wares and prepare to spend millions for the Super Bowl within a week afterwards. Although the players are competing, this is still just backyard football, just on the national stage.
Now to the post-game analysis of this meaningless NFL event:
- In the first quarter, San Diego Chargers Philip Rivers for the AFC played smart football from the outset until he began falling apart at the close of it.
- Houston Texans running back Arian Foster is one versatile back although he did fumble.
- Atlanta Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli scored the first touchdown for NFC from a yard out, and Falcons wide receiver Roddy White 23-yard reception from Michael Vick helped.
- Tennessee Titans wide receiver Marc Mariani 52-yard return from David Akers 74-yard kick was amazing until Phillip Rivers interception by Washington Redskins London Fletcher.
- Minnesota Vikings Adrian Peterson runs for 17 yards and 14 yards were amazing, and the 14-yarder led to 14-o lead by the NFC.
- Indianapolis Colts Peyton Manning replaced Philip Rivers, and he got intercepted by Atlanta Falcons Brent Grimes on the first series out. Wow.
- Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan to his tight end Tony Gonzalez from 4 yards out led to another score for the NFC 21-0. New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick wasn’t a happy man.
- Atlanta Falcons DeAngelo Hall was the man for the first half. He got an interception off of Philip Rivers, and he returned a fumble off of New England Patriots Wes Welker from 34 yards out and another NFC touchdown for a score of 28-0.
- Matt Ryan’s bomb to Arizona Cardinals Larry Fitzgerald from 25 yards out was amazing and led to another touchdown for a score of 35-0.
- Kansas City Chiefs Matt Cassel of the AFC got intercepted by Minnesota Vikings Antoine Winfield on his first series out.
- St. Louis Rams Steven Jackson’s rush from 21 yards out for another touchdown for the NFC led the score to 42-0. I have never seen or experienced even a backyard football game with a rout like this.
- Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles carried the entire AFC team into the half for their first touchdown from 8 yards out for a score of 42-7.
- Opening the second half, Chargers Philip Rivers laser to Indianapolis Colts Reggie Wayne from 16 yards out was great, and it led to another AFC score to bring the game to 42-14.
- The fumble recovery on the kickoff by Jacksonville Jaguars Montell Owens from 8 yards out brought the game to 42-21 for the AFC.
- Another Philips River laser to Jacksonville Jaguars Marcedes Lewis from 28 yards out for another AFC score of 45-28. Fantastic pass by Rivers…
- Matt Cassel’s interception by Carolina Panthers Jon Beason from 49 yards out nearly closed the game for the NFC with the score of 55-28.
- Matt Cassel’s 7 yard pass to Montell Owens brought the score to 55-35, and it was almost their last gasp.
- The lateral to Cleveland Browns Alex Mack from Montell Owens to the final AFC score of 55-41 from 40 yards out was something for the record books. It was the good old backyard football play to end the game for the AFC.
The NFC won 55-41 over the AFC in this Pro Bowl match. Hopefully, this game doesn’t forecast how the Super Bowl will turn out with one team essentially dominating another. Luckily for us, this is just the Pro Bowl, and Jay Glazer won’t be calling plays on either side of the ball nor a streaker running in the middle of the field (hopefully — on both counts). Whereas the Pro Bowl didn’t turn out to be a defensive battle, the Super Bowl should be. Both quarterbacks, Pittsburgh Steelers Ben Roethlisberger and Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers, should be constantly harassed, and their defenses are both capable of hindering their respective rushers of the Steelers Rashard Mendenhall and Packers James Starks. Let the countdown begin…