The NFL has worked to make the Pro Bowl a more competitive game and a more interesting game to watch for fans.
The verdict after yesterday: undecided?
Team Irvin trounced Team Rice, 49-27 and the bombs were a'plenty. Just take a peek at this scoring summary:
Passpasspasspasspass (run) passpasspasspass.
Seahawks QB Russell Wilson won the Offensive MVP with three first half TDs. Yes, you read that right. They were set up by bombs of 61 and 48 yards. This was certainly the tone-setting for the day. Actually preceding that was a 28 yard strike from Eli Manning to T. Kelce on Team Rice's first possession. After a tipped interception of Manning on a following possession, Team Irvin had a short drive to take a two-TD lead which they would never allow to dwindle.
Seahawks DE Michael Bennett got the Defensive MVP for wreaking havoc, having the game's only sack, a Tackle for Loss, a Pass Defensed, and a QB hit.
- CB Richard Sherman, Seattle, was thrown at perhaps more than the last quarter of the season combined. The Pro Bowl QBs might have inadvertently given the league a blueprint, because he was anything but shutdown in his play. While he was having fun, he wasn't just lying down, and saw a good amount of completions at his expense. Even a fake punt went his way, which elicited a response from the Ravens Twitter account:
What's up with Johnny Hekker getting so many fake punt opportunities? We want more Sam!— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) February 1, 2016
- Marshal Yanda is well respected in this league. The commentators mentioned him, and one play where he ran full speed to protect a QB scrambling right demonstrated why.
- The rules adjustments gave a mixed bag of results. There were still a tonnage of scores and bombs. I, for one, enjoyed watching the alley oops, but others might have wanted more competitive defense.
- Charles Woodson had a nice sendoff, even getting in the game for an offensive snap.
- Jameis Winston enjoyed himself way too much, and had some nice deep completions, to boot. I am still not convinced that he is first string Pro Bowl material yet.
- David Carr has a ridiculous gun! His deep balls looked like they were fired out of an old school Schwarzeneggar bazooka.
- Sam Koch got props for his punting expertise, although he only saw two punts. It was still nice to hear.
- Elvis Dumervil had 1 assist and 1 combined tackle. A quiet day to go along with a quiet season. Next season, with his running mates back (and some new ones), he'll be sure to bring the noise!
- Honolulu's attendance was spotty and disappointing. The NFL should definitely continue to rotate the game.