NFC 34

AFC 41

Coverage: ESPN/WatchESPN

7:20 PM ET, January 31, 2010

Sun Life Stadium, Miami, FL 

1 2 3 4 T
NFC 10 7 14 334
AFC 14 3 17 741

Offenses light up soggy Pro Bowl scoreboard as AFC comes out on top

Associated Press

MIAMI -- In its new role as a warmup to the Super Bowl, the Pro Bowl became a series of wind sprints.

Long gains were the rule and hard hitting was the exception as the AFC beat the NFC 41-34 on Sunday night.

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Light showers fell for much of the game, stirring memories of a rainy Super Bowl in Miami three years ago. But uniforms remained mostly spotless, with more pushing and shoving than tackling.

"It's different. It was like 7 on 7," NFC linebacker Brian Orakpo said. "Everybody came out here trying not to get hurt and give the fans a good show"

Matt Schaub of the Houston Texans threw for 189 yards and two AFC scores, and was chosen the most valuable player.

"It's a game you watch growing up as a kid and wonder if you could ever be in," Schaub said. "To actually be a part of it is incredible."

Aaron Rodgers also threw two touchdown passes, and NFC teammate DeSean Jackson had two scoring catches.

Fast Facts

• The NFC lost for the second time in the last five Pro Bowls.

• 34 players chosen for the Pro Bowl missed the game due to either injury or because they are scheduled to be in the Super Bowl.

• Matt Schaub threw two TDs in the first five minutes and was given the MVP award.

• Attendance for the game was 70,697, the second-largest crowd in Pro Bowl history (1959 Pro Bowl, 72,250).

-- ESPN Stats & Information

From the standpoint of ticket sales, this year's new venue and slot on the league calendar was a success. The crowd of 70,697 was the largest for a Pro Bowl since 1959 in Los Angeles.

Spectators included Peyton Manning, Drew Brees and other Pro Bowl players from the Super Bowl teams. Manning and the Indianapolis Colts will face Brees and the New Orleans Saints on the same field next Sunday in the biggest game of the season.

The NFL sought to transform the Pro Bowl into a bigger game by playing it before the Super Bowl for the first time. In a one-year experiment, the league also moved the game from Honolulu, its home since 1980.

The stadium was half empty by the third quarter, perhaps partly because of the rain and temperatures in the 60s. It was sunny and 82 in Honolulu at game time.

Did the weather dampen the players' enthusiasm for Miami?

"It's beautiful. It's paradise," NFC receiver Steve Smith said. "Too bad it's not Hawaii."

Eager to host more big events, the Dolphins have proposed adding a roof that would cover fans as part of stadium improvements that could cost $250 million or more. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says the upgrades are needed if South Florida is to remain competitive in bidding for future Super Bowls.

Nearly 40 percent of the players originally selected for the game didn't play. One of the AFC replacements, David Garrard, threw for 183 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown to Vincent Jackson.

"It's so awesome," Garrard said. "One of my goals coming into the game was to just be relevant and show all the people who said, `What is he doing in there? The Pro Bowl has dropped off a few pegs,' that I do belong."

Vincent Jackson made seven catches for 122 yards. Chad Ochocinco had a 40-yard reception but didn't do any kicking after practicing placements and punts for the AFC during the week.

"That's OK. It was fun anyway," Ochocinco said.

DeSean Jackson scored on a 7-yard pass from Rodgers and a 58-yard pass from Donovan McNabb, his regular quarterback with the Eagles.

"I'm just out here having a great time," Jackson said. "And at the same time I'm trying to put out a little effort."

There were plenty of other big plays. Josh Cribbs caught a punt at the goal line and returned it 65 yards. A penalty negated LaMarr Woodley's 64-interception return for a touchdown.

"I slowed up to get a little camera time," Woodley said.

The AFC totaled 517 yards and the NFC 470. Both teams threw for more than 400 yards.

Redskins linebacker London Fletcher, a 12-year veteran playing in his first Pro Bowl, found the AFC's offensive approach exhausting.

"They came out with a bunch of screens and had us running around," Fletcher said.

But there were no complaints from Fletcher's teammate on defense, first-time Pro Bowler Justin Smith of the 49ers.

"The pace is nice," Smith said. "You don't have to worry about working too hard."

The game will return to Honolulu in 2011 and 2012, but the league hasn't decided whether to hold those games before or after the Super Bowl. The Pro Bowl site for 2013 and beyond hasn't been determined.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Scoring Summary

afcTD12:00Andre Johnson 33 Yard Pass From Matt Schaub (Dan Carpenter Kick is Good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 65 yds, 3:07
nfcFG9:29David Akers 47 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 6 plays, 39 yds, 2:29
afcTD7:07Brandon Marshall 23 Yard Pass From Matt Schaub (Dan Carpenter Kick is Good)
Drive info: 5 plays, 65 yds, 2:25
nfcTD3:37Steve Smith 48 Yard Pass From Aaron Rodgers (David Akers Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 80 yds, 3:32
nfcTD11:31Desean Jackson 7 Yard Pass From Aaron Rodgers (David Akers Kick is Good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 78 yds, 5:12
afcFG5:31Dan Carpenter 30 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 11 plays, 59 yds, 5:57
nfcTD14:22Desean Jackson 58 Yard Pass From Donovan Mcnabb (David Akers Kick is Good)
Drive info: 2 plays, 63 yds, 0:50
afcTD13:33Vincent Jackson 48 Yard Pass From David Garrard (Dan Carpenter Kick is Good)
Drive info: 2 plays, 57 yds, 0:51
afcTD11:27Maurice Jones-Drew 4 Yard Run (Dan Carpenter Kick is Good)
Drive info: 4 plays, 43 yds, 1:26
afcFG5:13Dan Carpenter 26 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 8 plays, 70 yds, 3:49
nfcTD1:27Deangelo Williams 7 Yard Run (David Akers Kick is Good)
Drive info: 7 plays, 80 yds, 3:47
nfcFG11:48David Akers 39 Yard Field Goal is Good
Drive info: 5 plays, 40 yds, 2:11
afcTD6:03Chris Johnson 2 Yard Run (Dan Carpenter Kick is Good)
Drive info: 11 plays, 76 yds, 5:44