AFC 41

NFC 55

Coverage: FOX

7:00 PM ET, January 30, 2011

Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, HI 

1 2 3 4 T
AFC 0 7 21 1341
NFC 14 28 3 1055

NFC reels in five picks to throttle AFC in Pro Bowl

Associated Press

HONOLULU -- A tropical rainstorm moved in from the Pacific and cleared just before the Pro Bowl began on Sunday. What followed was a sloppy show that was not exactly riveting entertainment a week in advance of the Super Bowl.

The NFC's 55-41 victory, a game not nearly as interesting as that score would indicate, did nothing to repair the tattered image of the NFL's all-star contest.

New England's Bill Belichick, the AFC coach and a man of even fewer words than usual, might have come closest to summing up the game with his mumbled cliche, "It is what it is."

MVP DeAngelo Hall had one of his team's five interceptions and returned a fumble 34 yards for a touchdown to help the NFC match a Pro Bowl scoring record in a 55-41 victory over turnover-prone AFC. He gets a new Cadillac for his efforts.

"I was just about to buy another SUV," the Washington Redskins cornerback said, "so to come out here and grab one for free, I like that."

AFC quarterbacks Philip Rivers, Peyton Manning and Matt Cassel each threw first-half interceptions to help the NFC blow open a 42-0 lead in a performance ugly even by the historically low standards of this game.

Fittingly for this strange contest, center Alex Mack of Cleveland scored the final touchdown on a 67-yard pass play that featured two laterals with 16 seconds left.

Carolina's Jon Beason returned the fifth interception thrown by the AFC, and second by Matt Cassel, 59 yards for the NFC's final touchdown to match the single-team scoring record set in the NFC's 55-52 victory in 2004.

"It feels amazing. It was a lot of fun," Minnesota's Adrian Peterson said. "We came out and put up a bunch of points and had some fun doing it, so it was a good day."

Belichick, after his Super Bowl favorite Patriots lost to the New York Jets in the divisional playoffs, had to watch his AFC squad muddle through a first half that ended 42-7.

Pro Bowls are, by their nature, laid-back affairs, seemingly played at half speed by players whose biggest concern is to get on the plane home without injury.

The AFC, though, took that attitude to an uncomfortable extreme early on before coming back to outscore the NFC 41-13.

The NFC led 42-0 after Steven Jackson waltzed through the AFC defense for a 21-yard touchdown -- and there still was 4½ minutes left in the second quarter.

Rivers, starting in place of injured Tom Brady, was picked off twice in the first quarter, the second by Hall.

"You underthrow one just a hair and they intercept it," Rivers said. "You get a deflection for an interception. ... They had all the breaks early."

Manning, in his 11th Pro Bowl, came on briefly in relief and his second pass was picked off. Then Cassel got his chance and quickly joined in the spirit of things, throwing his second pass of the game directly into the hands of Minnesota cornerback Antoine Winfield.

But just when it appeared it would be the most one-sided game in Pro Bowl history, eclipsing the Joe Theismann-led 45-3 NFC rout of the AFC in 1984, the AFC scored three touchdowns in a row. The last came on the game's seventh turnover, when Devin Hester tried to hand the kickoff return to Hall, but the ball fell to the turf. Montell Owens of Jacksonville scooped it up and ran it in 10 yards for the score to make it 42-21 with 10 minutes left in the third quarter.

With his seven extra points, tying a Pro Bowl record, along with two field goals, David Akers moved ahead of Morten Andersen (45) for most career Pro Bowl points with 52. The Philadelphia kicker would have had more but his 36-yard field goal try in the fourth quarter bounced off the right upright.

"Morten Andersen was a mentor of mine and I competed with Morten for a job in Atlanta and he taught me a lot," Akers said, "so it means a lot to be able to pass a legend like that."

The game returned to its traditional home in Hawaii after a one-year detour to Miami, much to the approval of the players involved.

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick started but played only the first quarter, completing 5 of 10 passes for 59 yards.

Peterson rushed for 80 yards in 14 carries for the NFC, including a 14-yarder to set a Pro Bowl record with four career rushing touchdowns. Atlanta got good performances from Matt Ryan (9 of 13 for 118 yards and two touchdowns with an interception), Michael Turner (eight carries for 53 yards) and Roddy White (five catches for 69 yards).

Game notes

A 70-yard punt by Mat McBriar of Dallas in the first quarter tied for second-longest in Pro Bowl history. ... The state of Hawaii is paying the NFL about $4 million this season and next to keep the Pro Bowl team in Honolulu. Location for the contest is up in the air after 2012. ... Peterson had been tied with three career rushing TDs with Earl Campbell, Chuck Muncie and Mike Alstott. ... Tony Gonzalez added to his Pro Bowl record for career receptions (42) and moved into first in TD catches with his sixth. ... The attendance of 49,338 was just shy of a sellout.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

1st Downs2324
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from Penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
Total Plays6667
Total Yards425429
Yards per play6.46.4
Total Drives1413
Comp - Att
Yards per pass
Interceptions thrown
Sacks - Yards Lost
Rushing Attempts
Yards per rush
Red Zone (Made-Att)3-34-5
Fumbles lost
Interceptions thrown
Defensive / Special Teams TDs12

Passing Leaders


Rushing Leaders


Receiving Leaders


Scoring Summary

nfcTD03:14Ovie Mughelli 1 Yd Run (David Akers Kick) 07
nfcTD01:00Adrian Peterson 14 Yd Run (David Akers Kick) 014
nfcTD10:41Tony Gonzalez 4 Yd Pass From Matt Ryan (David Akers Kick) 021
nfcTD10:21DeAngelo Hall 34 Yd Fumble Return (David Akers Kick) 028
nfcTD07:16Larry Fitzgerald 25 Yd Pass From Matt Ryan (David Akers Kick) 035
nfcTD04:32Steven Jackson 21 Yd Run (David Akers Kick) 042
afcTD01:54Jamaal Charles 8 Yd Run (Billy Cundiff Kick) 742
afcTD10:05Reggie Wayne 16 Yd Pass From Philip Rivers (Billy Cundiff Kick) 1442
afcTD10:00Montell Owens 8 Yd Fumble Return (Billy Cundiff Kick) 2142
nfcFG06:01David Akers 41 Yd 2145
afcTD00:50Marcedes Lewis 28 Yd Pass From Philip Rivers (Billy Cundiff Kick) 2845
nfcFG04:06David Akers 38 Yd 2848
nfcTD03:33Jon Beason 49 Yd Interception Return (David Akers Kick) 2855
afcTD01:55Montell Owens 7 Yd Pass From Matt Cassel (Billy Cundiff Kick) 3555
afcTD00:16Alex Mack 67 Yd Pass From Matt Cassel (Two-Point Conversion Failed) 4155

Research Notes

Tony Gonzalez had a 4-yard TD reception in the Pro Bowl, his sixth career Pro Bowl TD which is a Pro Bowl record. It passes the previous mark of five that was shared by WRs Marvin Harrison and Jimmy Smith.

ESPN Stats & Information