HONOLULU: The NFC beat the AFC in another offensive blowout of a Pro-Bowl on Sunday that could well be the last of the annual NFL all-star games.
Half-hearted defence and a growing reluctance of some players to be involved had created debate about whether to keep the Pro Bowls going. Sunday’s 62-35 result delivered evidence for both sides of the argument.
The NFC were unstoppable on offence, while the AFC had five turnovers and scored most of their points well after the game was no longer competitive.
Minnesota tight end Kyle Rudolph was voted the game’s MVP with five catches for 122 yards and a touchdown.
Defensive end JJ Watt, who had 20 1/2 sacks for Houston, lined up as a wide receiver on the AFC’s third play from scrimmage, but missed a pass from Denver quarterback Peyton Manning. He was targeted one more time, but didn’t make a catch.
Whether the Pro Bowl will return or not is a question league officials will ponder the next few months, with a decision expected by April, when next season’s fixtures are released.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said the Pro Bowl won’t be played again if play didn’t improve this year. Last year, fans in Hawaii booed as lineman were clearly not trying.
If players were coasting this time around, it was less obvious. The AFC just played poorly.