The NFC romps over the AFC 62-35 and (surprise!) it’s a good game

By
Updated: January 28, 2013

The NFC routed the AFC 62-35 in the 2013 Pro Bowl.

Deriding the Pro Bowl

Yes, I said it. The 2013 Pro Bowl was a good game.

Now I know that the Pro Bowl is the game football purists love to hate. And it’s easy to see why.

Intentional grounding is encouraged. The defenses are neutered, the hitting lackadaisical. The officiating is lax to the point of invisibility. The final scores would be respectable in college basketball.

The caliber of Pro Bowl play might not be great, but the caliber of Pro Bowl cheerleader is excellent.

Most damning of all, the Pro Bowl is a meaningless, and the players act like it.

As anyone who reads my articles knows, I have a tendency to deplore sloppy defense, so why would I want to watch a game in which the defense can’t even blitz, much less hit the quarterback?

For all these reasons and more, I had never watched a complete Pro Bowl before.

It’s funny what writing for a site like this does to a man, though. After watching so many games this year, I couldn’t resist watching another one. I mean, it’s football, for God’s sake. Sure, it might not be great football, but as an army buddy of mine was fond of saying, the worst sex he’d ever had was still pretty damn good.

So there I was last night, sitting on my sofa, munching homemade pizza, sipping on a Belgian white ale, watching the Pro Bowl on a pixelated online feed . . . and much to my surprise, having a blast. And no, that wasn’t the alcohol talking either. It was a truly entertaining game.

Breaking it down

Although the 62-35 final score in favor of the NFC looked like something straight out of Madden 2013, the game was actually a decent defensive struggle for the better part of three quarters. The NFC brought down three interceptions and registered three sacks, while the AFC responded with one interception and three sacks of their own. The NFC forced four punts, while punting twice itself. Each team converted a lone fourth-down attempt.

Offensively, the AFC actually outperformed the NFC in third-down efficiency (60% to 53%), but their inability of the AFC to hold onto the football — they lost two fumbles in addition to giving up the picks — set the NFC up with excellent field position on several drives and keyed the blowout. This showed up in the box score for the NFC’s third-string quarterback, Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks, who finished with 98 passing yards and three touchdowns on 10 attempts in what was easily the stat of the evening.

Despite an early fumble by Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, the NFC outgained the AFC on the ground, grinding out 78 yards on 27 rushing plays (2.9 ypc) compared to only 15 yards on 11 rushing plays (a scant 1.4 ypc) for the AFC.

Both the NFC North and NFC South divisions represented themselves well in Honolulu.

Green Bay Packers center Jeff Saturday issued his farewells to the NFL by lining up with the AFC for one final snap with longtime teammate, quarterback Peyton Manning, now with the Denver Broncos.

NFC North

Minnesota Vikings fullback Jerome Felton, who did such an excellent job in the regular season blocking for Adrian Peterson, finished with 18 rushing yards and a touchdown on four carries. Peterson himself did not have such a successful day, only gaining 13 yards on five carries and coughing up a fumble as he tried to make a break into a hole.

Filling in for the injured Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, Kyle Rudolph of the Minnesota Vikings caught five passes for 122 yards and a touchdown. His performance earned him Pro Bowl MVP honors and a brand-new GMC Denali. How he earned the award over, say, Russell Wilson is beyond me, but kudos to the young man for making the most of his opportunity.

Rookie Minnesota placekicker Blair Walsh connected on both of his field goal attempts, including one from 48 yards, and converted all eight of his extra-point tries.

Chicago Bears cornerback Tim Jennings finished with four tackles, while teammate Charles Tillman recorded three and forced a dramatic fumble. Defensive end Julius Peppers made his presence felt with three tackles and two sacks.

The 2013 Pro Bowl was a family affair for the Manning family. Both Manning brothers had their children on the sidelines.

NFC South

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees looked sharp and on target, completing eight of 11 attempts for 131 yards and a touchdown.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Vincent Jackson showed up big, catching six passes for 91 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Saints Punter Thomas Morestead made easily the most hilarious play of the contest. As Morestead set up to punt, New York Jets cornerback Antonio Cromartie came sprinting across the line and was so blatantly offsides that Morestead didn’t even attempt a kick. Instead he took the ball and flung it downfield in the direction of Kyle Rudolph. Strong safety Eric Berry of the Kansas City Chiefs jumped the pass and returned the ball 86 yards for a touchdown — which of course was nullified by Cromartie’s original offsides infraction. Morestead can take comfort in the fact that he will not have an interception on his record, as the result of the snap was No Play.

Moving moment

The most poignant play of the game came when Green Bay Packers center Jeff Saturday lined up on offense for the AFC to snap the ball one final time to his longtime Indianapolis Colts teammate, quarterback Peyton Manning. As Saturday walked off the field, Manning embraced him in a touching display of genuine affection that showed the two grizzled veterans were not just colleagues but friends.

He’s got jokes

Head referee Ed Hochuli injected some hilarity into an already lighthearted game when he prefaced the first penalty of the evening with the wisecrack: “Yes, there are penalties in the Pro Bowl.”

It was quite obvious he’d been looking forward to issuing that one liner. The audience responded with laughter and cheers.

Positive attitude

Last year, the players were so cavalier in their approach to the game that Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers spoke out in disgust, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell threatened to cancel the Pro Bowl altogether.

This year, players seemed to treat the game with much more respect. They made an obvious attempt to execute the plays as called, and there was some actual hard hitting. A couple of players, including Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, got bloodied up for their efforts. Almost every player interviewed expressed what seemed to be real appreciation at being selected to appear. A couple of players, including Vikings defensive end Jared Allen, postponed surgeries to be there.

Hopefully, last night’s contest was a bellweather of a revival in Pro Bowl play and not merely a blip on the radar. Maybe next year the stands at Aloha Stadium will be full and there won’t be so many empty bright-orange seats in the background of our television screens.

Catch the game

By the way, if you didn’t get a chance to catch the 2013 Pro Bowl live, you can on the NFL’s own website.

About the author(s)

Rourke Douglas Decker covers the Green Bay Packers beat for Water Cooler Sports. He resides with his family in the Twin Cities. He can be reached for questions or comments at . Connect with .

463 comments
Classic Nardo
Classic Nardo

Anyone looking to buy their girl some nice undergarments?  

adambballn
adambballn

By the way Woude... go sign up for this.


G & G
G & G moderator

Nardo,check this out:

NSFW

adambballn
adambballn

I think we can all agree about one thing from the Pro Bowl... the AFC defense played better than the Packers D a couple weeks ago.

Johnathan Wood
Johnathan Wood moderator

Hahahahaha, in response to my post on ESPN (stolen from Adam), in which I said "I can't imagine her kid doing any more damage to his brain then her genes already have."

Someone then responded with "I find it humorous when someone insults another person's intelligence and does it with obvious an obvious grammar error." (no grammar error, btw)

My response? "Genes? How have my jeans hurt my son?" 

-Kristen

Johnathan Wood
Johnathan Wood moderator

so, somebody posted this on my Facebook:

Got to love Chicago - Today 49 degrees, tomorrow 59 degrees - I will run in shorts. Friday the high will be 15 - I won't run in shorts.

My response?  Sissy (in the midst of all these people saying he is wise)

I think I've been hanging out on here too much

BearsSaveLives
BearsSaveLives moderator

I had no idea James Starks was so old. He's going to be 27 in 2013, but was only drafted in 2010.

G & G
G & G moderator

"Rudolph is overrated"

Blake Baratz


Childerz...
Childerz...

I see my post got pushed behind the Pro Bowl.... 

Classic Nardo
Classic Nardo

 Adam you missed my Ice Crew stuff from earlier today!

Johnathan Wood
Johnathan Wood moderator

 so THAT'S where you sign up for that.  Kept looking, couldn't find it.  

Johnathan Wood
Johnathan Wood moderator

I always wonder how many takes it takes to get these shots that are right

Childerz...
Childerz...

   " But they gave up less points but more yards, that is how this defense works... keep bending till you're looser than a Irish whore."

- Dom Capers

G & G
G & G moderator

 AFC?

Childerz...
Childerz...

 Wait I thought they had a daughter... I saw it wearing Salmon colored pants

- ZIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Johnathan Wood
Johnathan Wood moderator

for context, this is an article in which Cutler's fiance, a reality TV "star" and known dumbass, said she doesn't want her son playing football.

Johnathan Wood
Johnathan Wood moderator

ok, the original poster liked my comment.  I'm good

BearsSaveLives
BearsSaveLives moderator

Tell him it's not like he has to worry about anything important freezing.

Childerz...
Childerz...

 Yeah he's at the end of his productive career once he hits 27 1/2 years old his career is practically over 

thebaskett
thebaskett

I heard that Blitzen is the over rated one

adambballn
adambballn

   What was it?  West coast... I normally don't get on until later than most.

G & G
G & G moderator

 Later mustache

G & G
G & G moderator

 The same girl from your avatar picture

Childerz...
Childerz...

 I can't believe this comment garnered no likes you guys suck... like Dom Capers 

G & G
G & G moderator

 Irish whore? Sinead O'connor say hi!

thebaskett
thebaskett

  productive career ..LOL Good one Chilly

BearsSaveLives
BearsSaveLives moderator

  Well, I won't close the book on him or anything. It's just odd to have a 27-year-old in his 4th year in the NFL.

Childerz...
Childerz...

 No Wild lost 5-4 in OT... we had a 3-1 lead with 9:50 left in the 3rd and Backstrom decided he didn't want to play goalie anymore

Johnathan Wood
Johnathan Wood moderator

  dunno, but the Wings lost... to the Hawks

thebaskett
thebaskett

  MVP MVP MVP....!!!!

We will be celebrating another Viking and his MVP award in about 5 days

adambballn
adambballn

   No problem... I keep checking everyday to see if I've won, nothing yet!

Classic Nardo
Classic Nardo

  Yeah I pulled some pics off the Besame website.  

Childerz...
Childerz...

 I really wish we could've got rid of Backs this off season we have Harding and Hackett time to infuse some youth. 

adambballn
adambballn

    Sophomore slump last season... Corey is on point this year.  It also doesn't hurt that the Chicago D is much, much deeper this year with Brookbank, Rosival, and Oduya then they were last year.  They definitely aren't as deep as they were in 2010 but they're damn close.

Johnathan Wood
Johnathan Wood moderator

  my buddy (Red Wings fan) tried telling me today Chicago has no depth.  I was like... um, no.  Their only real question mark is goaltending

adambballn
adambballn

   Hawks are rolling 4 lines deep this season and all 6 defenders are on point... they're going to be tough to beat down the road if they can stay healthy.

Childerz...
Childerz...

 Unless the Wilds 2nd and 3rd lines start playing fucking hockey instead slap stick they're not going to do a whole lot... Wilds first line has 12/15 goals so far 

adambballn
adambballn

   

Hawks are getting a much needed 2 days off... but they're due for a letdown.  You don't see a lot of 7-0 runs in hockey...

Childerz...
Childerz...

 Hawks vs Wild on National TV

that means the Wild will get beat 7-1 because MN sports teams don't handle national television well.

.

Except surprisingly the Wolves who Beat OKC on national Television go fucking figure 

adambballn
adambballn

    Corey was a beast yesterday... but Detroit's power play sucked fat dick.  Hawks definitely looked a little beat up from their game against Columbus on Saturday in the later periods.

Childerz...
Childerz...

 That was like the Wild vs Wings game on Friday Wild dominated till mid-way through the 2nd period but we couldnt' put the damn puck in the net... then Detroit went wild and it seemed everything went into the net. 

Childerz...
Childerz...

 ROFL sadly it seems the entire NFC North had forced vacations this yaer 

G & G
G & G moderator

  "We love vacations"

Detroit Lions

G & G
G & G moderator

  FORCED Vacation

Childerz...
Childerz...

 Is that what they're calling it now.. a Vacation

Childerz...
Childerz...

 I will take the playoff appearance at least we were in the playoffs what were the Bears doing?

Johnathan Wood
Johnathan Wood moderator

   it goes well with all those playoff wi... oh wait