NFL Pro Bowl in Orlando: AFC wins Pro Bowl in return to old format

January 29, 2017

NFL

NFC quarterback Kirk Cousins (8), of the Washington Redskins looks to pass, during the second half of the NFL Pro Bowl football game Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

By Daniel Dullum
Sports Radio Service
Sunday, January 29, 2017

Returning to the traditional conference battle, the AFC defeated the NFC 20-13 in the annual NFL Pro Bowl Sunday in Orlando, Fla.

Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton completed 10 of 12 passes for 100 yards and engineered two scoring drives. Dalton tossed a 23-yard touchdown pass to Travis Kelce of Kansas City late in the second quarter and led the drive that culminated in Justin Tucker of Baltimore’s 38-yard field goal.

Tucker’s kick gave the AFC a 17-7 lead midway through the third period.

The game marks a return to the old format that started with the 1970 merger and ran through the 2012 season. A concept of having a player draft was used the last three seasons.

The NFC had an opportunity to tie or take the lead in the closing moments, but a pass from Kirk Cousins to Seattle’s Jimmy Graham slipped through the tight end’s hands and was intercepted by Buffalo linebacker Lorenzo Alexander at the AFC 2-yard line.

Alexander then lateraled the ball to Aqib Talib of Denver on the interception return that ended at the NFC 12 to end the scoring threat.

Drew Brees of New Orleans completed 10 of 19 passes for 112 yards and a touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin for the NFC. Alex Smith of Kansas City, the AFC starter, was 6 of 8 passing for 74 yards and a TD pass to Delanie Walker of Tennessee.

An announced crowd of 60,834 came to Camping World Stadium (the refurbished Citrus Bowl) to watch the first Pro Bowl played in Orlando.

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