NFC edges AFC 35-33 in inaugural flag football edition of Pro Bowl

AFC middle linebacker C.J. Mosley of the New York Jets, left, grabs a flag off NFC return specialist KaVontae Turpin (9) of the Dallas Cowboys during the Pro Bowl flag football at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Sun Feb 5, 2023 (AP News photo)

By Daniel Dullum
Sunday, February 5, 2023

In the December 1964 issue of Sport magazine, Jim Brown was asked to select what he thought were his five greatest games. One of them was the 1962-63 Pro Bowl, in which he led the Eastern Conference to a 30-20 win over the West while gaining 144 rushing yards on 17 carries and a touchdown.

Moments like that are truly buried in history.

Way back in the day, the winners’ share in the pro football all-star games was sometimes more than some of the participants made for the season. Therefore, they went out and got after it. It wasn’t until the last 30 years or so that the annual all-star game started being compared to touch football, and not in a complimentary way.

This year, the NFL decided to head in that direction anyway.

The NFL came up with a plan to revamp its all-star game for this season. It involved three segments of flag football mixed in with skills competitions. In the end of the festivities at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Sunday, the NFC prevailed over the AFC 35-33.

In the final flag football segment, Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins threw three touchdown passes. That’s the spot NFC coach Eli Manning wanted Cousins in, and the veteran delivered, completing 15 of 19 passes for 150 yards.

The AFC, coached by Peyton Manning, had built a 20-15 lead going into the final flag football session, based on points from the first two flag games and the skills competitions which included rec league-type games for kickers, punters and long-snappers, and the linemen. The games were played on a 50-yard field with no goalposts.

Even with the idea of keeping injuries to a minimum, there was still at least one injury – Cleveland defensive end Myles Garrett suffered a dislocated toe. X-rays were negative.

Cousins said he hopes youngsters watching this year’s Pro Bowl Games will be encouraged to participate in flag football, and there’s a good chance of that, with growing safety concerns about football at the youth level.

The skills competitions seemed like a reach, they’re not as good as the NHL skills competition, but it’s something that can be reevaluated. Frankly, if the league had, say, a $2 million pot for a winner-take-all situation, you could go back and play real football and forego the gimmicks. That is unlikely to happen, as the players seemed to enjoy an afternoon in the park playing schoolyard ball and the fans didn’t seem to mind watching.

It will be interesting to see what the ratings were for this experiment. As bad as the Pro Bowl usually is, the ratings were usually solid. And attendance was good in Vegas – the announced crowd of 58,331 was 2,000 more than last year’s attendance, also in Las Vegas.

Ticket prices for this year’s Pro Bowl Games ranged from $37 to $1,335. There’s no word yet on where next year’s event will be held, since the league doesn’t like to have the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl in the same venue. Allegiant Stadium is the host of next year’s Super Bowl.

Pro Bowl podcast with Rich Perez: NFL All Star featuring flag football format on Sunday at Allegiant Stadium

Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas site of the Pro Bowl as seen here on Sun Feb 6, 2022 is the site of the Pro Bowl game on Sun Feb 5, 2023. (AP News file)

On the Pro Bowl podcast with Rich Perez:

#1 The Pro Bowl is in Las Vegas for the second consecutive year and once again they’re expecting large crowds for the game on Sunday at Allegiant Stadium.

#2 Rich talk about Derrick Carr ex-Raider quarterback coming back as an AFC quarterback and what it will mean to Raiders fans to see the former Raider appear in Vegas for the Pro Bowl?

#3 Carr participated in the passing skill competition and lead all quarterbacks with 31 points.

#4 This year’s Pro Bowl will have former NFL quarterbacks Eli Manning and Peyton Manning as NFC and AFC coaches.

#5 Rich this year’s Pro Bowl saw different skills competition and flag football games. Talk a little about the different format of this year’s Pro Bowl.

Rich Perez is a Las Vegas Raiders beat writer for

Super Bowl LVII podcast with Tony Renteria: Chiefs and Eagles ready for all the questions during media week in Arizona

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (left) and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Pat Mahomes (right) match up for Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium in Glendale AZ Sun Feb 12, 2023 (WPVI TV ABC 6 Philadelphia image)

On the Super Bowl LVII podcast with Tony Renteria:

#1 Tony, things now get started in Arizona where Super Bowl LVII will be hosted at State Farm Stadium on Sun Feb 12, 2023. Lets start with the Kansas City Chiefs it was a come back game of sorts for them in the AFC Championship getting a game winning field goal to defeat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20.

#2 Patrick Mahomes under center in Sunday’s AFC Championship game threw for 326 yards, 29-43 and two touchdowns, he might not had the traditional Mahomes performance but it was good enough to get the Chiefs to the Super Bowl.

#3 The Cincinnati Bengals Joe Burrow threw good enough to win but the Bengals chose to throw with under six minutes left in the game and the score tied at the Kanas City 16 yard line but Burrow threw for an interception rather than keep the ball on the ground and lost after turning the ball over to the Chiefs who later kicked for a game winning field goal.

#4 For the Philadelphia Eagles and quarterback Jalen Hurts they handled the San Francisco 49ers at Lincoln Financial Field with lots of offense in a 31-7 ground game affair with Hurts throwing 15-25 for 121 yards and no touchdowns. What was surprising was that Hurts threw no touchdowns but landslided the San Francisco defense all afternoon.

#5 Tony this will be a Super Bowl that will have all the characters of the Chiefs and the Eagles talking big game issues on media days for the next two weeks.

Join Tony for Super Bowl LVII podcasts Tuesday at

San Francisco 49ers podcast with David Zizmor: After Purdy injury it was all over for 49ers; Niners crushed by Eagles 31-7

Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Haason Reddick, right, causes a fumble by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy during the first quarter, Purdy’s elbow was injured on this play and was out for the rest of the first half returning in the second half at Lincoln Financial Stadium in Philadelphia on Sun Jan 29, 2023 (AP News photo)

On San Francisco 49ers podcast with David Zizmor:

#1 After the first seven minutes of the game it was over. In the first two minutes San Francisco 49ers Brock Purdy got the elbow injury and the offense for the rest of game was three and out.

#2 With 49ers back up quarterback Josh Johnson there is a reason why he’s been with multiple teams he fumbled and he couldn’t get the 49ers down field and the Philadelphia Eagles defense were daring Johnson to throw the ball.

#3 Looking back on the season the 49ers before Sunday’s NFC Championship loss to the Eagles, the miracle of Purdy getting the 49ers here after 12 straight wins and ten straight wins under Purdy no one would have expected Purdy to get this far.

David Zizmor did the San Francisco 49ers podcasts Wednesdays and Joe Hawkes Sundays at

San Francisco 49ers podcast with Joe Hawkes: McCaffrey expected to be in line up today; Mitchell questionable with injured groin

The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (left) and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) appear in animation form as they get ready for the NFC Championship Sun Jan 29, 2023 (animation image from Fox Sports)

On the 49ers podcast with J Hawkes:

#1 Joe, running back Christian McCaffrey missed two practices during the week but look good on Friday and is expected to be in the line up today in Philadelphia after suffering a bruised calf.

#2 Running back Elijah Mitchell took just one third snaps on Thursday at practice. Mitchell still hurting was injured in last Sunday’s game against the Dallas with a groin injury.

#3 Mitchell got his injury late in the game last Sunday against the Cowboys and this week he and McCaffrey missed two practices but worked hard to try and get back in tonight’s line up.

#4 Former wide receiver Jerry Rice will be an honorary captain representing the 49ers for Sunday’s NFC Championship at Lincoln Financial Field. Rice who has been a frequent face at 49ers games and is looking forward to representing the 49ers .

#5 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy who was sacked twice by the Cowboys last week but that didn’t slow him down Purdy got up and threw for 19 completions out of 29 passes and 214 yards and no touchdowns. 49ers and Eagles in Philadelphia expected to be a tight game.

Joe Hawkes does the 49ers podcasts each Sunday at

San Francisco 49ers podcast with David Zizmor: Will the Omenihu arrest be a distraction to 49ers Championship game?

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Charles Omenihu (94) celebrates during the second half of an NFL wild card playoff football game against the Seattle Seahawks in Santa Clara, Sat Jan 14, 2023 (AP News photo)

On the 49ers podcast with David:

#1 San Francisco 49ers defenseman Charles Omenihu arrest on Monday for domestic violence who has been accused for pushing his girlfriend to the ground. Omenihu bailed out and misdemeanor charges are pending.

#2 David from the aspect of the 49ers in Philadelphia facing one of the toughest teams in the NFL against the Eagles. Will the 49ers and their whole focus should be on the upcoming NFC Championship game but could the arrest of Omenihu be a distraction to the team and the upcoming game.

#3 Dave it’s onto the 49ers and Eagles match up at Lincoln Financial in Philadelphia how do you see the match up between both of these clubs this Sunday.

Join David Zizmor for the San Francisco 49ers podcast at

That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast: Angels owner Moreno takes Halos off the sales market; The passing of A’s great Sal Bando; plus more

Umpire Tom Gorman signals out after Oakland Athletic’s Sal Bando, left, collided with Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Steve Yeager at home plate during the World Series in Los Angeles on Oct. 12, 1974. This would be the the third consecutive World Series won by Bando and the Oakland A’s from 1972-74. Bando passed away Jan 20, 2023 in Oconomowoc, Wis. at age 78. (AP News File photo)

On That’s Amaury News and Commentary podcast:

#1 Los Angeles Angels owner Artie Moreno announced on Monday that he has taken the Angels off the sale market. After the Angels have been on the market for the last five months Moreno said he was not ready to part ways with the fans, players and employees. Moreno after last season put the team up for sale after discussing it with his family. The Angels had troubles with the mayor of Anaheim resigning over the stadium scandal, Mike Trout’s career threatening back injury and the death of Angels pitcher Tyler Skaggs from a cocaine overdose.

#2 Former Oakland A’s Captain, four time All Star, and third baseman Sal Bando who passed away from cancer on Friday was 78 years old and was also a general manager for the Milwaukee Brewers. Bando was part of the A’s three consecutive championships of 1972-74. Bando led the American League in extra base hits (64), doubles (32) and total bases (295) in the 1973 season.

#3 The Chicago White Sox Eloy Jimenez said he could make the adjustment of being the designated hitter but Jimenez is preparing to play more games in the outfield and in right field this happening after the Sox signed Andrew Benintendi for $75 million. The Sox also have Luis Robert playing in center with Gavin Sheets and Oscar Colas who will trading off in right with Jimenez.

#4 Turning to football Amaury just wanted to get your picks for the NFC and AFC games coming up we’ll start with the NFC as the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles match up. The 49ers are coming off a well defended game by the Dallas Cowboys just losing by a touchdown 19-12. 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy has led San Francisco to ten consecutive wins.

#5 The Cincinnati Bengals who are coming off a pretty convincing win against the Buffalo Bills Sunday 27-10 will play in Kansas City against the Chiefs this coming Sunday. The Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was 23-36 for 242 yards and two touchdowns last Sunday against the Bills. The Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes will have to steady himself as he’s suffering a high ankle injury.

Join Amaury Pi Gonzalez for News and Commentary podcasts Tuesdays at

NFL Championship podcast with Tony Renteria: A look at 49ers @ Cowboys and Bengals @ Chiefs Championship games this Sunday

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (left) and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts who match up in the NFC Championship this Sun Jan 29, 2023 at Lincoln Financial Stadium in Philadelphia (photo from

On the NFL Championship podcast with Tony Hayes:

#1 NFC Championship San Francisco @ Philadelphia: In Sunday’s NFC Divisional game between the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers you saw a well defended game on both sides. The Cowboys defended the 49ers run game, and San Francisco didn’t score one touchdown.

#2 It was a game that the Cowboys could have had in hand. Thankfully for the 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy who was able to get San Francisco in field goal position as kicker Robbie Gould didn’t miss a field goal or an extra point all game long in the 19-12 win.

#3 Tony 49ers and Eagles at Lincoln Financial in Philadelphia do the Eagles have the home field or will the defense keep them in games and will it be another game of short yardage for Purdy and the 49ers offense?

#4 AFC Championship Cincinnati vs. Kansas City in Kansas City: Tony talk about Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and his high ankle sprain. Mahomes in the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars bent the ankle in an awkward position when he was stopped by two Jaguar defenders. Will his injury play a big part of his game for running and dropping back against the Bengals.

#5 The Bengals have persevered through this post season with wins over the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville. They played with the best of them in cold, snowy elements and Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow who threw for 242 yards and two touchdowns against the Buffalo Bills can beat you with his getting rid of the ball quickly and handling the ground game. How do you see this one between the Bengals and Chiefs Sunday?

Join Tony for the Super Bowl LVII podcast next Tuesday with two weeks of coverage of the Super Bowl at

49ers send home Cowboys with gritty 19-12 win in Divisional round matchup, will face Eagles for NFC crown

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy celebrates his team’s win with his parents at Levi’s Stadium on Sunday Jan 22, 2023. (San Franscico 49ers)

by Marko Ukalovic

SANTA CLARA — The team by the Bay is heading back to the NFC Championship.

The San Francisco 49ers grinded out a 19-12 victory over the Dallas Cowboys
in the NFC Divisional Playoff game on Sunday afternoon at Levi’s Stadium.

San Francisco earned a trip to its second consecutive NFC Championship game and
third in the past four years. Dallas goes home disappointed with its second
consecutive playoff defeat at the hands of the 49ers after finishing the
regular season with a 12-5 record.

“It hurts,” said Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott after the game.
“Very disappointed we weren’t able toto come out. Disappointed in my play.
Disappointed for the guys in the locker room. It’s unfortunate. Sucks.”

Both defenses set the tone early in the first half not allowing either
offense to sustain long drives and forcing punts. Turnovers played a key factor
in San Francisco’s victory as they won the turnover battle two to one.

Deommodore Lenoir intercepted Prescott at the 27-yard line and returned it
six-yards with 5:49 remaining in the first quarter. San Francisco cashed in the
turnover with a 26-yard field goal by Robbie Gould.

Dallas answered back with a 14 play 74-yard scoring drive when Prescott
connected with tight end Dalton Schultz for a four-yard touchdown reception to
give the Cowboys its first lead of the game.

Cowboys’ kicker Brett Maher, who came into the game having missed four of
his last five PAT attempts, had his attempt blocked by Samson Ebukam as the
kicking woes for Maher continued.

“That’s just God putting me in a good spot to block it. All I did was did my job and put my hands up. The kick was low, and I just thanked God he was able to help me block that because that’s a point off the board,” Ebukam said.

With the score tied at 6-6 late in the second quarter, Prescott threw his
second interception of the game when a pass intended for Cee Dee Lamb,
deflected off the hands of Jimmy Ward and picked off by Fred Warner who
returned it to the Cowboys 12-yard line.

Once again, San Francisco settled for a Gould field goal, a 50-yarder, to
end the first half up by three points.

“The defense getting those turnovers, the offense being able to make some third downs (conversions). I don’t think in the first half we had one first down running the ball. I think they were (from) throwing the ball. I think that changed big in the second half. Winning the turnover battle and everything after that,” 49ers head coach Mike Shanahan said.

Dallas received its first break of the game when Ray Ray Mcloud was stripped
of the ball on a punt return after the Niners defense stalled the Cowboys drive
at their own 48-yard line. Kevlin Joesph knocked the ball out of McCloud’s
hands and the ball was recovered by Damone Clark.

Dallas capitalized with a 25-yard field goal by Maher.

The 49ers regained the lead when they marched down the field on their next
possession with a 10 play 91-yard drive that was finished off with a Christian
McCaffery two-yard rushing touchdown. The drive was set up by a 29-yard circus
catch of a reception by tight end George Kittle.

“This is exactly where you wanna be right?” Kittle said about
being one game away from the Super Bowl. “At the start of year back in
OTA’s, all you are doing is preparing for the Super Bowl. To be one step away
from that, it’s awesome.”

Each team would exchange field goals in the fourth quarter. However, when it
mattered at the end, San Francisco’s defense clamped down and held the fort by
not allowing Dallas to get close to scoring the equalizing touchdown late the

With 4th and 10 at their own 18-yard line with just over two minutes
remaining in the fourth quarter, head coach Mike McCarthy decided to punt the
ball with three timeouts left instead of going for it. San Francisco gained two
first downs to milk the clock down 45 second before giving Dallas one last
desperate final drive that resulted in the game clock running out and ending
the Cowboys season.

“We didn’t have enough today. And the guys laid it out there. I don’t
know how close you were to the field. It was an extremely physical football
game. Both teams laid that out there, so, we came up short,” McCarthy

Purdy, despite being pressured throughout the game by Dallas’ front four,
had an efficient game going 19 of 29 for 214 yards with no touchdowns or
interceptions and a QB rating of 87.4. Running back Elijah Mitchell led all
rushers with 51 yards on 14 carries. Kittle led the 49ers in receiving with
five receptions for 95 yards.

“We just stuck with it,” said McCaffery about the offense being more successful in the second half. “I don’t like making blanket statements after games without watching the tape, but you could just feel guys sticking with it, not panicking, just talking it one play at a time.”

Prescott finished 23 of 37 for 206 yards with one touchdown, two
interceptions with a QB rating of 63.6. Lamb led all receivers with 10 catches
for 117 yards. Schultz chipped in five catches for 27 yards to go along with
his touchdown.

GAME NOTES: San Francico finished 7-for-14 on third down conversions. Dallas
was just 5-for-15.

San Francisco is now 19-19-1 overall against Dallas and 10-10 at home against them. The Cowboys is 5-4 against the 49ers in the postseason. 

Dallas running back Tony Pollard suffered an apparent broken leg in the first half and did not return to the game.

UP NEXT: San Francisco takes on the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC
Championship Game on Sunday at 12:00pm at Lincoln Financial Field.