Despite trailing for most of the game, the AFC team came from behind to win the 2018 Pro Bowl 24-23 Sunday afternoon in Orlando, FL.
Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker with 1:31 left in the game to tie the annual NFL All-Star at 23 and Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Chris Boswell added the extra point to put the AFC ahead for the first time.
While the NFC team had plenty of time to answer that late AFC scoring drive, Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller ultimately strip-sacked Los Angels Rams quarterback Jared Goff on a 1st and 10 play with 43 seconds left and he recovered the loose football to secure the win for thee AFC.
Miller was named the game’s defensive MVP as a result of his late sack and Walker was named the game’s offensive MVP after catching 4 passes for 29 yards and scoring two second half touchdowns.
The Steelers were represented by nine players in Sunday’s Pro Bowl as Boswell, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, running back Le’Veon Bell, wide receiver Antonio Brown, fullback Roosevelt Nix, center Maurkice Pouncey, guard David DeCastro, tackle Alejandro Villanueva and defensive end Cameron Heyward all saw action. Roethlisberger, who started the game for the AFC, completed just 7 of his 13 total pass attempts for 50 yards, however. One of his passes, a deep throw intended for Brown to the middle part of the field, was intercepted by Minnesota Vikings safety Harrison Smith and returned 79 yards for an NFC touchdown that put them ahead 17-3 with 7:18 left in the second quarter.
As for stats put up Sunday by Brown, Bell and Nix, the former only caught one of six passes thrown his way by Roethlisberger for 3 yards. As for Bell, he rushed for 3 yards on two carries and caught 3 passes for 26 yards with a long gain of 11 yards. As for Nix, he was given two short-yardage carries during the game that gained 4 yards in total and moved the chains both times. Boswell not only added the go-ahead point late in the game for the AFC team, he also kicked two other extra points in addition to a 41-yard field goal with 43 seconds left in the first quarter that gave the Mike Tomlin-led team their first points.
Heyward, the Steelers lone defensive player in Sunday’s game, registered four total tackles and a sack in his first Pro Bowl appearance of his career.
After trailing 20-3 at halftime, the Steelers-coached AFC team added their first touchdown of the game with 11:20 left in the third quarter courtesy of a 4-yard touchdown pass from Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith to Walker to cap off a 5 play, 75-yard drive. The AFC’s next possession came courtesy of an interception by Los Angeles Chargers conerberck Casey Hayward and Carr was then able to engineer a 5 play, 53-yard scoring drive following the turnover that culminated with a 2-yard touchdown run by Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy with 5:36 left in the third quarter.
The two teams then proceeded to get very competitive in the fourth quarter and all the NFC team could muster was a 38-yard field goal by Carolina Panthers kicker Graham Gano with 14:09 left in the game. Both teams then proceeded to have offensive drives stall after numerous plays and the AFC took over the football on downs at the NFC 47-yard-line with 3:44 left in the game. 7 plays later is when Carr connected with Walker for what would turn out to be the game-winning score.
The players on the AFC team earned $64,000 for winning Sundays game while every player on the NFC team will receive $32,000.
The WILDEST plays from the 2018 #ProBowl! pic.twitter.com/4ZKBOcGZWw
— NFL (@NFL) January 29, 2018