The New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles are preparing for Super Bowl 52, but the rest of the league had participants playing in the annual Pro Bowl. The loaded rosters for the All-Star game spent one more day in the sun in Orlando, FL before embarking on a long offseason.
The NFC team won the opening coin toss, and Drew Brees took little time moving the team into the red-zone and putting up the team’s first points. Brees hit Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen to give the NFC an early 7-0 lead.
When the AFC took the field for the first time, it was riddled with Pittsburgh Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Alejandro Villanueva and Le’Veon Bell all earned starts for the AFC, but failed to answer the NFC’s first score, setting for a Chris Boswell field goal to make the score 7-3.
In the second quarter, the AFC defense forced the first punt of the game, but Kansas City Chiefs return man Tyreek Hill fumbled the football in the rain, only to be recovered by the NFC. Nonetheless, the AFC defense held Seattle Seahawks quarterback without a first down, and settling for a Graham Gano field goal. The kick made the score 10-3.
Roethlisberger remained in the game for the AFC’s second drive, but it was short-lived. With the AFC going for it on a 4th-and-7 situation, Roethlisberger threw a deep pass intended for Antonio Brown, only to be intercepted by Harrison Smith and returned for a touchdown, making the score 17-3, NFC.
Alex Smith drove the offense down the field after a big play to Jarvis Landry, but threw a red-zone interception, the second turnover for the AFC in the first half. The NFC turned the turnover into another Gano field goal to extend their lead 20-3 at halftime.
The AFC started with the football to start the second half, and Alex Smith, with his second drive, moved the ball into the red-zone, but this time finished it off with a touchdown pass to Delanie Walker to make the score 20-10.
After the AFC defense forced a punt, Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr took over at quarterback and orchestrated a drive which ended in a LeSean McCoy touchdown run. The score narrowed the NFC’s lead to 20-17 in the third quarter.
After a fourth quarter NFC field goal, which made the score 23-17, Derek Carr drove the AFC down the field and found Delanie Walker for his second touchdown of the game, and gave the AFC their first lead of the game 24-23. After a Von Miller strip sack, which was recovered by the AFC, the 24-23 score would stand.
As for the Steelers who participated in the football game, Roethlisberger finished with no touchdowns and one interception. Le’Veon Bell had one nifty catch-and-run to excite the crowd, Antonio Brown received a ton of targets, Cameron Heyward was credited for a half a sack and Chris Boswell was perfect, as usual.
Now starts the long, and painful, offseason without football, but you can count on BTSC to get your through the dog days as teams head into free agency, the NFL Draft and offseason workouts.