Time & Date: Monday, 28 January at Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii
Coverage: LIVE 11.00am AEDT
So here we are, only two more games to go until the long offseason. As per usual with the Pro Bowl we can expect a high scoring, low intensity affair as those players who didn’t make it to the Super Bowl get a chance to have some fun in the sun.
As expected some of the games biggest stars have already pulled out due to ‘’injury’’, however the game still promises to showcase the talents and skills of those on each roster.
As we enter the game, both the NFC and AFC are tied at 21 wins each against each other since the inaugural AFC-NFC Pro Bowl in 1971, certainly giving them something to play for. Not only that but the Pro Bowl’s future could very well be decided by how this game is played, as outlined by NFL executive vice president of football operations, Ray Anderson.
The players are, essentially, playing for the Pro Bowl’s future, or demise.
When looking at both rosters it’s always difficult to separate them in terms of quality and this year is no different. For example, the AFC quarterbacks consist of Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck and Matt Schaub while the NFC have Drew Brees, Eli Manning and Russell Wilson. The NFC however has the edge at running back with Adrian Peterson, Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin, but then the AFC have the advantage at wide receiver with A.J Green, Andre Johnson, Reggie Wayne and Demaryrius Thomas.
Defensively the advantage goes to the AFC also with the likes of J.J. Watt, Cameron Wake and Geno Atkins who can each dominate the line of scrimmage. They’ll need to do some work as defences in the Pro Bowl cannot blitz.
It has been encouraging to see the likes of Peyton Manning, Adrian Peterson and Charles Tillman come out and look for a stronger effort amongst the players and themselves and I believe it will set up the game to be a good one, well worth a watch.
Final word and prediction: The outcome of this game seems to hinge on which sets of players put in the most effort and willingness to win. I’m going to give the AFC the edge here 34-28.
Pro Bowl preview provided by US Sports Down Under