An entirely revamped Pro Bowl ended in an NFC victory on Sunday in Las Vegas, making up a six-point deficit entering the day to narrowly earn a 35-33 victory over the AFC.
Rather than contesting a traditional football game on the Sunday between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl, the Pro Bowl format was changed this season. A series of skills competitions were held on Thursday and again on Sunday, with players competing to earn points for their conferences. Those skills competitions continued on Sunday, and the main event consisted of three 7-on-7 flag football games, which were a final opportunity for either conference to earn points.
The scoring was cumulative throughout the two days, so despite carrying a 9-3 deficit after Thursday’s skills competitions, the NFC had a strong showing in flag football to earn the victory.
Here are some highlights (and one lowlight) from the four-day event:
Garrett Dislocates Toe
Garrett was seen limping as he left the field during Sunday’s events. While X-rays on Garrett’s toe were negative, the Browns confirmed an earlier report of the dislocation.
Probably not what Cleveland wants to see. Myles Garrett limping off. pic.twitter.com/3lprj1kOpw
— Darren Carr (@DCarr75) February 5, 2023
Garrett suffered the injury in the Gridiron Gauntlet challenge, an obstacle course competition. He was the second leg of his relay team and completed the race, but walked off gingerly. The Gauntlet was one of the new events implemented this year.
This was Garrett’s fourth Pro Bowl in six NFL seasons. He finished tied for second in the NFL in sacks (16.0), matching the Eagles’ Haason Reddick and behind the 49ers’ Nick Bosa, but led the AFC in sacks.
Snoop Shows Out
Despite drawing a lot of criticism for his selection as a Pro Bowl alternate, then later elevated to the game, the Ravens’ Tyler Huntley was one of the top performers in flag football. Baltimore’s backup quarterback, who played a good chunk of the season with Lamar Jackson injured, threw four touchdowns in his game, one of three played between the conferences on Sunday.
Tyler Huntley: 192 yards, 4 TDs
Geno Smith: 239 yards, 5 TDs
CeeDee Lamb: 6 catches, 102 yards, 2 TDs
Kirk Cousins: 150 yards, 3 TDs
— NFL (@NFL) February 5, 2023
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) February 5, 2023
St. Brown Bros Win ‘Best Catch’
One of several new events added to the Pro Bowl this year was a “Best Catch” competition, a two-round event where players had a chance to make highlight-reel receptions while adding some flair and gimmicks to what they did, complete with judges. Think: NBA’s Slam Dunk Contest.
After qualifying for Sunday’s final during the early round on Thursday, the Detroit Lions’ Amon-Ra St. Brown brought in his brother, Bears WR Equanimeous St. Brown, to provide an assist on the way to winning the overall event.
— The 33rd Team (@The33rdTeamFB) February 5, 2023
It lacked the oomph of Sean Taylor’s signature hit in the 2006 Pro Bowl, but the switch to flag football couldn’t prevent at least one big hit from coming out in the final competitions of the 2023 event.
Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey delivered a big pop to Miami Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill, though it didn’t appear to be entirely intentional. Ramsey had been going for Davante Adams’ flags when Adams pitched the ball to Hill, with momentum carrying him into the Dolphins’ speedster. Fortunately, everyone was able to laugh about the moment afterward, even Hill.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) February 5, 2023