Not much tackling, not much running at the Pro Bowl


If you want real football the Pro Bowl is not for you. If you want a glorified 7-on-7 game played by NFL stars, maybe you enjoyed what you saw in Orlando this afternoon.

The players in the Pro Bowl have come to a gentlemen’s agreement to do little if any tackling. On the vast majority of plays, the ball carrier would either give up as soon as a defensive player grabbed him, or go out of bounds to avoid contact. There wasn’t a lot more contact in today’s Pro Bowl than there is in a two-hand touch game.

And everyone seems to have agreed not to run the ball much, either: There weren’t many handoffs, and when there was a handoff the running back would give up quickly. Here were the stats of the six Pro Bowl running backs:

Mark Ingram: 5 carries, 21 yards
Alvin Kamara: 4 carries, 13 yards
Todd Gurley: 5 carries, 9 yards
LeSean McCoy: 3 carries, 7 yards
Kareem Hunt: 4 carries, 4 yards
Le'Veon Bell: 2 carries, 3 yards

So what does that leave us with? Passing. There were a total of 80 passes thrown in the AFC’s 24-24 victory. Delanie Walker was named the offensive MVP for his two touchdown catches, while Von Miller was the defensive MVP because he was one of the few defensive players who actually tried to generate a pass rush, clinching the game with a strip-sack in the final minute.

It wasn’t exactly good football, but a decent-sized crowd turned out despite driving rain in Orlando, and if a decent-sized audience watched on ESPN and ABC, the NFL will keep the Pro Bowl around, even if it’s not real football.

89 responses to “Not much tackling, not much running at the Pro Bowl

  1. I didn’t watch it but I did hear about 10 minutes of it on the radio. I had a good laugh when the announcers praised Jarvis Landry’s speed and said he can kick it into a higher gear…

  2. I didn’t watch it but I did hear about 10 minutes of it on the radio. I had a good laugh when the announcers praised Jarvis Landry’s speed and said he can kick it into a higher gear…

  3. I haven’t watched the Pro Bowl in about eight years. I briefly considered it today because I was home all day, but decided to play Madden instead.

  4. I haven’t watched this crap in over a decade.
    The NFL Skills Competition was okay to watch but less competitive than prior years.

  5. Horrible. Hockey all star game is way better. Had to turn it off it was so boring and the whistle being blown so early. Even though the afc one atleast pittsburghs coaching staff still showed ineptitude in the probowl. #bitter.

  6. I didn’t watch it but I did hear about 10 minutes of it on the radio. I had a good laugh when the announcers said, “Now this is story Now this is the story all about how, My life got flipped-turned upside down, And I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there,
    I’ll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel Air.

  7. WHY OH WHY even have the pro bowl ANY LONGER! It isnt worth it! Soon it will no longer be televised the ratings will be SO BAD!

  8. The last Pro Bowl I watched was in the mid 90s. The game is a joke, and the designation of being a Pro Bowler, is equally silly. Too many “alternates”.

  9. I dunno guys, it just wasn’t that bad. If you compare it to regular games, yes, it’s a complete joke. But I had a few beers and didn’t take it that seriously. It wasn’t incredible, but it was fun for a few hours for it being the 2nd to last pro football game for 6 months.

    This black/white 100%/0% world is going to kill us all. Lighten up.

  10. Stop the game. No one wants to get hurt or hurt anyone. Just select them and do something else. Can’t blame them for protecting their future earning abilities.

  11. There were about 3 takles where the player was actually tackled to the ground the entire game.

  12. A televised game of 2 hand touch football with pads on
    I saw about 2 mins of it and decided to go mow the lawn instead
    and I hate mowing the lawn.
    How they can call that a football game is beyond me….what a joke

  13. “I haven’t watched the game since blah, blah, blah, but I still want to comment on how bad it was”. Aren’t you grand??

  14. I can remember when being named to the Pro Bowl actually meant something. They need to ditch it. Have NFL cheerleaders in wet tee shirts play volleyball instead. Better TV ratings.

  15. MacGuffin says:
    January 28, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    I didn’t see Tommy Boy throw the game winning pass today…

    The GOAT was otherwise occupied. You know, getting ready for a game that matters.

  16. The NFC’s final drive was an offense of mediocrity on the field. Why wouldn’t you put your best QB and receivers back in to try and win your team the winners share? Goff got = playing time with Brees and Wilson….who on earth wants to watch Goff for more than one or 2 possessions.

  17. See, we really need to crack down on gun control in the US, it has gotten completely out of hand. Just look at all the people here who had one pointed at their head and were forced to watch. My god people, you didn’t pay for it, and if you did, you knew what you were getting. Second to last Sunday without football, and this is how it’s handled. I bet every complainer here is the self-proclaimed all-star of their beer leauge softball team.

  18. stoneydog1000 says:
    January 28, 2018 at 7:35 pm
    “I haven’t watched the game since blah, blah, blah, but I still want to comment on how bad it was”. Aren’t you grand??
    But yet you were still compelled to make a comment about THAT? Lol.

  19. Why doesn’t everyone just lighten up and stop trying to make it something it isn’t. What do you expect?? The “old days” are GONE… high-paid players are NOT going to risk getting injured in an exhibition game, period (and they shouldn’t). So stop expecting something more than it is… just a fun way for various members of 30 teams to play some ‘backyard’ football together, to get to play with members of other teams they may admire, just for FUN. (You know… FUN??) If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. But I’ll bet you anything, if they eliminate the Pro Bowl, you who are ripping on it will miss it. (Otherwise you wouldn’t even be taking the time to complain about it.)

  20. How many sacks did Von Miller have? 8? He should be fined 50,000 for going 110% on a pre determined snap count and hitting the QBs while running backs weren’t even being tacked to the ground.

  21. MacGuffin says:
    January 28, 2018 at 7:13 pm
    I didn’t see Tommy Boy throw the game winning pass today…Carr>Brady

    Ah, so close! You stated out with a verifiable fact…..then you added that bit at the end that even you don’t believe on your saddest days.

  22. I have never watched the Pro Bowl nor any of the all star games of the other 3 major sports. I follow teams not individual players. I appreciate the players that play on the teams I root for and cheer them on but once they leave for another team I could care less how they do. I wish them luck and move on.

  23. The run game has no place in the probowl. Its the violent aspect of the game. Last time they tried to balance run and pass guys would barely block, barely fit the gaps… you get it.

    Its much better like this just let the QBs sling it and playmakers make plays.

  24. I believe fans are losing sight of the most important reason for the Pro Bowl game.

    Fans can sleep a bit easier tonight knowing that the NFL lined its coffers with a few more revenue dollars …and that’s what really counts.

  25. Let’s see, there’s bellyaching about injuries on Thursday night, so Pro Bowl level players decide not to get injured in a meaningless game but they manage to do enough to score points. I didn’t have to pay for it so I watched. Hockey was just as boring and I didn’t see anybody get laid out or throw gloves…because All-Star games. Nobody wants their premier players injured during any pro-bowl or all-star game.

  26. PresidentTrumpIsRightRespectYourCountryAndFlag says:
    January 28, 2018 at 8:19 pm

    I actually went to the game, I love it

    If it were true that you went it would surprise no one chip

  27. Horrible. Hockey all star game is way better. Had to turn it off it was so boring and the whistle being blown so early. Even though the afc one atleast pittsburghs coaching staff still showed ineptitude in the probowl. #bitter.

    I agree about the coaching staff. It’s “won” not one, by the way…

  28. If your team had players in this game, I don’t even know why’d you want to see hitting and tackling in a game that meant nothing. This was a more like a scrimmage or a practice, and I’m just fine with that if it means no injuries.

  29. Move it back to after the Superbowl and in Hawaii and you get a better product.

    You get players from the superbowl again and more players feel good enough to play (plus the free trip).

    Add something like a 90/10 money split and then it can be a nice goodbye to football like it used to be rayher then this current joke.

  30. Why is this a problem with you? I love seeing the players have fun for a change. Nobody is paying for it and there is very little chance of injury. Find another fight.

  31. How do you match apathy? Some players were so much more apathetic than others which resulted in some really strange moments. Like Harrison Smith returning an interception 70 yards for a TD. He ran 3/4 speed and the entire AFC tried to arm tackle him. And I genuinely sat there thinking who was in the wrong. Was Smith supposed to go down because an arm tackle is a tackle in the pro bowl. Or should the AFC have tried harder. That’s when I turned the TV off.

  32. What’s the problem? Everyone knows it’s an exhibition game, not a real football game. It’s a bunch of guys out there having fun, making sure nobody gets hurt. If people would quit complaining about it having less intensity than the Super Bowl, maybe they could actually enjoy it. Does everything have to be a reason to complain?

  33. MacGuffin says:
    January 28, 2018 at 7:13 pm
    I didn’t see Tommy Boy throw the game winning pass today…Carr>Brady

    You are referring of course to Pro Bowls played. And yes Carr will certainly play in more Pro Bowls than Brady. Both career total and how many both years they are active players. Even if Carr retires begore Brady Carr will still lead him in Pro Bowls played in.

  34. Despite the rbs getting stopped short of first downs bybquick whistles and then getting the first awarded anyway, it was fun to see these guys gaming it up like little kids.

    It’s a long season and this is fun for all I think. Ya Hawaii would be better and after the SB I agree. But the SB is better fir everyone if there’s two weeks for travel and prep.

    Not sure how it gets fixed, maybe bump up the shrine game and have more interest going into the draft. Don’t know but for now, it’s Carr-toon fun to see a fourth quarter comeback from my teams QB.

    Screw Brady, go eagles, I wanna see jaws cry again.

    We’re winners!!!!

  35. The part I enjoyed most was the Brees boys jostling with each other…The oldest one gave an excellent view for a 9-year-old. Sometimes the side action is actually more fun to watch than the game itself!

  36. So if the NFL is serious about eliminating concussions and player safety, this game was perfect! Play them all like this. But Breese’s son should have had a flag thrown at him! Cheap shot. (That was a joke before you trash me!)

  37. Then one question. What will end up being better ratings wise? The pro bowl, or the Super Bowl? I know it will be the Super Bowl, but if it ended up not being the Super Bowl it would be amazing to see the fallout! Enjoy the game. I will be working feeding the parties pizza from our business. FYI. It’s not a chain. Just our one store.

  38. its the only thing on TV tonight. Quit complaining… if you dont like it watch something else.

    There are zero implications to the standings, it doesn’t matter. So why do you care so much that it should go extinct?? Seriously, in this day in age of football with the current rules, does it REALLY offend you THAT much?? What is wrong with you!?

    Change the channel!!!! NOBODY IS GOING TO WATCH A SKILLS COMPETITION. Its stupid, thats crazy, if I tried to turn the channel to a freaking skills competition my wife would leave me and take the kids… Thats absolutely insane!!

    Get it together people, place your anger elsewhere, maybe at yourselves to be honest. If you have that kind of vitriol at the Pro Bowl, a harmless event, maybe you just dont like yourself?

  39. I believe for the Pro Bowl to stay relevant they need to change when it is played.

    It could be paired with the Super Bowl and played the Saturday before in the Super Bowl host city. Built in crowd of the local fans plus people in town for the Super Bowl should produce good attendance. A lot of players go to the Super Bowl anyways partaking in the game, sponsorship parties, media functions, etc, so you dont have the issues of players not wanting to go to Orlando or wherever future Pro Bowls are.

    It could be played at the beginning of the next season just like the Hall of Fame Game starts off the preseason. That gets rid of the whole I just played 16 regular season games already and 2 playoff games, why would I want to go play in the Pro Bowl element. The way the game plays out on the field it is certainly more fitting as a way to ease into the season rather than be the end of the year for all those players. You wouldn’t have injured players (unless they got injured in the offseason) and could have Super Bowl participants in the game again. I guess if someone were to retire they could have the option to be replaced or treat the game as their swan song.

    The Pro Bowl, or any all star game, is never going to be the same as the real thing, but it can certainly be improved. Getting rid of it is not the solution. As long as every other league has one the NFL will too.

  40. I don’t see any way they can make The Casual Bowl interesting to watch. It will always be just a paid vacation week for some select NFL players.

  41. MacGuffin says:
    January 28, 2018 at 7:13 pm
    I didn’t see Tommy Boy throw the game winning pass today…Carr>Brady

    Chris Farley has been dead for over 20 years, so it comes as no surprise that he did not throw the winning pass in the Pro Bowl.

    As for ‘Carr>Brady.’ Okay, you can probably make a decent argument that Derek Carr is better than Brady Quinn. OTOH, Derek Carr and Brady Quinn do have the exact same record as starting QBs in the playoffs.

  42. I guess PFT should have made this a pole. It sort of turned into that. If it were a pole I guess I’d have to say that I liked it because I watched it. If its on and its football (I really like football) I’ll watch it. I’ll tell you one thing though. I had to listen to Matt Hasselbeck call the game. I don’t know if that’s the same for everyone else, but that commentary was painful. Was it weird to anyone else to see players on their cell phones? It’s funny because they can’t during the season so seeing players post/text was just unusual looking.

  43. If they want it to be just entertainment, then they should scrap it the way it is and make it a flag football game. At least there might be some effort and entertainment value.

  44. The Pro Bowl and the NBA All Star Game are both notorious now for the minimal effort given by the players. But I’d rather watch the NBA All Star Game. At least it’s high-scoring.

  45. These days, if you show up at a Pro Bowl, you are either a young player who’s happy just to be there or a vet who was the 3rd or 4th choice in the voting at your position.

  46. Bash the players all you want for not tackling, but how big would the outrage be if someone blew out a knee or had a bad concussion for “going hard”?

  47. Irrelevant. Unless you are a player who A. Has a contractual bonus for being named to pro-bowl B. Used as a nice paid vacation for family.

  48. The only reason this farce still exists is because it gives the NFL another week to sell to the networks and advertisers.

  49. Don’t let the AFC’s “24-24 victory” distract you from the fact that the Seahawks threw the ball from the 1 with the greatest RB in the game!!!

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