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:
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.