LAS VEGAS — The revamped Pro Bowl Games get underway Sunday at 3 p.m. ET at Allegiant Stadium on ABC/ESPN/ESPN+, as some of the NFL’s brightest stars square off in a series of competitive skills challenges and three flag football games that will cap the week’s events.
On tap is a continuation of the skills portion that began Thursday. Still to come is the completion of the best-catch competition, the gridiron gantlet, kick-tac-toe and a move-the-chains event that is a test of strength.
The AFC won three of Thursday’s four events, so it will enter Sunday with a 9-3 lead (skills competitions are worth three points each). The combined scores will roll over into the flag football portion to raise the stakes in the games, which players expect to be rather competitive given the reduced risk of injury.
“I think guys are gonna get after it,” Denver Broncos cornerback Pat Surtain II said. “I think it’s gonna be a level up competition-wise. It’s the best of the best.”
A ROUGHNESS PENALTY? The first half of the first flag football game in Pro Bowl history is in the books, and the most memorable play so far is an … unnecessary roughness penalty?
This suppose to be flag meanwhile I’m getting de-cleated 🥲
— Ty Hill (@cheetah) February 5, 2023
It’s true. Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey slammed into Miami Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill, knocking Hill forcefully out of bounds as he crossed the goal line for an AFC touchdown. The play touched off some playful pushing and shoving among the teams.
The AFC and NFC are tied 20-20 in this first of three flag games. Ravens tight end Mark Andrews has caught two touchdowns from his Baltimore teammate, Tyler Huntley.
GENO SMITH’S ACCURACY EXTENDS TO FLAG FOOTBALL: The NFC added six points to its overall total with a 33-27 victory in the first of three flag football games.
Dallas Cowboys receiver CeeDee Lamb scored the go-ahead touchdown with 12 seconds remaining when he caught a pass over the middle from the Seattle Seahawks‘ Geno Smith and eluded Chargers safety Derwin James Jr. with a perfectly timed spin move. It was Lamb’s second touchdown of the game.
That pulls the entire Pro Bowl Games competition into a 9-9 tie entering the upcoming Kick Tac Toe portion.
VERSATILE SKILLS: The AFC won the kick-tac-toe competition among the kickers, punters and long-snappers, earning another three points. That was followed by an NFC victory in the gridiron gantlet, which featured Lions offensive tackle Penei Sewell busting through a padded wall, among other things. The overall score is 12-12 entering the second of three flag games.
DEFENSE LEADS THE WAY? The AFC held a 12-6 lead at halftime of the second flag game, overcoming a pick-six thrown by Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence. The AFC scored the go-ahead touchdown on what looked like a zone-read run from Tennesee Titans running back Derrick Henry.
The second flag game ended with an 18-13 victory for the AFC in a surprisingly defensive contest. This game was highlighted by three interceptions, including Jaire Alexander‘s pick-six and picks by Pat Surtain II and Trevon Diggs. Notably, Diggs’ interception came at the expense of his brother, Stefon, who was attempting a pass on a trick play.
But Stefon got the last laugh by catching the decisive touchdown minutes later.
Trevon Diggs picks off big bro Stefon Diggs!
📺: #ProBowlGames on ESPN/ABC
📱: Stream on NFL+ pic.twitter.com/kuC92KJ0KV
— NFL (@NFL) February 5, 2023
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