Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson fumbled on the opening possession handing the ball to the AFC inside the red zone. After missing Texan’s defensive end J.J. Watt on third down, Peyton Manning hit Bengal’s wide receiver A.J. Green in the back of the end zone on fourth down for the games first score. On the next AFC series, Packer’s center Jeff Saturday, who retired following the game, lined up at center snapping to Peyton one last time. After the play, Peyton handed the ball to Saturday and embraced his longtime Indianapolis teammate.
The NFC exploded in the second quarter behind New York Giant’s quarterback EliManning who shook off an early interception to throw for 191 yards and two touchdowns. Picked off by Kansas City’s Derrick Johnson for a 42-yard touchdown on the previous possession, Manning turned to teammate Victor Cruz on the next series. The pair connected five times on the drive, including on a 9-yard touchdown to put the NFC back on top 17-14. Cruz, who set a single-game Pro Bowl record with 10 receptions, celebrated with his branded salsa dance.
Driving again after a Matt Schaub interception, Denver’s Champ Bailey was called for the games first penalty on pass interference in the end zone.
“Yes, there are penalties in the Pro Bowl,” referee Ed Hochuli announced to the crowd before explaining the call.
Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch scored on the next play exciting the pro-Seahawks crowd.
Following a three and out by the AFC, Eli Manning moved the NFC down field quickly over the final 1:08 of the half, floating a pass to Minnesota’s Kyle Rudolph in the corner of the end zone to put the NFC up 31-14. The tight end put together a monster first half, catching 5 passes for 122 yards and one touchdown. A chunk of that total came on 52 yard catch when Manning saw Rudolph matched up with Chief’s defensive end Tamba Hali and motioned the tight end down field. Rudolph would go on to win MVP honors in his first Pro Bowl appearance.
In the second half, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson showed his scrambling ability escaping from J.J. Watt to find Doug Martin deep for a 28-yard touchdown. The 28-unanswered points put the NFC comfortable ahead. Colt’s quarterback Andrew Luck, threw two fourth quarter touchdowns to A.J. Green. Green finished with three touchdowns but the game, and MVP award, were already decided.Oakland Raider’s fullback Marcel Reece got his only carry in the first quarter, picking up a first down on a 1-yard run. The first-time Pro Bowler sported a black Al Davis t-shirt under his pads.