Pro Bowl Live: Kyle Rudolph Wows With MVP Performance as NFC Wins in Blowout 62-35


AJ GreenFinal, NFC 62-35: All-Star games are always high-scoring affairs, but this game featured more scoring than any other team in the history of the Pro Bowl.

The NFC threw up 62 points, breaking the AFC’s record of 59 from 2011, and guys like Russell Wilson and Eli Manning made that rout possible.

Wilson, Manning, Victor Cruz and A.J. Green all had incredible games and deserve some consideration for the MVP award. But in the end, Kyle Rudolph, who replaced Tony Gonzalez on the roster this week, wins the award after catching five passes for 122 yards and a score.

The game may not offer the same home-field advantage  that the MLB All-Star Game might, or even feature a slam dunk contest like the NBA, but it still is a very fun and enjoyable experience for football fans. When you can watch the NFL’s sack leader, J.J. Watt, play wide receiver and another one of the best defensive lineman in football, JPP, cover him at cornerback, it’s going to be fun.

Some good football and a whole lot of fun out in Hawaii, but now the attention turns to New Orleans and the big game next weekend.

Fourth Quarter, 1:46, NFC 62-35: I know most of his production came during garbage time in a rout, but Andrew Luck absolutely owned in his first Pro Bowl.

Luck outperformed Peyton Manning, which says nothing about the move to replace him in Indianapolis but is a rather interesting coincidence.

Luck has now thrown for 205 yards — the most of any Pro Bowl quarterback in this year’s game — and has a pair of touchdowns to go with it. What a great debut in the All-Star game for him.

Also, that interception by Jason Pierre-Paul was one of the funniest circumstances I’ve ever seen. J.J. Watt just couldn’t beat him for that pass.

Fourth Quarter, 5:54, NFC 62-35: This game hasn’t been pretty for the AFC, but if there is one highlight to their dreadful day, it’s that A.J. Green is an absolute monster.

Green now has six catches for 95 yards and three touchdowns. Because of the huge deficit, there’s no chance Green will get the MVP, but he definitely should be in consideration. Brandon Marshall, eat your heart out.

Fourth Quarter, 7:55, NFC 62-28: Most of the attention out of the Vikings’ backfield was spent on Adrian Peterson this season, but a different Vikings running back was the one to get in the end zone in the Pro Bowl.

Jerome Felton, who was selected to the Pro Bowl as the NFC’s fullback, carried the ball four times for 18 yards and now had a Pro Bowl touchdown to add to his resume.

Felton likely didn’t expect to get into the end zone in this one, because he clearly didn’t have any sort of dance prepared. I know it doesn’t technically count as his first NFL touchdown, but that was literally his first career touchdown as a pro. So, I suppose the lack of preparation should be expected.

Fourth Quarter, 11:36, NFC 55-28: A.J. Green is as talented a receiver as there is in the NFL right now, and he might even be preparing to give Calvin Johnson a run for his money in the next few years.

Green had a fantastic sophomore season this year, and his athleticism makes him the most dangerous receiver on any football field at any time.

Johnson, Brandon Marshall and Larry Fitzgerald can all claim their stake as the league’s best receivers, too, but at this point it looks like Green’s time is right around the corner.

End Third Quarter, NFC 52-21: There’s really not much to say aside from: good job, good effort.

That Miami Heat kid really should be in the stands behind the AFC bench, because a beating this bad does need some positive reinforcement.

Also, quick front-runners for the Pro Bowl MVP: Vincent Jackson (two touchdowns), Kyle Rudolph (five catches, 122 yards and one touchdown), Eli (16-for-23, 191 yards and two touchdowns) and Russell Wilson (three touchdowns).

Third Quarter, 1:51, NFC 52-21: Game over.

The NFC was up 31-14 at the half, and things haven’t really changed in the second half.

Wilson just tossed his third touchdown of the third quarter and the NFC is now up by 31.

Yeesh, talk about a brutal showing. I don’t remember the last time the Pro Bowl was such a one-sided affair. I mean, I know the last two years were two-score finals, but this is getting real ugly.

Third Quarter, 3:52, NFC 45-21: Russell Wilson was too small to be a first-round pick, and too small to be the Seahawks starting quarterback. So, is he also too small to win Pro Bowl MVP?

There’s clearly still a quarter of game left to be played, and Eli, Jackson, Rudolph and Cruz all have their claim in on that title as it is. But Wilson is slowly making a case for himself here in the second half — just saying.

Third Quarter, 6:21, NFC 38-21: The AFC finally got back on the board, but the big story of that drive was more than just the score.

For all you Patriots fans, you might’ve noticed a very familiar face making a play out on the outside.

Matt Slater got in on a few offensive plays and even caught a pass for 13 yards to set up the Schaub-to-Josh Cribbs touchdown.

So, Slater’s caught one pass in 76 career NFL games and now has one catch in two career Pro Bowls. Check it out, Bill Belichick.

Third Quarter, 12:56, NFC 38-14: The Pro Bowl is supposed to be all about the passing game, but the AFC doesn’t seem to have anyone capable of throwing the ball to their own receivers.

After Peyton completed just six of 12 passes to start, Matt Schaub has come on in his absence and thrown a pair of picks. But while the AFC struggles, the NFC just continues to pile on the points.

Brees and Eli were stellar in the first half, and Russell Wilson just added to the trend of NFC studs with three straight completions and a 28-yard touchdown to Doug Martin.

Wilson should see the majority of the snaps for the NFC in the second half, and has a good chance to make his own case for the MVP trophy.

Halftime, NFC 31-14: So, this is starting to verge on the side of a blowout.

The AFC jumped out to an early 7-0 lead, but since then it’s been all NFC.

Drew Brees had a little fun with Vincent Jackson on the outside, but Eli Manning looks like he’s right in his element out in Hawaii.

Manning’s now thrown for 191 yards and a pair of touchdowns to propel the NFC out to a big 31-14 lead. But his receivers have been just as big a piece in the lead.

Jackson’s caught five passes for 86 yards and a score, Victor Cruz has eight grabs for 68 yards and a touchdowns, and Kyle Rudolph has five catches for 122 yards and a score of his own in something of his coming out party.

Eli is playing as well as anyone on the field at this point, and he definitely outplayed his big brother in this All-Star game.

Second Quarter, 1:41, NFC 24-14: Beast Mode puts his stamp of approval on this Pro Bowl.

Marshawn Lynch just punched in a touchdown from one yard out, and now the NFC is beasting on the AFC with a 10-point lead — see what I did there?

Second Quarter, 2:00, NFC 17-14: So, Vincent Jackson is having himself a day, but Kyle Rudolph is one-upping even him.

Rudolph, the Vikings’ standout tight end, has three catches now for 99 yards. He was a nice check-down option for Christian Ponder all season and is making Eli’s day a lot easier now too.

Rudolph is starting to gain traction as a top tight end in the league, and he’s definitely establishing himself even further with a big performance in Hawaii.

Second Quarter, 7:00, NFC 17-14: A little Eli redemption on that drive.

Manning hooked up with Victor Cruz a few times on that series, and ultimately scored a touchdown to get the NFC back in the lead.

Cruz gets the glory, but so far Vincent Jackson has been the most impressive player on the field.

Jackson, who has four catches for 76 yards and a touchdown, seems to be channeling his inner Brandon Marshall in this All-Star showdown. Not to say that Jackson will score four times, like Marshall did last year, but he’s definitely headed for a huge day.

Second Quarter, 11:14, AFC 14-10: The “Eli Manning looking at Things” Tumblr blew up online earlier this year, but he definitely didn’t look at Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson on that pick-six.

Manning threw a brutal interception over the middle and Johnson just scored a touchdown to put the AFC back on top. Manning had that problem on occasion during the season, and that’s a big reason behind the Giants’ underwhelming finish.

That’s two turnovers for the NFC, and suddenly this game is seeing some points thrown on the scoreboard.

Second Quarter, 14:54, NFC 10-7: Blair Walsh isn’t going to win the Rookie of the Year award, but he was just as impressive as Andrew Luck or Russell Wilson in terms of production.

Walsh hit 35 of 38 kicks in the regular season and just booted a 48-yarder to put the NFC up 10-7.

End First Quarter, 7-7: Peyton Manning started things off with a few nice throws, but Brees is the one showing off so far.

Manning’s completed just 5 of 10 passes for 34 yards, while Brees has hit on 8 of 11 for 132 yards.

After these two teams scored 100 points in last year’s game, Brees and Manning combined for just 14 points in the first quarter of this one. What a letdown.

First Quarter, 1:06, 7-7: So, Watt’s finger was really messed up after that tackle.

Check out a photo of Watt’s bloody hand from @JPalmerCSN

JJ Watt

First Quarter, 4:56, 7-7: The lack of blitzing in the Pro Bowl is understandable, because it protects quarterbacks, but that doesn’t mean I don’t wish we saw these guys busting up on Brees, Manning and the rest of these guys.

Imagine seeing Watt, Tamba Hali and some of these other guys just getting after Brees on every play. That would be fun to see.

First Quarter, 10:21, 7-7: So, any of you defensive gurus out there,  don’t expect a low-scoring affair in this one.

Last year, the two teams scored a total of 100 points (59-41) and this year’s showing is looking like a repeat performance.

Drew Brees hit Vincent Jackson on a 36-yard post route to tie the game up nice and quick.

Also, gotta love J.J. Watt’s comments about playing hard, “Hey commish, we play hard.” The blood on his hand certainly looked like he was going at full tilt.

First Quarter, 14:01, AFC 7-0: Let the scoring begin!

Peyton Manning wasn’t able to connect with J.J. Watt — yup, you read that right — on the touchdown toss, but A.J. Green did haul in a fourth-down pass to put the AFC up early.

Adrian Peterson didn’t do much wrong during the regular season, but he’s already made a mistake in the Pro Bowl.

Peterson fumbled the ball on the first snap of the game, making for an unexpected start to the game and giving the AFC a quick lead.

7:30 p.m.: Brian McKnight killed the national anthem, and now the games really begin.

John Fox gave the AFC locker room a little pep talk ahead of kickoff, but the players didn’t seem all that inspired. We’re all hoping for a more interesting game than in years past, but I’d be shocked to see anyone put in more than 50 percent of the effort you see on any typical Sunday.

7:10 p.m.:
The premier players from across the NFL — for the most part, at least — are taking the field in Honolulu.

Peterson, Manning and the rest of the All-Stars are gearing up for what they hope will be a competitive game for once.

In the meantime, Train offered up a less than moving rendition of their hit “Soul Sister” and a few other jams to kick things off in pregame.

The best part of the performance was the shots of the crowd, though. The stadium is at maybe half capacity — and that might be generous. Yet another reason why the Pro Bowl could be getting the ax in the near future.

3:15 p.m.: Who do you have for MVP, Adrian Peterson or Peyton Manning? Peterson has Peterson, and Manning has some thoughts about that.

10:45 a.m.: As an update on the Trent Williams situation, reports that players have been told not to go to that Honolulu nightclub anymore.

9 a.m.: We know at least one player who won’t be suiting up today. Trent Williams, who got famously slap-happy with Richard Sherman earlier this season, was assaulted over the weekend and won’t make it to the game.

In Williams’ defense, police say he did not appear to be at fault.

8 a.m. ET: The Super Bowl is officially one week away, and that means it’s time for the NFL’s riveting version of an All-Star game.

This year’s Pro Bowl won’t feature any of the nine 49ers or six Ravens players as they prepare for the biggest game of their lives, but some of the biggest names in the game will still be taking the field in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Peyton Manning and Adrian Peterson, who are the expected finalists for this season’s NFL MVP award, will be fighting it out on the field for the bragging rights in their conferences. They’ll be joined by a number of talented teammates from around the league, including Houston’s J.J. Watt, Chicago’s Brandon Marshall and Seattle’s impressive rookie quarterback, Russell Wilson.

While the game doesn’t have any impact on the outcome of the Super Bowl, like Major League Baseball did with its All-Star shenanigans, there is plenty of pride to play for and excitement to keep an eye on.

Last year, Marshall won the Pro Bowl MVP with an amazing four-touchdown performance and will be looking for a similar repeat performance this time around. Some other playmakers, including AP, Manning and many more may have their own big days in store.

Peterson, Manning and Champ Bailey have all implored their teammates to play hard and put on a good show, and most of the players seem to be buying in.

There will be plenty of exciting runs, jaw-dropping catches and big hits, so get set for a big day of football. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m., and we’ll have all your need-to-know info and analysis right here.

Have a question for Luke Hughes? Send it to him via Twitter at @LukeFHughes or send it here.

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