Published: February 8th, 2009 | Tags: Pro Bowl
Pro Bowl veterans didn’t fare too badly either, and they established their presence from the opening drive.
On the AFC’s first series, nine-time Pro Bowler Peyton Manning found 10-time Pro Bowler Tony Gonzalez twice in the 10-play, 96 yard drive that put the AFC ahead 7-0.
The two hooked up on a 22-yard pass on third down to keep the drive going, and then Manning found Kansas City’s tight end in the end zone as he fell out of bounds. In the fourth quarter, Gonzalez went hurdling out of bounds trying to track down a pass from Jay Cutler down the sideline as the AFC attempted to mount a comeback.
Gonzalez finished with six receptions for 98 yards, while Manning threw for 151 yards on 12-for-17 passing.
Panthers DE Julius Peppers, in his fourth Pro Bowl, sealed the game for the NFC, as he tipped Jay Cutler‘s pass to himself and ran it back 12 yards with 2:34 left in the game.
Peppers’ teammate, Steve Smith, didn’t score a touchdown, but the fourth-year Pro Bowl receiver seemed to be in the right place at the right time for the NFC, making six catches for 89 yards, including one for 20 yards on third down that kept alive a second-quarter drive.
On special teams, Raiders punter Shane Lechler, making his fourth trip the the Pro Bowl, kicked a 65 yard punt, the third longest in Pro Bowl history. He also holds the record for the longest punt, 73 yards, and second longest, 70 yards, in Pro Bowl history.
NFL veterans also know how to play to an audience.
In the first half, with the NFC threatening at the AFC 38, the Jets’ Kris Jenkins jumped offsides. Before the official could even blow the whistle, Jenkins had run through the NFC’s line to the 40 yard line, where the fourth-year all star bent down touched the line and began a mini-suicide drill as punishment — to the amusement of the Aloha Stadium fans.