With the league opting to abandon conference match-ups and invite
Hall of Fame players Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders to draft teams,
the change led to a competitive and close contest that went down to
With Team Rice trailing 21-14 in the final minute, running back
DeMarco Murray caught a 20-yard pass from Alex Smith to pull within
Rather than going for a routine point-after-touchdown (PAT) kick
that would have tied the game, Team Rice attempted a two-point
conversion for the go-ahead score and were successful when Mike
Tolbert's short run took him into the end zone.
Tolbert embellished his feat by imitating the scoring celebration of
Carolina Panthers team mate Cam Newton, who was one of the
quarterbacks for Team Sanders.
"I told Cam I was going to mess with him if I got in the end zone,
so I had to," Tolbert told reporters.
Team Sanders was not done, however, as quarterback Nick Foles drove
his team downfield to set up a Justin Tucker 67-yard field goal that
missed and ended the contest.
The latest edition of the Pro Bowl was a departure from the
offensive shootouts of the past and Sunday's game included eight
turnovers, six of them interceptions, and nine sacks.
"Early on, there was a lot of turnovers because of the weather,
there was a lot of rain," Team Sanders captain J.J. Watt said.
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Former greats Sanders and Rice were rumored to possibly suit up for
the game but their services were not needed to produce an
entertaining display that went back and forth throughout.
Team Sanders wide receiver DeSean Jackson opened the scoring with a
36-yard catch from Andrew Luck in the first quarter.
Team Rice tied it in the second quarter when Jimmy Graham hauled in
an eight-yard score from Drew Brees.
Newton plunged into the end zone from one-yard out to put Team
Sanders 14-7 ahead but Josh Gordon's 10-yard catch from Philip
Rivers evened up the contest just before halftime.
After a scoreless third quarter, Team Sanders once again moved in
front on a 12-yard pass from Foles to Jordan Cameron to make it
21-14 with 4:41 remaining.
After the game, Foles was named the offensive MVP for throwing for
89 yards and a score, while Derrick Johnson of Team Rice took home
the defensive award with nine tackles and a pass deflection.
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles;
editing by John O'Brien)
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