Rice gains bragging rights over Sanders in revamped Pro Bowl
(Reuters) - The revamped selection process and a gutsy play late in the game helped provide one of the closest finishes in Pro Bowl history as Team Rice edged out Team Sanders 22-21 in Honolulu on Sunday.
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 the wire.
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 a point.
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. Continued...