With league commissioner Roger Goodell considering the end of the Pro Bowl because it has turned into a flag football game, Kareem Copeland writing for NFL.com thinks the effort was better in this year’s game, a 62-35 win for the NFC.
Copeland: There were a few questionable moments. Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil pulled up when he had a blindside shot to sack Saints quarterback Drew Breesat one point. But there were also hustle moments. Saints punter Thomas Morstead chased down Chiefs safety Eric Berry from behind and was carried into the end zone during an interception return after a botched field goal attempt. There were even a few solid hits.
“Goodell got what he wanted. Defenders actually tackled. No one was injured. There was a reverse on a kick return and a trick onside kick. (Houston defensive end J.J.) Watt even got bloody early in the game.”
Marshawn Lynch: 4 carries for 21 yards, 1 TD
Earl Thomas: 1 tackle, 1 interception
Leon Washington: 92-yard kick return
Russell Wilson: 8 of 10 for 98 yards, 3 TDs; 4 carries for 10 yards rushing
And the most important stat: No injuries of note.
With San Francisco arriving for the Super Bowl down in New Orleans on Sunday, Bill Barnwell of Grantland provides a nice run down on hundreds of prop bets available in Vegas for the big game.
Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times notes that the stadium experience could be changing at NFL stadiums, with a lounge-style atmosphere to attract more people who prefer the experience of watching the game at home.
Pat Kirwan of CBS Sports offers his thoughts on some of the prospects that caught his eye at the Senior Bowl.
Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com reports that San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith is expected to ask for his release before the beginning of free agency in March. Smith is due to make $8.5 million in 2013, with the majority of that due April 1.
Peter King of Sports Illustrated talks with Smith about losing his starting job to Colin Kaepernick midway through the season.
Danny O’Neil of The Seattle Times writes that this year’s Super Bowl matchup proves that you don’t have to throw the ball 40 times a game to make it to the big game.