The NFL returned back to the NFC versus AFC format to try and add some legitimacy to their all-star game which has come under fire as nothing more than a flag football backyard game. With an average of 71 combined points scored over the previous two games, it was hard to argue that opinion.

Mission accomplished.

And while it was far from the intensity of an NFL playoff game, or even regular season game (think more like the last preseason game) it was a more competitive affair in 2017, and one that most likely was more pleasing to the NFL as the AFC walked away with a 20-13 win over the NFC.

The Bucs were represented in Orlando all week, and in the game on Sunday, with Gerald McCoy making his fifth Pro Bowl appearance, and wide receiver Mike Evans making his debut. McCoy had four tackles and a sack in the game, but Evans did not appear on the stat sheet.

In a game that had been absent of much defense in recent history, this game started out as a defensive affair, and through 15 minutes there was no score. The AFC jumped out on top with an Alex Smith to Delanie Walker 26-yard TD pass, and the NFC then answered with a touchdown of their own when Drew Brees hooked up with Doug Baldwin for a 47-yard score. Travis Kelce and the AFC took the lead just before halftime with a 23-yard score from Andy Dalton.

The teams traded field goals in the second half, and the NFC mounted a late scoring drive that would have tied the score, but Kirk Cousin’s pass her the goal line went off Jimmy Graham’s hands and was intercepted by former Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib. 

Travis Kelce was named the offensive MVP with 36 yards and a touchdown in addition to converting a fourth down fake field goal, and Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander was named the defensive MVP with eight tackles and an interception. 

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About the Author: Mark Cook

Mark Cook currently is the director of editorial content and Bucs beat writer and has written for PewterReport.com since 2011. Cook has followed the Buccaneers since 1977 when he first began watching football with his Dad and is fond of the 1979 Bucs team that came within 10 points of going to a Super Bowl. His favorite Bucs game is still the 1979 divisional playoff win 24-17 over the Eagles. In his spare time Cook enjoys playing guitar, fishing, the beach and family time.Cook is a native of Pinecrest in Eastern Hillsborough County and has written for numerous publications including the Tampa Tribune, In the Field and Ya'll Magazine. Cook can be reached at [email protected]
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macabee
macabee
5 years ago

All kinds of surprises tonight. I settled down to watch a bit of the Pro Bowl and a football game broke out. Not bad! And it obviously drew considerable interest as the announced attendance for tonight’s Pro Bowl game was 60,834.

scubog
scubog
5 years ago

The Pro Bowl is the one game (?) I simply can’t watch. It really turned me off more when they started the playground method of choosing players for each side with Sanders and Rice making it an absolute joke. At least the league came to their senses and ended that farce. To me the league should end the game. I sure don’t know how it got sold out in Orlando. I still remember getting to do some work for LeeRoy Selmon when he told me he might not play the upcoming season because he injured his back in the Pro… Read more »

e
e
Reply to  scubog
5 years ago

What scu said.

martinii
martinii
5 years ago

GMC played most of the game and I saw Evans on the field for several plays. I was disappointed however because unless he caught a pass when I was getting a snack and a beer, i don’t think he was targeted once.I can understand why Breeze wanted to reunite with Graham, and why Prescott was searching for Dez, but common Mike had equal too or better year than either of those two. Could have targeted him at least once. Just call me a prejudice Buc Fan.

Dude
Dude
5 years ago

I’m glad Evans didn’t get targeted. I would have hated to see him go down with an injury going into the off season, and next year.