Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFC Comes Up Short in Pro Bowl

Buccaneer all-stars Gerald McCoy and Mike Evans were on the wrong end of a surprisingly hard-fought 2017 Pro Bowl, which the AFC took, 20-13.

Pictures of WR Mike Evans and DT Gerald McCoy at the 2017 Pro Bowl in Orlando.

Gerald McCoy recorded one of the NFC's seven sacks on Sunday night but his Tampa Bay Buccaneers teammate, wide receiver Mike Evans, did not have a single target on offense. That was in keeping with a strangely defensive-minded NFL Pro Bowl.

The AFC prevailed in the 2017 Pro Bowl, 20-13, the lowest scoring NFL all-star game in more than two decades. The 1995 game also ended in a 20-13 score, with the NFC prevailing.  In the previous 20 Pro Bowls, the two teams had combined for just under 65 points per game.

McCoy played extensively on the NFC's defensive front and added four tackles to his sack of Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton just after halftime. He helped hold the AFC offense to 241 net yards, but it was the AFC defense that made the game-clinching play, as Buffalo Bills LB Lorenzo Alexander intercepted a pass that went through the hands of Seattle Seahawks tight end Jimmy Graham in the game's final minute.

The NFC was threatening to score the game-tying points – and given the situation, the team likely would have gone for two to win the contest – but Alexander grabbed the deflected pass at the AFC two-yard line and later pitched the ball to Denver cornerback Aqib Talib, who ran it down to the NFC's eight. Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins, who threw the intercepted pass, hustled downfield to force a fumble by Talib but the AFC recovered, a fact upheld by a Jason Garrett replay challenge.

The NFC offense put up 353 total yards, 308 of them through the air, but the majority of that belonged to the receiving trio of the Giants' Odell Beckham, the Seahawks' Doug Baldwin and the Cowboys' Dez Bryant. Baldwin scored the conference's only touchdown on a wide-open 47-yard grab early in the second quarter.

Kansas City Chiefs' tight end Travis Kelce, who caught three passes for 36 yards and a touchdown and also converted on a critical fake field goal in the second half, was named the game's MVP.

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