The AFC-NFC Pro Bowl comes back to Aloha Stadium after a one year attempt on the mainland. Last year broke the streak of 30 consecutive Pro Bowl games in Hawaii. Miami was given the honor to host on 2010. Another change that took place last year is slotting this game to be played on the week prior to the Super Bowl. The idea was met with positive overture so it will stay at that spot. Previously, it was played after the Super Bowl. This will be the 41st time for this event and currently each team has won 20 games. Let’s preview the team and make a prediction.
Representatives of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers will not be participating in this event due to their Super Bowl appearance in a week. Five Packers players and three from the Steelers were replaced in the line-up. Also, due to injuries and other commitments, nine from the AFC and seven from the NFC have bowed out. This presents a media concern that the game is not at its best and some say it has been watered down. Critics are saying it is losing importance.
The coaches will be Bill Belichick, his third time coaching in the Pro Bowl, from the New England Patriots and Mike Smith, his first time coaching the Pro Bowl, of the Atlanta Falcons. They were automatically chosen due to the fact their teams were divisional runner-ups. Coach Belichick will not have his usual quarterback, Tom Brady, as he had off season surgery. Phillip Rivers is expected to replace him as starter. On the AFC side, Michael Vick will start at quarterback.
Some of the other players will be the Texans running back Arian Foster who amassed 1616 rushing yards to go along with 66 receptions. Brandon Lloyd will be in the backfield bringing his 11 touchdowns and Reggie Wayne at 1355 yards receiving. Peyton Manning will be participating in his 11th career Pro Bowl while Matt Cassel attends his first. Also taking the field is speedster Jamaal Charles and his 1467 rushing yards, 45 receptions and he totaled eight touchdowns on the year. Another rushing speed burner is Chris Johnson of Tennessee with 1364 yards and totaled and outstanding 12 touchdowns.
How long will the stars play? Will they put forth a great amount of effort? With history showing each team with 20 wins, this game becomes difficult to bet. Our thought is the AFC has the better quarterbacks and receivers and the NFC has the best rushing corps. The odds have the AFC +1 and the NFC at -1.
Our prediction is to bet on the AFC at +1.