Lamar Jackson threw two touchdown passes, Deshaun Watson and Ryan Tannehill passed for one touchdown apiece, and the AFC held on for a 38-33 win over the NFC on Sunday afternoon at the Pro Bowl in Orlando, Fla.
Jackson led all signal-callers with 185 passing yards to help the AFC win its fourth consecutive Pro Bowl since the game returned to a head-to-head conference format. T.J. Watt provided a defensive highlight for the AFC when he returned a fumble 82 yards for a touchdown.
Kirk Cousins came off the bench to lead the NFC with 181 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns. He followed Russell Wilson and Drew Brees, who threw for one touchdown apiece but each fell short of 100 passing yards.
Jackson was named as the Pro Bowl’s offensive MVP, while Calais Campbell was named as defensive MVP.
Mark Andrews, DJ Chark Jr., Jack Doyle and Andre Roberts each hauled in touchdown catches for the AFC.
Davante Adams had two touchdown catches to lead the NFC. Michael Thomas and Amari Cooper also had touchdown receptions in a losing effort.
The AFC built a 24-14 halftime lead but slipped behind 27-24 in the third quarter after back-to-back NFC touchdowns. Tannehill completed a 60-yard touchdown strike to Chark to put the AFC back on top for good.
The NFC tried a Pro Bowl experimental rule after pulling within five points late in the fourth quarter. Instead of trying an onside kick, the NFC opted to start on its own 25-yard line for a 4th-and-15 play.
The decision did not pay off as Cousins’ long pass attempt was intercepted by the Baltimore Ravens’ Earl Thomas.
The game kicked off shortly after news spread of Kobe Bryant’s death in a helicopter crash. The NFL honored Bryant with a moment of silence before kickoff, and players paid tribute to him during the game.
Packers linebacker Za’Darius Smith gathered several NFC teammates for a Bryant tribute after a fumble recovery. The players mimicked Bryant’s famous fadeaway jump shot.