TERRANCE HARRIS, Related Press
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Professional Bowl has lengthy been extra about showmanship than competitors. Clearly, that memo missed Lorenzo Alexander.
The Buffalo Payments linebacker might have simply sat on a late interception for the win, however as an alternative opted to return the ball 20 yards after which lateralled it to Aqib Talib, who got here inside thirteen yards of the top zone within the AFC’s 20-thirteen win over the NFC within the NFL’s all-star recreation Sunday night time.
“I used to be critical about that final drive,” Alexander stated. “You’re enjoying quick, enjoying exhausting, having a superb time, however we needed to win. We took it very critical.”
That a lot was clearly on the ultimate drive when Alexander, chosen the sport’s defensive MVP, obtained tight finish Jimmy Graham on a tough hit over the center because the NFC drove the ball down subject for what might have been the rallying recreation-profitable drive. A few performs later, the ball went off Graham’s palms and proper to Alexander, sealing the sport.
However even on that play, the elevated aggressive spirit was apparent when quarterback Kirk Cousins caught with the play after throwing the interception and knocked the ball out of Talib’s palms on a jarring hit to save lots of the landing.
Whereas most of the 60,834 had already left Tenting World Stadium , those that caught round noticed an exciting finish.
“It was enjoyable and it was aggressive,” Alexander stated. “It obtained a bit of chippy there late within the recreation, however that’s a part of it when you have got aggressive individuals.”
Within the current previous, the Professional Bowl hadn’t produced a aggressive surroundings. However maybe the return of the normal AFC vs. NFC matchup mixed with enjoying in entrance a bigger crowd than when the sport was performed in Hawaii, amped up the depth only a bit.
The winners took residence $sixty one,000, whereas the NFC group members settled for $30,000.
“This recreation was undoubtedly extra aggressive than final time I performed in it. I can say that,” Talib stated. “Guys performed quite a bit more durable this yr.”
The Professional Bowl had been performed the final three years with a format during which groups have been drafted among the many gamers by designated captains.
In a primary half outlined by huge performs and key interceptions, the AFC was capable of provide you with another play to take a 14-7 lead into halftime and a 20-7 edge early within the fourth quarter.
The NFC ought to have had 17 factors within the first half, however a choice to not a kick a chip-shot subject aim and an interception in the long run zone denied the squad of factors in the course of the first…