The game itself means very little, but it is an honour to make the trip. It is the annual NFL Pro Bowl game returning to Honolulu, Hawaii and Aloha Stadium – the home of the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors.
Again this year, Michael Irvin and Jerry Rice are team captains and “chose sides” like millions of children have done for the neighbourhood games for over 100 years.
Notable items for this year’s game are that it is Charles Woodson’s final game in a long career. Woodson earned his way on to the Pro Bowl team in his rookie year and is a part of the Pro Bowl in his final season, Woodson and Barry Sanders are the only two players to achieve the goal.
The 2016 Pro Bowl game features 36 players who are making their first visit to Hawaii. There were 42 players who were originally selected for the Pro Bowl have decided not to participate or are members of one of the Super Bowl teams – the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos.
The rules are vastly different for the Pro Bowl game:
There are no kickoffs in the game; the offense takes over possession of the ball on the 25 yard line after a score.
There is a two minute warning at the end of every quarter and the ball changes possession at the beginning of a new quarter
The offense must have a running back and a tight end on the fied for every play
The defense must have three linebackers, four defensive backs, and four defensive linemen on the field for every play – fancy defenses and blitzing is not allowed.
The Kansas City Chiefs coaching staff is coaching Team Rice and the Green Bay Packers staff is coaching team Irvin.
Team Irvin won the toss but decided to play defense first.
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning leads the team in the first quarter. It took 10 plays for Manning to lead the team down the field for the first score of the game. Team Rice takes the lead 7-0.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson leads team Irvin for the first quarter and needs only three plays to march down the field to score a touchdown. Team Irvin goes for the two point conversion but fails the attempt.
In their next possession team Rice runs only two plays before team Irvin intercepts the ball.
This time team Irvin takes five plays before Atlanta Falcons Devonte Freeman takes the ball into the end zone for a touchdown. Team Irvin again goes for the two point conversion and this time makes it to go ahead 14-7.
Team Rice goes three and out and punts the ball.
Team Irvin also goes three and out and has to punt the ball.
Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr takes over as quarterback but fails to lead the team in for a score before the quarter runs out.
Team Irvin takes over the ball for the second quarter with Russell Wilson still in as quarterback. Team Irvin takes five plays to score a touchdown. The extra point is good and team Irvin leads 21-7.
Speaking from the sideline, team captain Michael Irvin said that they were there to play football and had an incredible group of guys on his team.
After a penalty, team Rice takes over the ball on the 20 yard line with Derek Carr in as quarterback. After a three and out, team Rice attemps a fake punt and completes a pass for the first down. On third down, Carr thows a pass that is intercepted but the ball is fumbled and team Rice regains possession of the ball. Two plays later a touchdown pass is called back after the review. Six plays later team Rice scores a touchdown. The extra point is good and team Irvin leads 21-14.
Minesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater takes over as quarterback for team Irvin. His first pass is intercepted and run bac 30 yards.
Team Rice takes over the ball but two plays later has the ball intercepted.
Team Irvin again takes over the ball and needs seven plays to score a touchdown. The extra point is good and team Irvin leads 28-14
Team Rice makes three completed pass plays but the quarter…and half comes to an end without a score.
Team Rice starts the second half of the game on offense with Derek Carr still in as quarterback. Team Rice again takes a fourth down and fakes the punt for a 1st down and three plays later, team Rice has closed the gap to 28-21
Speaking from the sidelines, team Rice captain Jerry Rice sad that back in the day, referring to when he played, the guys were really hitting each other; noting that he wished for a more physical game bu understood that in this day of big contracts the players didn’t want to incur an injury.
Teddy Bridgewater makes quick work of scoring another touchdown in a series of plays that included a challenge over a completed pass call. The extra point is good and team Irvin expands the lead to 35-21.
Team Rice has Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor in the game. After completing his first pass, Taylor throws an interception.
Teddy Bridgewater and team Irvin take over possession of the ball but have a big loss after Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman takes a reverse for a big loss. Team Irvin must punt the ball.
On the first play for Team Rice, Taylor throws an interception and team Irvin regains possession of the ball.
Tampa Bay Bucaneers quarterback Jameis Winston comes into the game as quarterback for team Irvin. Winston needs only three plays before he connects in the end zone for a touchdown. The extra point is good and the score extends to 42-21.
Team Rice and Tyrod Taylor takes over the ball and run six plays before the quarter runs out.
Team Irvin takes over the ball for the fourth quarter with James Winston in at quarterback. Eleven plays, a challenge flag, and two penalty flags later, Winston again leads the team into the end zone for a touchdown. Team Irvin now leads 49-27.
Michael Irvin said that he told his team that the younger players were writing history and to write it well. Team Rice needs only four plays before they score a touchdown. The team chose to go for two points but the ball was intercepted in the end zone and did not count. Team Irvin continues to lead the game 49-27.
After a run play team Irvin fumbled the ball and team Rice took over the ball; but Tyrod Taylor has the ball intercepted on the very next play.
Team Irvin takes possession of the ball and after making a series of plays, team Irvin attempts a trick pass play that goes incomplete. The run for a touchdown didn’t count and team Irvin takes a knee as time runs out.
Team Irvin wins the game 49-27.
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