NFL news: Team Rice wins Pro Bowl, Patrick Willis has hand surgery and more

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Team Rice bested Team Sanders in the 2014 Pro Bowl, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis had hand surgery and more you might have missed from Sunday in the NFL.

Team Rice got the better of Team Sanders in the 2014 Pro Bowl on Sunday, in a 22-21 win. Alex Smith orchestrated a come-from-behind drive in the final minutes, capping it with a 20-yard touchdown pass to running back DeMarco Murray. Rather than tie the game with 41 seconds to go, Team Rice went for the two-point conversion, sending fullback Mike Tolbert tumbling into the end zone to seal the victory. Nick Foles and Derrick Johnson were named MVPs.

Here's what else you might have missed from Sunday in the NFL:

Willis has hand surgery

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis had surgery on his left thumb following the team's loss to the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship. Willis declined an invitation to Sunday's Pro Bowl and this is likely the reason. He's been seen with a cast on the hand, and it's significant given that he's had multiple hand injuries in the past. However, this one is considered minor and he should be fine relatively quickly.

Miami inks new GM

The Miami Dolphins hired Dennis Hickey to be their new general manager. Hickey has spent nearly two decades with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and was the director of player personnel when the team made this hire. Miami had reportedly settled on other candidates in the search, and Hickey's name wasn't even mentioned until late in the process. It sounds like he was a late addition that wowed in his interview.

Stafford has to improve, says GM

Detroit Lions general manager Martin Mayhew said that quarterback Matthew Stafford has to improve for the team going forward. Specifically, Mayhew said that there "certainly has to be some work done." Stafford can throw the football with the best of them, and throws about as much as any quarterback in the league, but he's struggled over the past two seasons. Those struggles are inexcusable to the Lions, given that Stafford has wide receiver Calvin Johnson, the best wideout in the league on hand.

Wallace wants deep ball to improve

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace says that the team needs to "get the deep ball going." He said he "should have had 15 or 20 more touchdowns. And that's being modest." Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is not great with the deep ball, but then again, Wallace struggled this season and complained an awful lot when he wasn't getting the football. It's not exactly a harmonious relationship, but the two will work on it this offseason, as they're both under contract moving forward.

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