Dodgeball: NFC takes down the AFC! NFC 5, AFC 2
After the first three minutes, it turned into a true underdog story: T.Y. Hilton for the AFC vs. five players for the NFC.
Ezekiel Elliott threw a fastball right down the middle, and Hilton almost made an amazing catch, but dropped it, and Zeke celebrated in style:
Despite Hilton’s valiant effort, the NFC won the event everyone was waiting for — and the first-ever Pro Bowl Skills Showdown.
Precision Passing: Philip Rivers takes the crown! NFC 2, AFC 2
Quarterbacks competed to see who could hit moving targets from different distances on the field.
Andy Dalton started slow but finished strong with 16 points. Dak Prescott, the most accurate rookie passer in NFL history, totaled 11 points and didn’t seem to realize he couldn’t hit the same target twice.
Philip Rivers, who was the final injury replacement in the Pro Bowl, took the lead with 20 points. Drew Brees was last but his final attempt to win fell just short and he finished with 16 points.
Final order: Philip Rivers, Drew Brees and Andy Dalton, Dak Prescott
Drone Drop: Odell Beckham Jr. comes out on top! NFC 2, AFC 1
From different heights, a drone drops footballs for players to catch.
It was a tough event for cornerbacks. Patrick Peterson was the first eliminated after he couldn’t snag balls dropped 125 feet. He was soon followed by Chris Harris.
Once again, it came down to Jarvis Landry vs. Odell Beckham Jr. Catching football from a drone ain’t no thang to OBJ, who made one of his spectacular catches.
Final order: Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Chris Harris, Patrick Peterson
Power relay: NFC takes the event after controversy! AFC 1, NFC 1
Four players on each team competed in four different events. The AFC was up first. Von Miller pulled up a 250-pound wall 7 feet overhand, then met Geno Atkins to push a sled 10 yards. Joe Thomas joined them to pulled a 700-pound sled 15 yards, and Jay Ajayi’s dash — er SMASH, finished it out. He ran a 40-yard dash and barreled through a styrofoam wall at the end.
Then we got controversy in the NFC! There was on obstruction on the track and the NFC team couldn’t push the sled. VP of officiating Dean Blandino, who said there was something wrong with the equipment, gave them a do-over.
On the second attempt, the NFC got the sled figured out and Ezekiel Elliott’s 40-yard
dash smash gave them the win with a time of 00:28.7.
Best Hands: Jarvis Landry wins! AFC leads, 1-0
Mike Evans was up first, and it took him 01:10.7 to haul in every pass, including one-handed, two hands, and sideline catches, from Kirk Cousins.
T.Y. Hilton struggled a bit with the one-handed grabs and couldn’t beat out Evans Teaming up with Alex Smith, Hilton put up a time of 01:17.4 in the event.
Odell Beckham Jr. blew the earlier times away with a 00:52.8. Surprise, OBJ is a master at one-handed catches!
BUT, Jarvis Landry was up last, and he beat out his former LSU teammate by two-tenths of a second with a stellar time of 00:52.6. Beckham tackled Landry afterward, but it was all in good fun.
Final order: Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham Jr., Mike Evans, T.Y. Hilton
All about the Pro Bowl Skills Showdown
The best part of the 2017 Pro Bowl might not be the game itself. It could come Thursday night when some of the league’s brightest stars put their dodgeball talents to the test.
A dodgeball exhibition is one of the five events in Saturday’s Pro Bowl Skills Challenge, pitting AFC vs. NFC. The NFL’s best players will take turns whipping rubber at each other and hoping ballhawks like Odell Beckham Jr. and A.J. Green aren’t nearby to make more dazzling catches.
While the hottest playground game of 2004 is the headliner of the least essential all-star weekend out of the major sports leagues, it won’t be the only competition to preface the Pro Bowl. Quarterbacks like Dak Prescott and Alex Smith will have the chance to test their accuracy in the Precision Passing challenge. Each conference will nominate a pair of players to show off their accuracy while trying to hit targets of varying distances that are moving at various speeds. If one of the challenges is “ignoring a wide open Tyreek Hill,” then Smith should be a lock to win the title.
The Best Hands competition is another quarterback-focused event. They’ll pair up with wide receivers from their conference to complete as many passes as possible in a specific time frame. The two events will be a throwback to the Quarterback Club of years past, and a vivid reminder of how diverse the NFLPA’s video games were once upon a time.
A new challenge will show how the league’s best performers do against gravity and robots. The Drone Drop will see tiny quadcopters lift footballs to dizzying heights before dropping them to waiting receivers. Should Skynet remain in stasis, this has the potential to be one of the day’s most entertaining events.
Finally, the Power Relay challenge will pit some of the league’s fastest players against each other. With burners like Ezekiel Elliott, T.Y. Hilton, and Joe Thomas on the rosters, we could see some impressive times — or epic fat guy races. Either way, it’ll add some extra intrigue to an increasingly stale all-star week.
Ten players slated from each conference will take the field to showcase their skills. Here’s the AFC side, courtesy of speedster Thomas:
The NFC will throw Zeke, Dak, Odell, Patrick Peterson, Mike Evans, Drew Brees, Kirk Cousins, Jason Kelce, Gerald McCoy, and Thomas Davis into the mix.