The 2011 Pro Bowl made it’s return to the fan, and player, favorite Honolulu, Hawaii after a brief hiatus last season from the island when the NFL decided to hold the event stateside in Miami, Florida.
If the NFC squads performance over the AFC squad is any indication of who how Super Bowl XLV will turn out then the Steelers are in serious trouble.
After an error fiilled first hald, courtesy of the AFC quarterbacks, the NFC squad led 42 – 7 in what was shaping up to be a blowout of epic proportions.
The second half saw the AFC come roaring back outscoring the NFC squad 35-13, but the lead was too much to overcome and with a score of 55-42 the NFC came out the superior team.
Overall the AFC quarterbacks finished with five interceptions, as Matt Cassel and Phillip Rivers ,were each picked off twice. Payton Manning also struggled throwing one interception while failing to guide the offense to any points.
The only quarterback finishing with decent numbers was Atlanta Falcon Matt Ryan who connected on nine of thirteen passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns.
Ryan may have been in line for MVP consideration if not for the performance of Washington Redskins corner back DeAngelo Hall.
Hall had six tackles, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, one interception and a touchdown which of course was enough to secure him as the games MVP.
On the ground the most productive running backs were Adrian Peterson and Jammal Charles, who each finished with over 70 yards rushing and one touchdown. Reggie Wayne was the leading receiver with 86 yards and one touchdown.
As good as the NFC defense played throughout the game, forcing seven total turnovers and scoring three defensive touchdowns, Saints strong safety Roman Harper continued his struggles in pass coverage as a pro bowl alternate.
Harper is coming of perhaps the worst game of his pro career just a few weeks ago when he was beat for three touchdowns during the Saints wild card play-off game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Immediately afterwards fans began to question rather the Saints should trade or cut Harper given the disastrous game and placed the blame for the loss to Seattle squarely on his shoulders.
Unfortunately Harper did not make the case that his game against Seattle was a fluke. In the closing moments of tonight’s Pro Bowl game Harper was beaten by Cleveland Brown center Alex Mack for a touchdown.
Mack was the recipient of a lateral pass from an AFC team mate, who was pushing for a last minute score, around the twenty yard line. During his dash for the end zone Harper had a line on Mack but harmlessly bounced of him as he strolled into the end zone.
Now fans will surely ask the question if Harper can’t stop a center from scoring then how will he ever be able to cover tight ends or receivers?
(Roman Harper is one of the best strong safeties in the league and the above is meant to poke fun at fans over reaction to his performance against the Seattle Seahawks. While it can’t be denied he did have a poor game it’s only one game among many. Compare this one terrible game to years of great games where he has made many big plays for the Saints and it all comes into perspective, cut the guy some slack Who Dat nation.)