For football fans, the week preceding the super bowl is the worst. The various media outlets are trying to force narratives, like how this week’s weather will effect next week’s game—here’s a hint, it probably won’t. Or the fact that the Seahawks’ Richard Sherman is still apologizing for his post-game interview. Or it could just be as simple as the potential for one of the best Super Bowls of all time.
But no worries, the NFL is serving an underwhelming appetizer - the Pro Bowl.
Yes, the Pro Bowl, where the NFL’s best - except for the players that have declined to go, are injured or those who are in next week’s super bowl - take a trip to Hawaii and play a meaningless game.
The Pro Bowl is not known for producing a captivating game. The game is watered down with a lack of defense.
However, this year is supposed to be different. In an effort to make the game better, this year’s Pro Bowl is fantasy football style with un-conferenced team.
The NFL chose former superstars Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice to pick the teams. Will this year’s game be any better than previous games? Probably not but let’s compare offenses.
Team Rice: Drew Brees, Phillip Rivers and Alex Smith
Team Sanders: Andrew Luck, Cam Newton and Nick Foles
Edge: Team Rice. Two of Team Rice’s quarterbacks, Drew Brees and Phillip Rivers, rank in the top five in passing touchdowns and top ten in passing yards. While Team Sanders’ Nick Foles is the only quarterback on the squad in the top ten in passing touchdowns. Team Sanders doesn’t have a quarterback in the top ten in passing yards.
Team Rice: LeSean McCoy, DeMarco Murray and Matt Forte
Team Sanders: Jamaal Charles, Eddie Lacy and Alfred Morris
Edge: Slight edge Team Rice. While McCoy and Forte led the league in rushing yards, Charles and Morris follow in third and fourth, respectively. However, Team Sanders’ running backs scored a combined 30 TDs, three more than Team Rice. The deciding factor was fumbles - Team Sanders out-fumbled Team Rice 10-5.
Team Rice: Larry Fitzgerald, Josh Gordon, Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall
Team Sanders: Antonio Brown, Dez Bryant, AJ Green and Desean Jackson
Edge: None. Both of these teams are equal at the wide receiver spot. Team Sanders’ receivers scored one more combined touchdown than Team Rice’s receivers, 41-40. Seven of the eight Pro Bowl receivers accumulated over a thousand yards receiving, Larry Fitzgerald was the only receiver without a thousand receiving yards.
Team Rice: Jimmy Graham and Tony Gonzalez
Team Sanders: Jordan Cameron and Jason Witten
Edge: Team Rice. Jimmy Graham alone scored sixteen touchdowns, Jordan Cameron and Jason Witten combined to score fifteen TDs this past season. Tony Gonzalez adds an additional eight touchdowns to Team Rice.
Pick: Team Rice 56 Team Sanders 52