Falcons stars help NFC win Pro Bowl

Posted Jan. 30, 2011 @ 11:08 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

Despite being the NFC's top seed, the Falcons were playoff disappointments, as they were blown out in their lone playoff game to the eventual conference-champion Packers. On Sunday in the Pro Bowl, many Atlanta players took out their frustrations on the AFC squad.

Led by Mike Smith and the rest of the Falcons' coaching staff, the NFC used a dominant first half to earn a 55-41 victory. Matt Ryan threw two TD passes — one to Tony Gonzalez — and Ovie Mughelli rushed for the game's first score as several Falcons played instrumental roles in the win. On defense, Atlanta CB Brent Grimes had one of the NFC's five interceptions.

DeAngelo Hall of the Redskins was named the game's MVP, as he had six tackles, an interception and a 34-yard fumble return for a TD.

The NFC dominated the first half, jumping out to a 42-0 lead in the second quarter. Along with Gonzalez and Mughelli, the team got scores from Vikings RB Adrian Peterson, Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald and Rams RB Steven Jackson, along with the defensive score from Hall. Panthers LB Jon Beason added a 49-yard interception return for a TD in the fourth quarter, while Eagles PK David Akers drilled two field goals.

It took the AFC a long time to finally get on the scoreboard, but once it did, it put up plenty of points. Chiefs RB Jamaal Charles, Colts WR Reggie Wayne and Jaguars TE Marcedes Lewis all had TDs, while Jaguars special-teams ace Montell Owens scored two, one on a fumble recovery, the other on a pass from Matt Cassel.

The final score of the game was the most memorable. With less than 30 seconds left, Cassel found Kansas City teammate Dwayne Bowe over the middle for a long gain. With Bowe almost wrapped up, he lateraled to Browns C Alex Mack, who took the ball the remaining 40 yards to the endzone, even stiff-arming Saints FS Roman Harper at the end.