The Pro Bowl Swap Tackles Chess, But One Player Strike

LAS VEGAS — This is a whole new thing.

The Pro Bowl has moved in recent years from Hawaii to Orlando to Nevada, but the biggest change came on Sunday, when the NFL tried a new format of chess football as part of its “Pro Bowl Game” festivities. renamed at Allegiant Stadium.

The apathetic nature of what is considered tackle football in recent years and the desire to minimize the risk of injury have led to chess football, but the results have been warmly received by the players involved. This is a small circus, but again, so is Vegas, right?

“You’ve got the best of the best here and it’s nice to see everyone competing,” said Eagle midfielder Geno Smithwho thrived in the new form, going 14-16 for 239 yards and five touchdowns in the first and best of three 20-minute games — 33-27 win for NFC after touchdown from Smith to Cowboys receiver CeeDee Lamb 12 seconds left.

The game features celebrity trainers Eli and Peyton Manning, a random Vegas destination with the Blue Man Team wandering between games, and Hollywood guests on the sidelines in Snoop Dogg and the former star.” Saturday Night Live” Pete Davidson, who said the last NFL game he attended was one of patriot‘ The Super Bowl wins.

“So Snoop Dogg called me a week and a half ago and he said ‘Hey, grandson, do you want to coach the NFL Pro Bowl with me?'” New York Giants T-shirt. “I thought it was the code for, let’s smoke or something, and here I am. This is amazing. I’ve had the best time of my life.”

There was another Snoop in attendance — Ravens backup midfielder Tyler Huntleyan unlikely Pro Bowl pick to say that at least when he had a total of two touchdown passes all year but was called in with Josh Allen, lamar Jackson, Justin Herbert And Tua Tagovailoa are all injured Patrick Mahomes busy preparing for a Super Bowl and Joe Burrow also did not participate.

Huntley played well, dribbling 15 to 19 for 192 yards and four touchdowns without interception – in the remaining two games, the three AFC midfielders combined for 187 yards and four points with three picks. Vikings midfielder Kirk’s cousin threw three touchdowns in the final match to win for NFC (and coach Eli) over AFC.

“What I like most is that we don’t have to wear shoulder pads and helmets and tackle people,” says packer corner Jaire Alexanderwho blocked one Trevor Lawrence pass and return it for one touch down. “It’s my first pick of six. It’s going to be my first. Some of us are off season two, three weeks and more, so we don’t want to come out here and deal with it. again. And then some people try, some people don’t. I don’t mind tackling, but people aren’t on board.”

Teams only had one full practice session, while Thursday’s skill competition received mixed reviews from players. assault run again Josh Jacobs‘ The “that’s stupid” comment went viral on Saturday, but he gave him a higher rating of Sunday’s event.

“I don’t like all the other stuff, with a lot of sitting around events that fans don’t get to see, but today was great,” Jacobs said. “I think it’s more competitive with chess – at least you get people to try a little harder. I think it’s going to be stable.”

The NFL has a sophisticated scoring system for awarding points to wins in rugby and other competitions, from the “Kick, Hit, Finger” competition to long-range kicks and shots over the top. a giant board game and “iron gauntlet” contests with liners pushing sleds over obstacles.

And while this is chess football, there is still a bit of physicality – in a touchdown play, the Raiders receiver Davante Adams Flip the ball at the goal line dolphin receiver Tireek Hillwho scored but not before being assisted by Rams corner Jalen Ramsey, who accidentally put his arm around his shoulder when he tried to pull the flag of Adams. Hill also had a cameo in defense and blocked a Cousins ​​pass.

In a light preview of what next week will bring you guys travis And Jason Kelce faced to chief And eagle IN LVII Super CupSunday’s match sees Cowboys . corner Trevon peach intercepting a trick pass from his brother, Bill receiver Peach Stefon.

Sunday is a quiet day for offensive and defensive players, but even if they do have issues between games, and complete lack of body contact is a welcome change. welcome to players who in many cases have been left out of their last meaningful blows for weeks.

“I think it’s great,” said thief handle Tristan Wirfsexcited to change jerseys with 49ers handle Trent Williams after the game. “I can’t imagine stopping Dexter Lawrence Today. I think they did their best to entertain us, and give us something to do.”

And while the hope is that the chess-football aspect will limit the risk of injury, brown passer Myles Garrett dislocated his toe during the match, although it is unclear how the injury occurred immediately.

How does the new format register with fans? In a Twitter poll, only 23% said they liked the new format, 40% disliked it, and another 37% chose “indifferent”. The game impressed fans in Las Vegas, drawing a announced audience of 58,331, up slightly from last year’s 56,206 for traditional football in the first year of the Pro Bowl. in Las Vegas.

The competitive spirit is flowing among the players, as those on the winning team receive $84,000 while the losing participants take home $42,000 each.

“It’s been an explosion to meet all these fans and be able to play with some of the greatest players in the league,” said tight-finished Vikings. TJ Hockenson, who had the longest game of the day with a touchdown at 45 yards. “It’s unbelievable. We’ve been chasing it for a bit, especially at the end when you have some money on the line.”

Greg Auman is the NFC South correspondent for FOX Sports, covering the Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers and Saints. He’s in his 10th season joining full-time for the Bucs and NFL, having spent time with the Tampa Bay Times and The Athletic. You can follow him on Twitter at @gregauman.

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