Sun Feb 5 6:50pm ET
By MARK ANDERSON
AP Sports Writer
NFC fullback Kyle Juszczyk of the San Francisco 49ers makes a catch as AFC middle linebacker Roquan Smith (18) of the Baltimore Ravens defends during the flag football event at the NFL Pro Bowl, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
NFC wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (88) of the Dallas Cowboys, celebrates a touchdown with teammates during the flag football event at the NFL Pro Bowl against the AFC, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
NFC tight end George Kittle (85) of the San Francisco 49ers scores a touchdown during the flag football event at the NFL Pro Bowl against the AFC, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
NFC tight end George Kittle (85) of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates a touchdown with NFC wide receiver Justin Jefferson of the Minnesota Vikings during the flag football event at the NFL Pro Bowl against the AFC, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
AFC wide receiver Davante Adams (17) of the Las Vegas Raiders runs with the ball as NFC strong safety Budda Baker (3) of the Arizona Cardinals and NFC middle linebacker Fred Warner (54) of the San Francisco 49ers defend during the flag football event at the NFL Pro Bowl, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
NFC quarterback Geno Smith of the Seattle Seahawks throws a pass during the flag football event at the NFL Pro Bowl against the AFC, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
AFC tight end Mark Andrews (89) of the Baltimore Ravens makes a touchdown catch in the end zone during the flag football event at the NFL Pro Bowl against the NFC, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
NFC tight end T.J. Hockenson (87) of the Minnesota Vikings reacts with teammates after scoring a touchdown during the flag football event at the NFL Pro Bowl against the AFC, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
AFC defensive tackle Cameron Heyward of the Pittsburgh Steelers carries AFC wide receiver Tyreek Hill of the Miami Dolphins during the flag football event at the NFL Pro Bowl against the NFC, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
AFC middle linebacker C.J. Mosley of the New York Jets, left, grabs a flag off NFC return specialist KaVontae Turpin (9) of the Dallas Cowboys during the flag football event at the NFL Pro Bowl, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
NFC return specialist KaVontae Turpin of the Dallas Cowboys is stopped by AFC middle linebacker C.J. Mosley of the New York Jets during the flag football event at the NFL Pro Bowl, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
NFC quarterback Geno Smith (7) of the Seattle Seahawks reacts alongside NFC return specialist KaVontae Turpin (9) of the Dallas Cowboys during the flag football event at the NFL Pro Bowl, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
AFC coach Peyton Manning, left, talks with NFC coach Eli Manning during the flag football event at the NFL Pro Bowl, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
AFC wide receiver Davante Adams of the Las Vegas Raiders, center, pitches the ball back to AFC wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) of the Miami Dolphins as NFC cornerback Jalen Ramsey of the Los Angles Rams defends during the flag football event at the NFL Pro Bowl, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
NFC defensive end Brian Burns (53) of the Carolina Panthers competes in the gridiron gauntlet event at the NFL Pro Bowl, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
NFC cornerback Trevon Diggs of the Dallas Cowboys, right, runs with the ball after intercepting a pass off his brother, AFC wide receiver Stefon Diggs of the Buffalo Bills, left, during the flag football event at the NFL Pro Bowl, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
NFC outside linebacker Za'Darius Smith (55) of the Minnesota Vikings reacts during the flag football event at the NFL Pro Bowl against the AFC, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)
NFC wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown (14) of the Detroit Lions makes a catch during the best catch event at the NFL Pro Bowl, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
AFC wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) of the Miami Dolphins makes a catch during the flag football event against the NFC at the NFL Pro Bowl, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
AFC tight end Mark Andrews (89) of the Baltimore Ravens, left, celebrates a touchdown with teammate AFC quarterback Tyler Huntley (2) of the Baltimore Ravens during the flag football event at the NFL Pro Bowl, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
LAS VEGAS (AP) Kirk Cousins threw three touchdowns passes Sunday to rally the NFC to a 35-33 victory over the AFC in the Pro Bowl Games and end that conference's five-game losing streak.
Cousins completed 15 of 19 passes for 150 yards in the third and final flag football game of the NFL's reformatted all-star game, which gave the NFC the victory. His AFC counterpart, Derek Carr, was 6 of 12 for 104 yards, two TDs and an interception.
Based on the earlier flag games and skills competitions, the AFC took a 21-15 lead into the final flag game.
The Pro Bowl changed its format this season, eliminating the traditional game and replacing it with three flag football games played on a 50-yard field and a series of skills competitions.
Each of the first two flag games were worth six points and each skills event was three. The total points were accumulated to form the score entering the third and final flag game.
Part of the reason for the change is that tackling became nearly non-existent in recent years because players were concerned about injuries. The Cleveland Browns, however, announced defensive end Myles Garrett dislocated a toe Sunday, but X-rays were negative.
The announced crowd of 58,331 was more than 2,000 more than last year, also played at Allegiant Stadium. No site has been announced for next year's Pro Bowl, but it's unlikely the NFL will want that event to be played in the same venue just before the Super Bowl, which will be in Las Vegas.
The AFC, based on Thursday's four skills competitions, took a 9-3 lead into Sunday.
Then the NFC tied it by winning the first flag game 33-27. Facing fourth-and-7, Seattle's Geno Smith completed a pass to Dallas' CeeDee Lamb, who eluded Chargers safety Derwin James with a spin move at the 9-yard line and then ran into the end zone for a 32-yard touchdown with a second left.
Smith completed 14 of 16 passes for 239 yards and five touchdowns. The AFC's Tyler Huntley was 15 of 20 for 192 yards and four TDs.
A kicking contest that was taped Thursday went to the AFC, and the NFC won the gridiron gauntlet obstacle-course race Sunday to make the score 12-12 entering the second flag game.
The AFC earned six more points in that game for an 18-12 lead. Jacksonville's Trevor Lawrence converted a fourth-and-20 with a 45-yard touchdown pass to Buffalo's Stefon Diggs with 2 minutes left to win 18-13. Diggs ran out of the end zone to where photographers were gathered. He grabbed one of the cameras and took photos of his AFC teammates as they posed.
Lawrence was 6 of 11 for 83 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. NFC quarterback Jared Goff completed 5 of 12 passes for 44 yards, a TD and an interception.
Both conferences split the following two skills competitions, with the AFC winning the strength contest and the NFC taking the finals of the best catch, making the overall score 21-15.
Interview with TFC Winner
According to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, the Jets have no plans on trading quarterback Zach Wilson. The 23-year-old was taken No. 2 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft and has appeared in 22 games for the club. Throughout his tenure in New York, Wilson has struggled, amassing 4,022 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 18 interceptions while completing only 55.2% of his throws. However, the Jets believe Wilson can be a quality signal-caller, although the team still intends to acquire a veteran quarterback with the hope he'll develop along the way.
Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (toe) suffered a dislocated toe during the Pro Bowl Games on Sunday. The 27-year-old had a terrific season, finishing with a career-high 60 total tackles and 16 sacks. Fortunately, the 2023-24 campaign is a ways away, so Garrett should be good to go barring a significant setback.
San Francisco 49ers impending free-agent S Jimmie Ward is likely a player that the 49ers will want to re-sign this offseason, but he may be too expensive for the team to bring back, in the opinion of NinersWire's Nicholas McGee.
Cleveland Browns DE Myles Garrett (toe) is believed to have suffered a dislocated toe during the Pro Bowl Sunday, Feb. 5, according to a source. X-rays on the toe were negative.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Leonard Fournette is a candidate to be released this offseason because the team would save around $3.5 million in salary cap space if they move on from Fournette.
Fantasy Spin: Fournette posted 1,191 total yards this past season, but the team may want to go with Rachaad White as their main back moving forward. Fournette should be part of a committee for a team next season but probably will not be a weekly fantasy option.
New England Patriots S Devin McCourty (shoulder) underwent shoulder surgery after the season, according to sources.
Detroit Lions safety Tracy Walker (Achilles) said on his personal Twitter account that he will be ready to take part in organized team activities this offseason. Walker tore his Achilles in September and missed the rest of the 2022 season. The 28-year-old might be being a little optimistic about taking part in organized team activities, but it's a good sign that his rehab is going well. We'll have to monitor how much Walker does this offseason and through training camp this summer, but it sounds like he will at least have a realistic chance to be ready for the start of the 2023 campaign, which would be a big boost to Detroit's secondary. Walker played in only three games in 2022 before tearing his Achilles.
Former Washington Commanders offensive coordinator Scott Turner is joining Las Vegas Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels' coaching staff with an elevated passing-game role, according to sources. The 40-year-old was the Commanders' offensive coordinator for the last three years before he was fired on Jan. 10. Washington's offense ranked 20th in total offense, 21st in passing offense and 24th in scoring in 2022. Turner was a backup quarterback at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas in 2003 and 2004 and still has a Vegas area code for his phone number. He's the son of long-time former NFL offensive coordinator and head coach Norv Turner. The biggest question for the Raiders heading into next season will be the QB position.
The Denver Broncos have requested permission to speak with Pittsburgh Steelers assistant head coach/linebackers coach Brian Flores and Seattle Seahawks secondary coach Sean Desai for their vacant defensive coordinator position. With former defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero not returning in 2023, the Broncos need to fill the role. Desai has withdrawn from consideration for the Minnesota Vikings' defensive coordinator job after interviewing last week. Flores came up as a defensive coordinator in the NFL and also has experience as a head coach with the Miami Dolphins for several seasons. The Broncos defense already has a pretty solid foundation in place after the 2022 season despite losing key pass-rushers Von Miller and Bradley Chubb in recent seasons.
The Dallas Cowboys have hired Brian Schottenheimer as their offensive coordinator, according to Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News. The team needed to fill the vacancy after firing Kellen Moore. Schottenheimer most recently served as a Cowboys consultant in 2022 but does have experience as an offensive coordinator, filling that same role for the Seahawks from 2018 to 2020. Interestingly, although Schottenheimer will be in charge of the offense, head coach Mike McCarthy intends to call plays next season.
Las Vegas Raiders impending free agent running back Josh Jacobs "wants to be back but won't settle," according to Tashan Reed of The Athletic. There is mutual interest in keeping Jacobs in Las Vegas long-term, but the reigning rushing champion won't come cheap. Jacobs timed everything just right, compiling impressive stats in a contract year. The 24-year-old ultimately finished 2022 with 1,653 rushing yards, 400 receiving yards, and 12 touchdowns, all of which are career-highs. Jacobs' outlook for next season is contingent on where he signs, but if he does return to Vegas, we can consider him a strong RB1 option heading into fantasy football drafts.
Cincinnati Bengals CB Chidobe Awuzie (knee) said he is not sure about when he will be able to return from his torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Minnesota Vikings LB Za'Darius Smith is a candidate to be released this offseason because the team would save more than $12 million in salary cap space if they cut Smith.
Miami Dolphins TE Mike Gesicki is not expected to re-sign with the team in 2023, the Miami Herald's Daniel Oyefusi wrote on Friday, Feb. 3.
Fantasy Spin: No surprise here, as Gesicki was badly underutilized in Miami's offense, which asks its tight ends to block a lot, something that isn't exactly his strong suit. However, the veteran tight end is one of the better receiving threats at his position in the NFL when used properly and could return to TE1 status in 2023 if he finds the right situation. He's a definite hold in dynasty formats, as his value is pretty low at the moment.
University of Texas running back Bijan Robinson is widely considered to be the best prospect at his position in the 2023 NFL Draft class. Although a running back has not been selected higher than pick 24 since Saquon Barkley in 2018, ESPN's Mel Kiper stated that he believes Robinson will be drafted in the first round. Kiper went on to describe Robinson as "top-10 caliber" in this year's draft. The 21-year-old possesses an elite three-down skillset, posting 3,410 rushing yards, 60 receptions, 805 receiving yards, and 41 total touchdowns in his three collegiate seasons. Robinson figures to make an immediate impact on any team willing to spend up to get him on April 27th.
Dynasty | Zach Wilson will likely remain with the Jets organization in hopes that he can develop in a backup role Dynasty Analysis: The article plainly points out that the Jets have exactly two choices: 1) Release him or, 2) Keep him; Wilson has no trade value. With a very palatable $3.8M expense for 2023, there's little reason for the team to move on and Wilson, for his part, appears determine to get better. There's a big difference between NFL reality and fantasy reality. A veteran backup would also exceed the cost of Wilson. He's been so bad under-center and without blue skies on the horizon, he's a difficult hold in dynasty. Amazingly, Wilson still possesses a QB25 ranking but is in steep decline and he'll likely fall as the quarterback situation in New York becomes more clear. At this juncture, Zach Wilson is a fading dynasty asset and, arguably, may only be a roster candidate in deeper dynasty leagues.
The Las Vegas Raiders have granted QB Derek Carr permission to speak with NFL teams that have already agreed to compensation that the Raiders are looking for in a potential trade for the quarterback, according to multiple sources.
Fantasy Spin: Earlier this week, Carr said he does not plan to extend the Feb. 15 trigger date on his contract, when he would automatically become eligible to receive more than $40 million in guaranteed money. If a trade is not agreed upon by then, there is a good chance that he could be released. Carr should be able to find a starting job next season regardless of where he lands and can be viewed as a No. 2 quarterback option for 2023 fantasy leagues.
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith is fresh off a career-best season and is now in pursuit of a long-term contract as a pending free agent. It has been reported for a few weeks that the Seahawks are expected to bring the 32-year-old back, and the two sides have begun negotiations since falling to the San Francisco 49ers in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. "It's looking very good," Smith said of his contract discussions with Seattle on Pro Bowl Live on SiriusXM NFL Radio. Smith also stated that he has a great relationship with the organization and loves the city. Assuming talks continue trending in a positive direction, a deal is likely to get done before March 15th, when free agency officially begins.
San Francisco 49ers impending free-agent PK Robbie Gould said he has no plans to retire because he has some career goals he wants to achieve.
Seattle Seahawks impending free-agent QB Geno Smith said he has started contract talks with the Seahawks and is happy with the progress the two sides are making.
Fantasy Spin: It seems likely that Smith will be the starting quarterback for the Seahawks next season. He posted very good numbers this past season but may only be a low-end No. 1 quarterback or high-end No. 2 quarterback in fantasy leagues in 2023.