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Kobe Bryant remembered as AFC beats NFC again in Pro Bowl

Sun Jan 26 5:46pm ET
By MARK LONG
AP Sports Writer

Players: Drew Brees, Ryan Tannehill, Russell Wilson, Kirk Cousins, Ezekiel Elliott, D.J. Chark, Deshaun Watson, Courtland Sutton, Lamar Jackson

AFC defensive end Calais Campbell, of the Jacksonville Jaguars, (93) sacks NFC quarterback Kirk Cousins, of the Minnesota Vikings, and fumbles the ball, during the second half of the NFL Pro Bowl football game, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)


NFC quarterback Kirk Cousins, of the Minnesota Vikings, congratulates NFC wide receiver Davante Adams, of the Green Bay Packers, after Adams scored a touchdown, during the second half of the NFL Pro Bowl football game against the AFC, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O?Meara)


NFC defensive end Fletcher Cox, of the Philadelphia Eagles, runs for a touchdown, after an interception by strong safety Harrison Smith, of the Minnesota Vikings, (22), during the second half of the NFL Pro Bowl football game against the AFC, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. To the right is defensive end Everson Griffen, of the Minnesota Vikings (97). (AP Photo/John Raoux)


NFC quarterback Russell Wilson, of the Seattle Seahawks, (3) looks to pass, during the first half of the NFL Pro Bowl football game against the AFC, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)


AFC wide receiver Courtland Sutton, of the Denver Broncos, (14) scores a touchdown ahead of NFC linebacker Shaquil Barrett, of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, (58), during the first half of the NFL Pro Bowl football game, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)


AFC wide receiver Courtland Sutton, of the Denver Broncos, (14) attempts to hold onto a pass as NFC cornerback Darius Slay, of the Detroit Lions, (23) defends, during the first half of the NFL Pro Bowl football game, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)


AFC tight end Mark Andrews, of the Baltimore Ravens, (89) scores a touchdown, during the first half of the NFL Pro Bowl football game against the NFC, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)


AFC quarterback Lamar Jackson, of the Baltimore Ravens, (8) looks to pass, during the first half of the NFL Pro Bowl football game against the NFC, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)


ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) The Pro Bowl turned into a Kobe Bryant tribute.

Green Bay's Za'Darius Smith, Tampa Bay's Shaq Barrett and Detroit's Darius Slay got together following a second-quarter sack and faked fadeaway jumpers in an homage to Bryant. Smith and several NFC teammates did it again following a fumble early in the third.

Green Bay receiver Davonte Adams pointed to the sky and flashed the No. 24 on his fingers as an ode to Bryant's jersey after a touchdown catch in the third.

Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson led a prayer with teammates before the game in the locker room.

The NFL's annual all-star game also held a moment of silence for Bryant at the 2-minute warning in the first half, showing the retired NBA star's picture on the scoreboards while announcing his death at age 41.

Several players removed their helmets during the break. Others took a knee and seemed to pray. Fans broke the silence by chanting ''Ko-be! Ko-be!''

Players checked cellphones for updates before and during the game, all of them looking for information and answers.

Bryant died in a helicopter crash early Sunday near Calabasas, California, and the news put a damper on the NFL event held on the other side of the country.

The AFC ended up beating the NFC 38-33 for a fourth consecutive victory in Orlando. The latest one might have been the last near Walt Disney World. The NFL is considering moving the game around, with new, multi-billion-dollar stadiums in Las Vegas and Los Angeles being viable options.

The play of the day was Pittsburgh linebacker T.J. Watt's 82-yard fumble return in the fourth. Jacksonville defensive lineman Calais Campbell beat Dallas' Travis Frederick and sacked Kirk Cousins on a fourth-and-goal play from the 9. Campbell stripped the ball, which Watt scooped up and went untouched the other way to put the AFC ahead 38-27.

The NFC had a chance to rally late and tried to take advantage of a new rule that allows the scoring team to retain possession by facing a fourth-and-15 play from its own 25-yard line. Cousins threw a deep ball that Baltimore safety Earl Thomas intercepted.

Campbell was named the AFC's defensive player of the game. Baltimore's Lamar Jackson was the offensive MVP.

AFC players earned $70,000 for winning the game. NFC players got $35,000 each.

Jackson threw for 185 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw an interception. Houston's Deshaun Watson threw for 148 yards, with a touchdown and a pick.

Tennessee's Ryan Tannehill hooked up with Jacksonville's DJ Chark for a 60-yard score in which officials opted not to rule him down after two defenders touched him.

Wilson gave his NFC starting spot to New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees, who is contemplating retirement. Brees said this week he will take some time before deciding on his future.

Cousins, Brees and Wilson threw TD passes for the NFC, which also allowed Ezekiel Elliott and Adams to attempt throws. Elliott's was picked off. Adams added two TD receptions.

The NFC's top highlight was Philadelphia defensive tackle Fletcher Cox rumbling 61 yards for a score. Minnesota's Harrison Smith intercepted a pass from Watson at the 3-yard line and returned it to the 39 before lateraling to Cox, who took it the rest of the while.

No one tried to tackle the 310-pound Cox. Denver receiver Courtland Sutton slapped at the ball for the final 20 yards.

Player Notes
Fletcher Cox Jan 26 6:43pm ET

Philadelphia Eagles DT Fletcher Cox was credited with a 61-yard interception return for touchdown at the Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 26.

From TheHuddle

Jack Doyle Jan 26 6:33pm ET

Indianapolis Colts TE Jack Doyle posted three catches for 63 yards and a touchdown on four targets for the AFC at the Pro Bowl Sunday, Jan. 26.

From TheHuddle

T.J. Watt Jan 26 6:33pm ET

Pittsburgh Steelers DE T.J. Watt posted an 82-yard fumble return for touchdown in the fourth quarter for the AFC at the Pro Bowl in Orlando on Sunday, Jan. 26.

From TheHuddle

Mark Andrews Jan 26 6:23pm ET

Baltimore Ravens TE Mark Andrews ended up with a game-high nine receptions for an AFC-best 73 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets at the Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 26.

From TheHuddle

D.J. Chark Jan 26 6:23pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars WR DJ Chark Jr. registered two grabs for 67 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown in the third quarter, for the AFC at the Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 26.

From TheHuddle

Davante Adams Jan 26 6:13pm ET

Green Bay Packers WR Davante Adams ended up with a team-high six receptions for 61 yards and two touchdowns on seven targets for the NFC at the Pro Bowl Sunday, Jan. 26.

From TheHuddle

Amari Cooper Jan 26 6:13pm ET

Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper finished with three grabs for 24 yards and a touchdown on seven targets for the NFC at the Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 26.

From TheHuddle

Kirk Cousins Jan 26 6:03pm ET

Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins completed 13-of-22 passes for 181 yards, two touchdowns and one interception at the Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 26

From TheHuddle

Michael Thomas Jan 26 6:03pm ET

New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas hauled in five receptions for 92 yards and a touchdown with a team-high eight targets at the Pro Bowl Sunday, Jan. 26.

From TheHuddle

Calais Campbell Jan 26 5:53pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars DE Calais Campbell had a solo tackle, a sack and a quarterback hit in the Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 26, winning the Defensive Most Valuable Player award.

From TheHuddle

Lamar Jackson Jan 26 5:53pm ET

Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson completed 16-of-23 passes for 185 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for the AFC in the Pro Bowl, winning Offensive Most Valuable Player. He also ran twice for six yards in the 38-33 win.

From TheHuddle

Darren Fells Jan 26 2:13pm ET

Houston Texans impending free-agent TE Darren Fells is a player the Texans will try to re-sign this offseason, but he probably will receive interest from multiple teams in free agency.

From TheHuddle

A.J. McCarron Jan 26 2:13pm ET

Houston Texans impending free-agent QB AJ McCarron is a candidate to be re-signed this offseason, in the opinion of ESPN.com's Sarah Barshop.

From TheHuddle

C.J. Mosley Jan 26 1:00pm ET

New York Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley (groin), who is six weeks removed from groin/abdominal surgery, said he is jogging "a little bit" and is on track to take part in "spring football." Mosley has also started a vegan diet after playing in just two games last season because of his injury in his first year in New York. The 27-year-old should be ready for a full training camp heading into the 2020 season, and he should give Gang Green a steadying presence in the middle of the field next season. Mosley recorded 100-plus tackles in four of his five seasons in Baltimore before signing with the Jets in free agency last offseason.

From RotoBaller

Eric Berry Jan 26 1:00pm ET

Former Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry, who did not play at all in 2019, plans to play in 2020 after intentionally taking the season off to rest his body and mind. Berry was cut by the Chiefs in 2018 and has only played in three games since 2016 due to injuries and a bout with cancer. The former first-round pick in 2010 has 14 career interceptions and five touchdowns and could provide a team with a veteran presence in the secondary in 2020. However, it remains to be seen if any team will take a chance on the veteran moving forward. Berry is unlikely to be an asset in IDP leagues if he gets picked up by a team.

From RotoBaller

Drew Brees Jan 26 12:50pm ET

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, who will become a free agent in March, said he is still waiting to decide if he will play a 20th season in the NFL. "Then, I'll kind of lay low for a little bit, get away and then assess. I kind of have a process in mind. And I'll give it a month or so," Brees said. If the 41-year-old does decide to return, it'll be for the Saints. General manager Mickey Loomis also said that the team would welcome him back if he decides to keep playing. Brees' arm strength is starting to deteriorate, but he still put up great numbers when he came back from a fractured thumb last season, and he should remain in play as a QB1 if he returns for the 2020 season.

From RotoBaller

Will Fuller Jan 26 12:50pm ET

Houston Texans wide receiver Will Fuller (hernia) underwent sports hernia surgery recently to fix a lingering groin injury that he suffered during the season, according to league sources not authorized to speak publicly. The 25-year-old aggravated the injury in the Divisional loss to the Chiefs. Fuller missed five games with a chronic hamstring injury in 2019, and the Texans were 8-3 with him and 2-3 without him. He has 94 catches for 1,452 yards and 14 touchdowns in just 22 regular season games with quarterback Deshaun Watson, yet Fuller continues to struggle to stay on the field with regularity. Fuller is an excellent deep threat but is a frustrating player to own as a boom-or-bust WR3. He should be fully recovered in time for training camp this summer.

From RotoBaller

Robert Quinn Jan 26 12:33pm ET

Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent DE Robert Quinn likely will not return to the Dallas Cowboys next season, in the opinion of ESPN.com's Todd Archer.

From TheHuddle

C.J. Mosley Jan 26 12:13pm ET

New York Jets LB C.J. Mosley (groin) said he has been able to start jogging and is expected to participate in at least some of the offseason workouts.

From TheHuddle

Drew Brees Jan 26 12:03pm ET

Updating a previous report, New Orleans Saints impending free-agent QB Drew Brees said he plans to 'give it a month or so' before determining if he will return to the team for the 2020 season or retire. He had previously stated that he is not considering playing for any other teams.

Fantasy Spin: Despite turning 41 years old earlier this month and missing several games in 2019 due to a thumb injury, Brees should still be under consideration as a low-end QB1 option in all fantasy formats if he chooses to return to New Orleans for another year.

From TheHuddle