The league-leading Philadelphia Eagles had a league-high eight players selected for the inaugural Pro Bowl Games, including quarterback Jalen Hurts.
The NFC and AFC rosters were released by the league on Wednesday. Players from both conferences will compete in a week of skills competitions that will culminate in a flag football game on February 5 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. In September, the NFL discontinued its full-contact all-star game.
Both Kansas City and Dallas had seven players selected for the Games. San Francisco and Baltimore follow with six each. Only two teams aren’t represented on the initial rosters: Jacksonville and Chicago.
Hurts is joined by wide receiver A.J. Brown, running back Miles Sanders, right tackle Lane Johnson, centre Jason Kelce, left guard Landon Dickerson, linebacker Haason Reddick, and cornerback Darius Slay from the Eagles (13-1). Hurts, Sanders, Dickerson, and Reddick are all first-year players. Kelce has his sixth, Slay has his fifth, and Johnson has his fourth. As backups, Sanders and Reddick were chosen.
The AFC’s starting quarterback is Patrick Mahomes. His backups are Josh Allen and Joe Burrow. Hurts is backed up by Kirk Cousins and Geno Smith.
Smith is a first-round pick in his tenth NFL season. He is the first quarterback since Rich Gannon (1999) to be named to his first Pro Bowl in his tenth or later season.
Trent Williams of the San Francisco 49ers was selected for the tenth time. Aaron Donald became the first defensive lineman in history to be named to the Pro Bowl in all nine of his seasons. He is the only member of the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams (4-10).
Tyreek Hill of Miami was named to his seventh consecutive Pro Bowl, joining A.J. Green as the only wide receivers to be honoured in each of their first seven seasons.
Twenty-five of the 88 players chosen are rookies, including New York Jets rookie cornerback Sauce Gardner and Seattle Seahawks rookie cornerback Tariq Woolen. It’s the second time in as many years that two rookie cornerbacks have made the Pro Bowl roster. The first occurred in 1982, when Ronnie Lott and Everson Walls were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The starting running back for the NFC is Saquon Barkley. Sanders and Tony Pollard of the Dallas Cowboys are the backups. The AFC’s starting running back is Nick Chubb. Derrick Henry and Josh Jacobs assist him.
Brown and Justin Jefferson are the starting wideouts for the NFC. CeeDee Lamb and Terry McLaurin were also named to the team. Hill and Stefon Diggs are the AFC’s starting receivers.
T.J. Hockenson joined the team after being traded from Detroit to Minnesota in the middle of the season.
Travis Kelce, the AFC’s starting tight end, made the team for the eighth time. Mark Andrews lends his support.
The rosters were chosen by popular vote among fans, players, and coaches.
Each group’s vote counted for one-third of the total in determining the teams. The NFL is the only sports league that selects its all-stars through a combination of fan, coach, and player voting. In 1995, it was also the first professional sports league to provide online all-star voting.
Peyton Manning will lead the AFC, while Eli Manning will lead the NFC. Ray Lewis serves as the AFC’s defensive coordinator. The NFC is represented by DeMarcus Ware.
Vanita Krouch and Diana Flores, both international flag football stars, have been named offensive coordinators.
On February 2, the AFC and NFC will begin with five skill competitions. On Sunday, the two conferences will compete in three flag football games and three additional skills competitions.
The winner of each skill competition receives three conference points. There are eight total skill competitions with a total of 24 points available.
Each winner of the first two flag games receives six points for his conference. The first two flag games have a total of 12 points available.
The points from the first two flag games and the eight skills competitions are added together to determine the score at the start of the third and final flag game. The overall winner of the Pro Bowl Games will be determined by the third flag game.
The flag games will feature a traditional AFC vs. NFC matchup, with 27 skill position players from each conference’s full roster available.
Each team will also have one centre on its roster. The game will be played seven on seven.
Each game will last 20 minutes and will be played on a 50-yard field with two 10-yard end zones.
Touchdowns earn six points. Post-touchdown conversions have two options: 1-point conversion from the 3-yard line or 2-point conversion from the 10-yard line. 2 points are awarded for safeties and returned 1- or 2-point conversion attempts.