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AFC stands firm to hold off NFC in low-scoring Pro Bowl

(The Sports Xchange) - In the lowest-scoring Pro Bowl since 1998, the AFC made two first-half goal-line stands and then held off the NFC's final drive to secure a 20-13 win at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida on Sunday.

All the second-half scoring consisted of field goals.

The Baltimore Ravens' Justin Tucker converted on 38 and 31-yard attempts to give the AFC a 20-7 advantage with 14:12 left in the game, before Detroit's Matt Prater hit from 42 and 46 to draw the NFC within a touchdown at the 4:29 mark.

The NFC got the ball back at its 31-yard line with 2:39 remaining and crossed midfield at the two-minute warning on a pass from the Washington Redskins' Kirk Cousins to the New York Giants' Odell Beckham, eventually reaching the AFC 19.

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However, the drive fizzled when Cousins' pass to Seattle's Jimmy Graham went through the Seahawks tight end's hands and was intercepted by the Buffalo Bills' Lorenzo Alexander at the one-yard line.

Alexander returned it 36 yards and lateraled to the Denver Broncos' Aqib Talib, who ran it 55 yards before fumbling and recovering it at the NFC seven-yard line with a minute left.

Cousins threw for 158 yards on 14-of-20 accuracy in the fourth quarter. Beckham caught six passes for 93 yards as the NFC out-gained the AFC 353-241 in yards.

After playing the first scoreless quarter in a Pro Bowl in 10 years, the teams finally cracked the seal in the second.

The AFC found the end zone on the quarter's first play, with Kansas City's Alex Smith finding Tennessee tight end Delanie Walker on a 26-yard touchdown pass down the left side.

New Orleans' Drew Brees tied the score at 7-7 when he connected with Seattle's Doug Baldwin on a 47-yard scoring strike with 6:26 left in the half.

The NFC failed to convert on two chances inside the AFC five-yard line, as Dallas rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott was stuffed on a fourth-and-goal in the first quarter and Brees was intercepted in the end zone early in the second.

The AFC took a 14-7 lead at halftime as Cincinnati's Andy Dalton flipped a 23-yard touchdown pass to Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce, who got behind Minnesota's Harrison Smith on a crossing pattern with 1:40 remaining.

(Editing by John O'Brien)

 
 
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