2024 NFL Pro Bowl Games takeaways: Eli Manning-led NFC tops Peyton Manning, AFC again behind goal-line stand

Another round of the NFL's new-look Pro Bowl Games is in the books, as the Eli Manning-led NFC team defeated Peyton Manning's AFC squad once again, 64-59, after winning the first flag-football format last year. Sunday was a loaded day, as we saw a Madden head-to-head matchup, a gridiron gauntlet obstacle course, tug-of-war, a move the chains drill and then of course the flag football game among other activities. 

The NFC not only dominated the skill competitions, but came out on top in the flag football game as well thanks to a goal-line stand with just seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. Let's take a look at everything that went down on Sunday.

Sunday's events

Madden NFL head-to-head: EA Sports hosted a two-on-two matchup between players from both conferences using the 2024 Pro Bowl Games rosters. Micah Parsons and Puka Nacua defeated Tyreek Hill and David Njoku. 

Kick-Tac-Toe: Tic-tac-toe except with kicking! Naturally, Justin Tucker of the Baltimore Ravens won this contest, defeating Brandon Aubrey. 

Gridiron Gauntlet: A full-field, obstacle course relay race, which the NFC won.

Best catch: We saw this catch earlier in the week, but Sunday was the day they officially announced Nacua as victorious.

Tug-of-War: Your classic tug-of-war. The NFC dominated this event, and it was arguably the most lopsided event as well.  

Move the Chains: Two five-man teams must move 3,000 pounds of weight off a 2,000 pound wall, then be the first to pull that wall across the finish line. 

There was also the flag football game on Sunday. Let's take a look at some of the highlights. 

Top performers

NFC

  • Geno Smith: 15/21 154 yards, 2 TDs, 3 INTs
  • Baker Mayfield: 9/13 102 yards 2 TDs 1 INT
  • Amon-Ra St. Brown: 10 catches 117 yards 1 TD
  • CeeDee Lamb: 5 catches 44 yards 3 TDs

AFC

  • C.J. Stroud: 18/22 173 yards, 2 TDs
  • Tua Tagovailoa: 5/8 91 yards 2 TDs
  • Gardner Minshew: 8/8 65 yards 2 TDs
  • Keenan Allen: 9 catches 90 yards 3 TDs
  • Tyreek Hill: 3 catches 64 yards 1 TD
  • Evan Engram 6 catches 46 yards 1 TD
  • Ja'Marr Chase 5 catches 40 yards 2 TDs

Officiating!

Officiating problems followed the NFL into the Pro Bowl, as coaches for both teams were upset with how this new-style game was called. There was some miscommunication in regards to rushing the passer and the pass clock, which got everyone heated. 

C.J. Stroud's insane TD pass

The likely 2023 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year looked right at home with the best of the best. The Houston Texans quarterback had what was the throw of the day, when he dodged a blitzer, and while backpedaling on the move, dropped a dime to Ja'Marr Chase in the end zone. 

Keenan Allen passing touchdown

If Stroud didn't have the throw of the game, it may have come from Keenan Allen! We saw a couple double passes on Sunday, including this epic toss from the wide receiver. 

Allen was targeting Stroud in the end zone, but Evan Engram wanted it more. 

Geno Smith throws multiple INTs

The reigning Comeback Player of the Year did not have the best outing on Sunday, as he threw three interceptions -- including two in the end zone, and a pick six.

Pitchy pitchy woo woo

Peyton Manning was going to pull out all the stops in an attempt to out-coach his brother, and that includes utilizing his speedy players and laterals. Check out this first-down conversion early in the first quarter. 

Tyreek scores on second play of the game

Tyreek Hill is already fast, and the Pro Bowl made him faster by stripping him of pads. The NFL's receiving yards leader scored a long touchdown on the second play of the game, and honestly, it was reminiscent of many of his touchdowns scored in the regular season.

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Baker Mayfield went 9-of-13 for 102 yards with 2 TD and an INT. Geno Smith threw 3 INT. Jalen Hurts 6-of-9, 62 yards with a TD. Amon-Ra St. Brown had 10 catches for 117 yards and a score. D'Andre Swify had 3 catches for 71 yards and a score for the NFC.

C.J. Stroud finished 18-of-22 for 173 yards a 2 TD. Tua Tagovailoa had 2 TD and Gardner Minshew had 2 TD. Keenan Allen had 9 catches for 90 yards and 3 TD. 

February 4, 2024, 10:53 PM
Feb. 04, 2024, 5:53 pm EST
 
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C.J. Stroud's pass to Keenan Allen is incomplete and the NFC is going  to win the Pro Bowl games. AFC wins the flag football "game," but the NFC will win the event. Eli beats Peyton again.

NFC 64, AFC 59. 

February 4, 2024, 10:51 PM
Feb. 04, 2024, 5:51 pm EST
 
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If we're going by the actual score of this game, it's 50-34 AFC. If we're going by the ESPN scorebug, the NFC is up. Yes, it's confusing. 

February 4, 2024, 10:41 PM
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Huge stop for the NFC as Bobby Wagner continues to make plays. NFC  will have a chance to cut into this lead. 

February 4, 2024, 10:29 PM
Feb. 04, 2024, 5:29 pm EST
 
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3 TD for Keenan Allen in this Pro Bowl. 8 catches for 77 yards and 3 TD. 

February 4, 2024, 10:22 PM
Feb. 04, 2024, 5:22 pm EST
 
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Pro Bowl games going down to the wire. NFC wins tug-of-war and are now up 58-53. Flag football will determine the winner of the Pro Bowl games. 

AFC up 44-28 going into the 4th. 

February 4, 2024, 10:16 PM
Feb. 04, 2024, 5:16 pm EST
 
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Tug-of-war time. 55-53 NFC at the end of the 3rd quarter (total of points earned with skills competitions). Gardner Minshew is 7-of-7 for 62 yards and a TD for the AFC. Keenan Allen has 7 catches for 74 yards and 2 TD. Amon-Ra St. Brown has 8 catches for 100 yards for the NFC. 

February 4, 2024, 10:06 PM
Feb. 04, 2024, 5:06 pm EST
 
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Sauce Gardner picks off Geno Smith in the end zone. That's Smith third INT of the Pro Bowl. 

February 4, 2024, 9:51 PM
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Landon Dickerson admitted he hit his head after pulling up the first wall and going under it in the "Gridiron Gauntlet."

The way he was going through the agility course, didn't seem like it.

NFC up 48-47 now. Tug-of-war and second half of flag football to conclude the day. 

February 4, 2024, 9:40 PM
Feb. 04, 2024, 4:40 pm EST
 
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Lane Johnson and Landon Dickerson pushing the NFC to more wins in Gridiron Gauntlet. NFC built a huge lead and that's 6 points in the two Gridiron Gauntlet competitions for the NFC. 

February 4, 2024, 9:36 PM
Feb. 04, 2024, 4:36 pm EST
 
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Penei Sewell pushing Jason Kelce to an NFC victory in the "Gridiron Gauntlet" is the NFL Pro Bowl content I didn't know I needed.

February 4, 2024, 9:28 PM
Feb. 04, 2024, 4:28 pm EST
 
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Here was the Surtain pick-six. This game is fast-paced as CeeDee Lamb scored a touchdown a minute later.

The AFC is up 47-36 at the half. Madden NFL head to head and gridiron gauntlet coming up next. 

February 4, 2024, 9:11 PM
Feb. 04, 2024, 4:11 pm EST
 
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Pick six! Geno Smith to Patrick Surtain as he takes it in for the TD. AFC up 47-30 now. Too easy for the Broncos CB. 

February 4, 2024, 9:06 PM
Feb. 04, 2024, 4:06 pm EST
 
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C.J. Stroud to Keenan Allen to Evan Engram for the TD! Tis is the play of the day so far!

Allen was going to take off and try to get some yards, but saw Engram in teh far corner and hooked him up for the score. Engram then catches the conversion attempt.

41-30 AFC. 

February 4, 2024, 9:05 PM
Feb. 04, 2024, 4:05 pm EST
 
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Amon-Ra St. brown has been all over the field in this Pro Bowl. Sign him up for the 2028 Olympics. He has a 26-yard TD catch -- and six catches for 73 yards with a score. 

February 4, 2024, 9:00 PM
Feb. 04, 2024, 4:00 pm EST
 
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Nice INT by Denzel Ward in the end zone off Geno Smith. Smith looked for Amon-Ra St. Brown the whole drive and it burned him on an out route in the left corner of the end zone. That's a turnover for the NFC. AFC still on top. 

February 4, 2024, 8:47 PM
Feb. 04, 2024, 3:47 pm EST
 
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C.J. Stroud has looked good in his Pro Bowl debut, finding Keenan Allen for 12 yards and a TD. The conversion attempt to Stefon Diggs was incomplete. Geno Smith in now for NFC. 

February 4, 2024, 8:42 PM
Feb. 04, 2024, 3:42 pm EST
 
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Jalen Hurts moved pretty good for someone who battled a knee injury. Amazing what three weeks off can do for a player. He finished 6-of-9 for 62 yards. 

February 4, 2024, 8:41 PM
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After the first quarter, Jalen Hurts is 6-of-8 for 62 yards an a TD. CeeDee Lamb has a TD for the NFC. Tua Tagovailoa is 5-of-8 for 91 yards and 2 TD. Tyreek Hill and Ja'Marr Chase also have a TD. 

February 4, 2024, 8:33 PM
Feb. 04, 2024, 3:33 pm EST
 
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First quarter is over, so we are on to "Move The Chains" 

 
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NFC gets the first stop of the game. Tua Tagovailoa almost threw an INT on fourth-and-goal.

 
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We are in for a high-scoring affair. Both offenses looking to air it out early -- and finding success doing so. 

 
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@NFL via Twitter
February 4, 2024, 8:13 PM
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@NFL via Twitter
February 4, 2024, 8:13 PM
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February 4, 2024, 8:07 PM
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Only took two plays for Tyreek Hill to score a 45-yard TD. First score of flag football goes to the AFC. 

February 4, 2024, 8:07 PM
Feb. 04, 2024, 3:07 pm EST
 
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Tua Tagovailoa goes to Raheem Mostert on the first play of the game ... who DROPS the easy pass in the flat. 

 
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February 4, 2024, 8:06 PM
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One thing about this Pro Bowl and flag football. NFL players want to participate in flag football in the 2028 Olympics. Flag football is growing in this country and NFL players want "in" for Los Angeles 2028. If the play (if NFL allows them to), it will be massive. 

February 4, 2024, 8:06 PM
Feb. 04, 2024, 3:06 pm EST
 
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The NFC is starting with Jalen Hurts, followed by Geno Smith, and then Baker Mayfield in the fourth quarter. Eli Manning said he's a "gamer," so Mayfield will likely have a chance to determine the outcome. 

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