Neither Peyton Manning nor Adrian Peterson thought they’d be able to appear in this year’s Pro Bowl, but both future Hall of Famers will have to make due in sunny Hawaii.
The game kicks off at 7 p.m. eastern time and will be broadcast by NBC. You can watch their live online stream at NBC All Access here.
Named to his 12th Pro Bowl, Manning hopes to change the reputation of the NFL’s all-star game, and reportedly asked many players to go full speed. Peterson has been relatively quiet since his Minnesota Vikings were eliminated from the playoffs, but could remind MVP voters of his dominance with a strong showing Sunday.
Last year’s game was heavily criticized for lackluster play, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has said he will consider canceling the event altogether if players don’t pick up the competition.
Houston Texans running back Arian Foster chimed in this week and said it was difficult for players to give 100 percent with the lack of a game plan and blitzes.
Foster is one of nine Texans to make the roster, the most of any team. The Seattle Seahawks and the Kansas City Chiefs have six Pro Bowlers each.
Several big names won’t be in attendance due to injury, many of them quarterbacks. Aaron Rodgers, Robert Griffin III, Matt Ryan, and Tom Brady have all pulled out. However, the NFC will have Drew Brees, Eli Manning, and Russell Wilson as replacements.
The series remains tied 21-21, with the AFC evening things up in a 59-41 victory last year.
Betting Odds: The AFC is favored by 1 point.
Over/Under: 80 points
Prediction: Manning’s pleas for a more competitive game may go unheard, but play should improve over last year’s horrendous display. Look for Peterson to have a big game and to be named MVP in an NFC win.
Predicted Score: NFC 35, AFC 24