2019 Pro Bowl: What To Watch For

Written by: Michael Hull

Orlando, FL – The NFL Pro Bowl is back in Orlando, FL for the third year in a row. The battle between the best of the best from the NFC and AFC will take place this Sunday, January 27, at 3:00 ET, and will be shown on ESPN. The squads this year are led by two coaching staffs that made the playoffs, the Chargers staff for the AFC and the Cowboys staff for the NFC. The Pro Bowl is notorious for being more of an offensive showcase than an actual game, and viewers should expect fireworks from both offenses. Here are some things to look for on both teams.




  1. How long does Patrick Mahomes play for?
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes searching through his bevy of wide-outs during Pro Bowl practice in Orlando, FL.                 (Credit: Chris Tello)


Mahomes was the leading vote getter among AFC QBs and he will start the game, but it will be interesting to see how much he plays. He will have to rotate snaps with Deshaun Watson and Andrew Luck, and considering his season just ended last week, it will not be surprising if Mahomes only plays for a couple possessions. That is more than enough however, as Mahomes has put on a Pro Bowl-esque show every time he has been on the field this year. Look out for a possible behind the back pass on the Sunday from Showtime Mahomes.

  1. Who will lead the team in receiving yards?
Cleveland Browns wide-out Jarvis Landry offers up some coaching during Pro Bowl practice in Orlando, FL. (Credit: Chris Tello) 

The AFC squad is stacked with talent obviously, but their receivers are especially strong. Headlined by Tyreek Hill, Keenan Allen and Jarvis Landry, this group of pass catchers is one of the strongest in recent memory. They will be competing with one another for the most yards in this game, and will make many highlight plays in doing so. It will also be fun to see if Landry breaks out his rocket of an arm, as he can wing the ball downfield, as he showed on a couple occasions during the regular season.

  1. Will anyone on defense step up?
San Diego Chargers defensive back Derwin James Celebrates during Pro Bowl Practice in Orlando. (Credit: Chris Tello)

The question could be used for either side. We know that both offense are going to explode in this game, so the final result will come down to who can make more plays on the defensive side of the ball. The AFC defense and their front seven in particular, led by Von Miller and Melvin Ingram, should be able to wreak havoc on the NFC QBs and maybe force a few fumbles as a result. This game will be decided on who can make a stop, and do not be surprised if it is the AFC.




  1. Who will lead the team in rushing yards?
New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley poses for selfies with a fan after Pro Bowl practice in Orlando, FL. (Credit: Chris Tello) 


The NFC offense is led by their rushing game, which, despite losing Todd Gurley, still features three of the best running backs in football. Ezekiel Elliott, Saquon Barkley and Alvin Kamara could possibly combine for 500 yards of offense just between them with their skill levels. The battle for the pro bowl rushing title will be won by someone on this NFC squad, and it could easily be the rookie Barkley. He was just the third player in NFL history with over 2000 scrimmage yards as a rookie. While the other two are great as well, Barkley will lead this group.

  1. Will Michael Dickson drop kick a field goal?



Dickson, the rookie punter for the Seahawks, originally came from Australia and has the rugby drop kick down. He has pulled it out on a couple of punts during the regular season, but will he kick a field goal with it? There is a lot that goes into this obviously, as he would need to be kicking in the first place, but a punter drop kicking a field goal in the Pro Bowl would be awesome for special teamers everywhere. Dicko Mode, as fans have called him, had a fantastic rookie season and is must watch TV as a punter, something you do not see every day. Here’s to hoping Jason Garrett allows him to kick a field goal on Sunday?



  1. Can the quarterbacks do enough to win?
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson gets warmed up in Pro Bowl practice at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando, FL. (Credit: Chris Tello) 

The original quarterbacks that were supposed to represent the NFC were Jared Goff, Aaron Rodgers, and Drew Brees. However, with Goff in the Super Bowl and Rodgers and Brees not participating, they had to go with plan B, which features Russell Wilson, Mitch Trubisky and Dak Prescott. Of course, all three of these guys are fantastic in their own right, but it will be interesting to see if they will be able to keep up with the firepower the AFC has at the same position, specifically Trubisky and Prescott. They have been the target of a lot of criticism throughout the respective careers thus far, and a good Pro Bowl performance could silence some of those critics.



Prediction: While this will clearly be an offensive shootout, the AFC seems to have more talent, specifically at quarterback and along the defensive line. I believe that the defense will do just enough to slow down the offense of the NFC and the AFC offense will take advantage and win. Von Miller will be MVP.

Score: AFC-45 NFC-38


(Image Credit: Chris Tello)


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