Six members of the Kansas City Chiefs took part in the 2013 Pro Bowl on Sunday. For those players, they were on the losing end of an NFL game for the 18th time in 21 games. That’s a lot of losses since they took the field for their first preseason game on August 10th against the Arizona Cardinals. While they may have won that first game five months ago by a score of 27-17, they were on the wrong end of the 62-35 final on Sunday.
The Pro Bowl was already on life support and already meant less than the preseason games. It’s hard to imagine that the NFC’s stomping of the AFC did much to alter the status quo along those lines. People seemed to be looking for proof that the participants were giving it their all, and whether they were or not, the game was still essentially unwatchable.
As noted in the AP recap of the game:
If players were coasting this time around, it was less obvious. The AFC just played poorly. And fans didn’t boo much — the stands were relatively empty even though the game sold enough tickets to lift a local television blackout.
The game was trending on Twitter in the United States early on, but quickly gave way to the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the WWE Royal Rumble.
For the Chiefs players themselves, they provided some bright spots in the game. The biggest in fact came early in the second quarter when Derrick Johnson picked off Eli Manning and found paydirt after 42 yards. His touchdown put the AFC up 14-10 – it wound up being their last lead of the day.
In addition to the interception, Johnson was also credited for six tackles and a pass defensed. DJ scored the TD but it was fellow Chief Eric Berry that led all defensive players in the game with seven tackles, six of them solo. Justin Houston added four tackles and Tamba Hali finished with three though all were victimized at times by the NFC’s passing attack.
Give the lopsided nature of the score, Jamaal Charles only had three chances to carry the ball and was targeted once in the passing game. All told he wound up with 12 yards rushing with a long of seven. Collectively the AFC finished with 15 yards on 11 attempts so while Charles didn’t have a chance to standout, he was still the best running back on his team.
Not to be forgotten, Dustin Colquitt hit four punts that totaled 206 yards. His 51.5 average per punt was aided by a long of 58.