HONOLULU — Russell Wilson threw three first-half touchdown passes to lead Team Irvin to a 49-27 victory over Team Rice in the Pro Bowl on Sunday.
The Seattle Seahawks star, who was the first player picked in the all-star game’s draft, led scoring drives on three of Team Irvin’s first four possessions at Aloha Stadium. He threw touchdown passes of 14 and 2 yards to Atlanta Falcons teammates Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman, respectively, in the opening quarter.
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Early in the second quarter, Wilson connected with Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley for a 10-yard score.
Wilson went 8 of 12 for 164 yards and was selected the game’s offensive MVP, while Seahawks teammate Michael Bennett was the defensive MVP after having the game’s only sack and deflecting a pass.
The teams were drafted and captained by Hall of Fame wide receivers Michael Irvin and Jerry Rice. Green Bay assistant head coach and linebackers coach Winston Moss, filling in for the ill Mike McCarthy, coached Team Irvin. Kansas City’s Andy Reid coached Team Rice.
Minnesota’s Teddy Bridgewater and Tampa Bay’s Jameis Winston each added two TD passes for Team Irvin. Jacksonville’s Allen Robinson, Tennessee’s Delanie Walker, Philadelphia’s Darren Sproles and Houston’s DeAndre Hopkins had scoring receptions.
Kansas City tight end Travis Kelce caught two scoring passes for Team Rice. Miami’s Jarvis Landry also had a TD catch, and Tampa Bay’s Doug Martin ran for a score.
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie of the New York Giants had two of Team Irvin’s six interceptions.
After Kelce’s 4-yard reception from Manning gave Team Rice a 7-0 lead, Jones tip-toed the left sideline just after hauling in Wilson’s pass near the back corner of the end zone for a 14-yard score.
Freeman had five touches (three carries, two receptions) on the drive that culminated in his TD grab. The drive was set up by an interception by Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee off Manning.
Kelce caught the second of his two TDs on a 10-yard pass from Oakland’s Derek Carr to cut Team Rice’s deficit to 21-14. The Chiefs star, who signed a five-year, $46 million contract extension on Friday, finished with a game-high nine catches for 91 yards.
Team Irvin added a score late in the second quarter on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Bridgewater to Sproles to hold a 28-14 lead after two quarters.
The halftime festivities included a parade of local high school football players. Tennessee Titans rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota, a Honolulu native, led his alma mater, Saint Louis School, onto the field during the procession and was greeted by loud cheers from the sellout crowd of 50,000.
It was the 35th time the NFL’s annual all-star game was played at Aloha Stadium dating to 1980, and the third consecutive season that it has used an “unconferenced” format.
The game was played at in Glendale, Arizona, last year. The site of next year’s Pro Bowl has not yet been determined by the NFL, although it does have an option to return to Hawaii.
Martin helped Team Rice cut the deficit to 28-21 in the third quarter with a 3-yard run early in the third quarter.
But Team Irvin put the game away with three straight TDs: a 50-yard catch by Robinson from Bridgewater, a 53-yard reception by Walker from Winston and a 7-yarder by Hopkins, also thrown by Winston.
Landry caught a 31-yard TD pass from Buffalo’s Tyrod Taylor with 6:05 remaining in the game. Taylor was intercepted three times overall.
Cincinnati tight end Tyler Eifert appeared to injure a foot during the game while diving for a pass for Team Irvin.