Marshall's record performance leads AFC to Pro Bowl win
Brandon Marshall was the star of the show with a Pro Bowl record four touchdowns to lead the AFC to 59-41 victory over the NFC at Aloha Stadium in Hawaii on Sunday.
Marshall, who caught six touchdowns for the Miami Dolphins during the regular season, had set his sights on capturing the game's MVP award and ultimately delivered as he dominated the All-Star showcase.
"This is my playoff," Marshall told reporters. "I came in with the goal of trying to win the MVP. You never know when you're going to be back so (I went for it). It's an honor."
In what was the third straight Pro Bowl played in advance of the Super Bowl, the offensive exhibition in sunny Honolulu provided a healthy appetizer for next week's grand finale between the New York Giants and New England Patriots.
The AFC came to life in the second half, where they scored 28 straight points to overturn a 35-31 deficit and pull clear.
Marshall sparked the run with a spectacular 47-yard scoring catch from rookie Andy Dalton on a pass that ricocheted off an NFC defensive back and hit the wide receiver's foot before falling into his hands.
Baltimore fullback Vonta Leach added a one-yard score early in the fourth, followed by another Marshall TD and a 29-yard interception return from San Diego's Eric Weddle.
AFC quarterbacks Philip Rivers, Ben Roethlisberger and Dalton all tossed a pair of touchdowns to lead the winning effort.
Sure-handed Arizona receiver Larry Fitzgerald hauled in three touchdown passes to lead the NFC, which also got two TD passes each from their quarterbacks Cam Newton, Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees.
Brees attempted to show off his kicking ability with a rarely seen drop kick extra point attempt in the fourth quarter but missed badly.
"Unfortunately, I dropped it a little too far forward and didn't get the lift I needed," Brees said. "It was my fault. I'll have to make up for it at some point."
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien; To comment on this story email [email protected])