The 2019 Pro Bowl Skills Challenge took place in Orlando, FL on Thursday, as the NFC faced off against the AFC in a series of competitions for the right to win $7,500 apiece. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and linebacker Bobby Wagner were a part of this event, and it was the duo of Wilson and Minnesota Vikings WR Adam Thielen that stole the show.
In the “Best Hands” round, Wilson and Thielen were flawless. Seven-for-seven at the specified stations, with Thielen making a terrific one-handed grab at the “leaping catch” mark, which featured a nine foot wall for QBs to throw over. This combo completed the course in just 24 seconds, but Mitchell Trubisky was dismal and basically sunk the NFC. Mike Evans is not 20 feet tall.
After putting up only eight points in “Precision Passing” last year, Wilson led all throwers with a fantastic 19 points, as the NFC comfortably beat the AFC. Mitchell Trubisky chipped in with 11 points, and non-quarterback representative Adam Thielen managed 10, including a 5-pointer as time expired.
On the AFC side, Andrew Luck only had five points, as his strategy of selling out for the difficult 4-point targets backfired. DeShaun Watson scored 15, while Denver Broncos pass rusher Von Miller... well he tried. He scored two points. In his defense, he’s neither a quarterback nor on a team that employs accurate quarterbacks.
The AFC retook the lead by winning the 40-Yard Splash, which... well I could do without this, to be honest.
Wagner took part in the Gridiron Gauntlet challenge, as he was assigned to the “fumble scramble,” in which he had to recover loose footballs before tagging up with Akiem Hicks for the “heavy bag gauntlet.” Unfortunately, Wagner screwed up and missed a ball, which cost the NFC valuable time. The AFC had a 3-1 lead, but “Epic Pro Bowl Dodgeball” was worth three points.
In a best-of-3 showdown, the AFC took game one, so the NFC needed to sweep the last two games to get the win and the cash. Russell Wilson was part of game two, but he was the second person hit and knocked out. Luckily Adam Thielen helped guide the NFC to victory, setting up a six-on-six deciding game three. It was a blowout win for the NFC and a dramatic come from behind win that will be remembered for minutes to come.
You can watch the actual 2019 Pro Bowl game at 12 PM PT on Sunday, January 27th.