What to watch for in Sunday's Pro Bowl

Print

KAHUKU, Hawaii -- The 2016 Pro Bowl is just days away, and in anticipation of the Team Irvin/Team Rice grudge match, here are a few things we're looking out for at Aloha Stadium on Sunday:

1. Could Team Irvin throw for more than 500 yards? Team Irvin is absolutely loaded. And while Jerry Rice probably built the better top to bottom football team, Michael Irvin has embraced the high-flying, flag football nature of Sunday's contest. Team Irvin has, among others: Julio Jones, DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green and Allen Robinson. Factor in the scrambling ability of Russell Wilson, and we're looking at an offense that could also put up more than 50 points.

2. What will Team Rice do with Charles Woodson? Woodson was obviously the most overlooked selection of the 2016 Pro Bowl. Playing in his final NFL game, this is a three-way threat and future Hall of Famer with nothing to lose. Woodson played a little bit of offense in his Raiders home finale, but could he catch a few more passes -- and return a few kickoffs -- here in Hawaii?

3. Will Odell Beckham raise his game? Beckham has taken up one of the captain's spots this year, which means there are higher expectations. In an exhibition game with predictably lax coverage and more wide open space, could we see something more spectacular than The Catch? It helps Beckham that Eli Manning is on his team and will be chucking passes for most of the night.

4. Will Richard Sherman really not play offense? This is Sherman's first time at the Pro Bowl despite two other nominations, and while he told reporters on Thursday that he would not be playing offense despite his wishes, do we really believe that? Sherman is a pretty convincing dude, and with the local fans in Hawaii clamoring for a show, don't be surprised to see the NFL's best cover corner splitting out wide on a few routes.

5. Can the Raiders' contingent provide hope for 2016? With the exception of running back Latavius Murray, every member of the Oakland Raiders contingent is on Team Rice. That does not seem to be an accident -- the legendary wide receiver is impressed with the future of his former team, and there's a good chance we get a few deep balls from Derek Carr to Amari Cooper on Sunday. The big question is: How will Rice plan on using Khalil Mack? Picking a defensive player that high was bold, but Rice obviously has something in the works.

Print

Fan Discussion