*GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Team Carter and Team Irvin squared off in the Pro Bowl on Sunday night, providing a fine warmup to next week's Super Bowl at the University of Phoenix Stadium. Here are some takeaways from the annual All-Star game, won by Team Irvin 32-28 (Matthew Stafford earned offensive MVP honors, while J.J. Watt won the defensive award): *
- Adam Vinatieri was one of the more outspoken critics of the narrow field goal post experiment heading into Sunday's game and for good reason. The 42-year-old legend botched TWO extra point attempts and a 38-yard field goal, which instantly made the potential rule change more interesting. The NFL uses the Pro Bowl as a forum to experiment with different alterations and if a goal post that is markedly different can alter the degree of difficulty by a few percentage points, why not take a closer look at it?
- One of our not-so-bold pregame predictions included another feat of strength performed by uber-rookie Odell Beckham, Jr. He did not disappoint. Early in the second quarter, the Giants wideout hauled in a 48-yard pass from Matthew Stafford. The most interesting part of the connection? Sources told Around The NFL and NFL.com back in September that the Giants were worried about Detroit taking Beckham at pick No. 10 to pair with Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate. Could you imagine?
- We also expected some brilliance from J.J. Watt and the MVP candidate did not go without making his mark on the Pro Bowl. The Texans' defensive end picked off a pass that saved a touchdown just before the half. He added a fumble recovery and three passes defensed. We think Team Carter missed a brilliant opportunity to play him at free safety.
- Matthew Stafford is so fun to watch in environments like these. The cannon-armed quarterback was not worried as much about tight man coverage or zone blitzes Sunday and had the chance to roll out and unleash a few fastballs. Never mind the floater to Beckham, his laser to Emmanuel Sanders in the first quarter between two defenders was also something to remember.
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