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Five things to watch for in Sunday's Pro Bowl

The AFC won the appetizer round with a victory over the NFC in Thursday's Pro Bowl Skills Showdown, but the two will clash again for the main course Sunday.

A bevy of superstars from both conferences will compete in the Pro Bowl game at 2:50 p.m. ET on ESPN at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.

What will we be watching for when some of the league's best go head to head?

  1. The brokenhearted. The last time we saw the New Orleans Saints, they were on the wrong end of the "Minneapolis Miracle." The last time we saw the Minnesota Vikings, they were demolished in the NFC Championship Game. The Jacksonville Jaguars, meanwhile, are just getting over Tom Brady and the Patriots stealing a win from them in the AFC Championship Game. The representatives from the trio of teams make up a massive portion of the game's rosters (Drew Brees, Michael Thomas, Mark Ingram, Alvin Kamara, Larry Warford, Cameron Jordan, Marshon Lattimore, Adam Thielen, Kyle Rudolph, Linval Joseph, Xavier Rhodes, Harrison Smith, Yannick Ngakoue, Malik Jackson, Telvin Smith, A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey). Will the heartache show in their play? Or will the Pro Bowl help them, and their downtrodden fanbases, get over three deflating playoff losses?
  1. The pending free agents. Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell, Cowboys pass rusher Demarcus Lawrence, Dolphins wideout Jarvis Landry and even Saints quarterback Drew Brees are all facing the possibility of free agency, as their current contracts are set to expire when the new league year begins in March. The quartet all spoke optimistically about their futures with their respective teams when asked about their contract situations after Pro Bowl practices this week. But there's always at least some chance Sunday could be the last time these four stars suit up for their respective teams. In Bell's case, it could be the final time he plays for Mike Tomlin, who's coaching the AFC squad.
  1. Speaking of Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers' staff coaching the AFC, Sunday's game will mark the first time Todd Haley hasn't been Ben Roethlisberger's offensive coordinator since the 2011 season. If you remember, the final time Haley called plays for Roethlisberger, he drew the ire of pundits and plenty of fans for not calling quarterback sneaks on critical fourth downs against the Jaguars in the Divisional Round. It's Randy Fichtner's turn to call the plays for Roethlisberger, and his first shot at doing that will be the Pro Bowl. Could a QB sneak finally be in Big Ben's arsenal? "We're not going there right now," Fichtner said laughing this week, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "We'll talk about it later."
  1. Alvin Kamara was a nightmare to bring down when teams were actually trying to get him this season. In the Pro Bowl, where tackling effort is sometimes lacking, what will Kamara's final numbers look like? The prohibitive favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year honors is perhaps the slipperiest player in this game, and with Sean Payton calling the plays for Kamara's NFC squad, could 200-plus yards be in the cards for the Saints' breakout star?
  1. Revenge game. The NFC is not only looking to get back at the AFC for the Skills Showdown loss earlier this week, but it's also coming off a 20-13 defeat in last year's Pro Bowl. A lot of the NFC's roster is different this year, with Brees one of the few notable returners. Nonetheless, pride is on the line in this year's version of the NFL's all-star game.
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