For a debut performance Bills running back Marshawn Lynch did not disappoint in his first Pro Bowl Sunday as he was the game's leading rusher with 48 yards on just six carries. The NFC however, wound up winning the game 30-21, thanks mostly to a pair of Larry Fitzgerald touchdown receptions.
Lynch did not enter the game until the second quarter as Jets' running back Thomas Jones was the AFC starter at the position. But on his first carry of the day on a 2nd-and-6 from the AFC 44-yard line, Lynch rumbled 18 yards which proved to be his longest carry of the day with the AFC ahead at the time 7-3.
Four plays later, after Baltimore's Le'Ron McClain failed to convert a 3rd-and-1 carry for a first down, the AFC gave the ball to Lynch on a 4th-and-1 and Buffalo's back came through fighting through a tight hole for the necessary yard to keep the drive alive in NFC territory.
In the second half, following a Darrelle Revis interception that went for a touchback, Lynch got the AFC ground game going again with a first down carry for three yards. But on the next play Tennessee quarterback Kerry Collins was sacked, fumbled and the loose ball was recovered by the NFC.
The AFC dominated in almost every statistical category in the game including rushing yards, with Lynch leading the way as the AFC totaled 136 rushing yards on the day to the NFC's 77. But the AFC's two interceptions and a lost fumble ultimately cost them the game.
In the fourth quarter with the AFC down 17-14, Lynch pulled in his only reception of the game on a 1st-and-10 from the AFC 45 that went for two yards. Five plays later, Lynch converted a 3rd-and-3 when he ripped off a 17-yard run into the secondary down to the NFC 16-yard line.
Lynch carried again on the ensuing play and picked up three yards to put the AFC in a 2nd-and-7 situation at the NFC 13. Le'Ron McClain powered his way in for a five-yard touchdown run three plays later to put the American conference ahead (21-17) with just over seven minutes to play.
After the NFC answered with a touchdown drive to go up 24-21, Lynch got just one more carry on the ensuing AFC possession that converted a 2nd-and-3 into a first down on a six-yard carry. But the drive ended four plays later when Denver's Jay Cutler was intercepted by Carolina's Julius Peppers and returned it to the AFC 12-yard line.
It led to a field goal for the NFC, which tacked on another three-pointer with under a minute to play to make it 30-21 after forcing the AFC to turn the ball over on downs.
All told four of Lynch's six carries in the game moved the chains, including a third down and fourth down conversion. Lynch and the NFC's Adrian Peterson shared the individual rushing lead for the game as each tallied 48 yards.
Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald was named Pro Bowl MVP.