Previewing Sunday's NFL 2015 Pro Bowl in Glendale, Ariz.
The 2015 Pro Bowl will be played Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., the same site as Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1.
The 2014 Pro Bowl was the first time the NFL's annual all-star game was "unconferenced" meaning the teams were no longer restricted to AFC and NFC players playing with members from their respective conferences. Last year's squads were selected by honorary coaches Deion Sanders and Jerry Rice. This year's teams were again picked by Hall of Famers, this time Cris Carter and Michael Irvin.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo were drafted 1-2 by Carter and Irvin, respectively, on Wednesday.
When: 8 p.m. ET, Jan. 25
Where: University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Ariz.
Coaches: Team Carter: John Harbaugh, Baltimore Ravens; Team Irvin: Jason Garrett, Cowboys
Team captains: Team Carter: J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans; Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers; Team Irvin: DeMarco Murray, RB, Cowboys, and Joe Haden, CB, Cleveland Browns
What to watch for: While the NFL's biggest stars get the starting nod, it's usually a reserve player who takes home game MVP honors because the non-starters tend to play more. Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford, who was a late add when an injured Peyton Manning pulled out of the game because of a quad injury, is one player who could win the MVP award. Other possible MVP candidates could be New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Green Bay Packers receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and Ravens running back Justin Forsett.
The game has several replacements because of injuries and because the Super Bowl participants cannot play in the Pro Bowl. Because the all-star game is held a week before the Super Bowl, five members of the New England Patriots and five Seattle Seahawks players were replaced on the Pro Bowl roster. In total, there are 24 replacement players for Sunday's game. The most notable players who pulled out because of injuries are Manning, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, Detroit Lions receiver Calvin Johnson, Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy and Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.
The game will have a couple of rule tweaks. The coaching staffs will be given an extra timeout in each half and the goal posts will be narrowed from 18 feet to a 14-foot width. The NFL also added an extra player to each roster, bringing the number of players to 44.
Several rookies made the Pro Bowl roster. Three were originally selected Cowboys guard Zack Martin, St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald and Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley. New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was later added. New York Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson and Cowboys center Travis Frederick were selected to the game for the first time in their second NFL seasons. Chicago Bears guard Kyle Long made the Pro Bowl for the second time in his two-year career.