Although the Super Bowl is the day that most NFL fans are waiting for, there are sure to be plenty of memorable moments in the Pro Bowl.
Pro Bowl preview
Vince Wilfork Marshawn Lynch – New England Patriots defensive tackle calls Seattle Seahawks running back best in NFL
Jeremy Lane Rob Gronkowski – Seahawks cornerback says New England Patriots tight end is not that good
The 45th annual Pro Bowl is set to take place on Sunday, and the teams of Hall of Fame wide receivers Michael Irvin and Cris Carter will face off in what fans hope to be a thriller as they have to wait another week for Super Bowl 49.
Although the Pro Bowl has not been known for its entertainment, the new format led to an exciting game last year as the final score was 22-21.
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo were the first two players selected in the Pro Bowl draft, and they will likely start for their respective teams.
Here are five bold predictions for the upcoming Pro Bowl.
5. Andrew Luck will throw 3 touchdown passes
While this does not sound like a lot, the Pro Bowl will feature constant changes to the lineup so that as many players as possible can have a chance to see the field. Throwing three touchdown passes is a pretty impressive feat in a regular NFL game, but throwing that many in the Pro Bowl is even more incredible. Luck is completely capable of doing this though as he will have Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson and Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown to throw to. He doesn’t have anywhere close to this luxury on his own team and still threw for 40 touchdown passes this season.
4. Greg Olsen will have 2 touchdown catches
The Carolina Panthers tight end is one of the most underrated players in the NFL, but he has been a model of consistency and has reliable hands. The tight end is also good at finding the end zone, as he has caught at least five touchdown passes in the last seven years of his eight-year career. Olsen also eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards this season as he was part of an underwhelming Panthers receiving corps. Expect Luck to develop instant rapport with him and throw his way after Team Carter reaches the red zone.
3. Mario Williams will have 3 sacks
If a player from the Pro Bowl is expected to have multiple sacks, the first names that will come to mind are Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston. However, Williams has helped lead the Buffalo Bills to being one of the elite defenses in the NFL as their defensive line was arguably the best in the NFL. Fellow defensive linemen Kyle Williams and Marcell Dareus were also drafted by Carter. Watt and Houston will be accounted for the most, so Williams will draw single coverage and be able to find his way toward Team Irvin’s backfield.
2. Odell Beckham Jr. will break the Internet once again
The New York Giants wide receiver made a name for himself in the middle of the regular season when he made a touchdown catch against the Dallas Cowboys that broke the Internet as it spread across social media and news outlets. He finished with 91 catches for 1,305 receiving yards and 12 touchdown catches. Beckham has shown that he can take any defensive back in the NFL, including Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman. Beckham has made other spectacular plays throughout the season, and he has another one in him. Look for him to break the Internet once again as millions of viewers will be watching the Pro Bowl.
1. DeMarco Murray will fumble twice
Murray was the best running back in the NFL this season as he rushed for a league-leading 1,845 yards and 13 touchdowns. However, he had problems with ball security early in the season before it came back in the playoffs. The Cowboys running back had fumbled the ball and lost it five times in the regular season. He also lost a costly fumble in the Cowboys’ playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers. Murray will be facing defensive behemoths such as Watt, Houston, Williams and Philadelphia Eagles outside linebacker Connor Barwin. This sort of pressure will be too much for Murray, so don’t be surprised if his fumbling problem returns.