HONOLULU - While others were going at half speed and ready to extend their Hawaiian vacations, Brandon Marshall played as if it was his last game.
The Miami Dolphins wide receiver caught six passes for 176 yards and a Pro Bowl-record four touchdowns, and the AFC used a second-half surge to beat the NFC 59-41 on Sunday at Aloha Stadium.
"You never know when you're going to be back," Marshall said, "and I wanted to go all-out today because it could be my last Pro Bowl."
Brandon Marshall of the Miami Dolphins catches a touchdown pass for the AFC in front of the NFC’s Earl Thomas of the Seattle Seahawks during the second quarter of the AFC’s 59-41 victory in the Pro Bowl on Sunday at Aloha Stadium.
Marshall had a touchdown catch in each quarter, including an early 74-yarder, and was chosen as the game's MVP, meaning he will be on a banner at the stadium, along with superstars like Walter Payton and Jerry Rice.
"You know what? I wanted it," Marshall said. "It's a Pro Bowl. Some guys are playing 100 (percent), some guys are playing 90, some guys aren't playing at all, but it means a lot to be up in the rafters with some of these guys."
The 59 points by the AFC set a Pro Bowl record, and the 100 combined points were the second-most - the teams produced 107 points in 2004.
Sunday's Result At Honolulu
AFC 59, NFC 41
Sunday, Feb. 5 (HST) At Indianapolis
New England vs. N.Y. Giants, 1:20 p.m. (NBC)
Marshall hauled in a deflected 47-yard touchdown pass from the Cincinnati Bengals' Andy Dalton, while on his back, to give the AFC a 38-35 lead late in the third quarter and tie Jimmy Smith's Pro Bowl record for touchdown catches, also set in 2004.
"It was the most unathletic highlight I ever had," Marshall said. "Andy put it up there for me to make a play. I saw the ball, got nervous, fell, saw the ball, kicked it up and it just fell in my hands."
Marshall, making his third Pro Bowl appearance, then nabbed a 3-yard touchdown pass from Dalton that gave the AFC a 52-35 lead with 8 minutes, 25 seconds left and put the game away.
"People were saying, 'Throw to him.' I saw the matchup I had and he's a great receiver, so I knew he could make the play," Dalton said.
Hawaii has been kind to Marshall, who also won MVP honors at Aloha Stadium in his final game at Central Florida in the 2005 Hawaii Bowl, when he caught 11 passes for 210 yards and three touchdowns in an overtime loss to Nevada.
Marshall noted he had six touchdowns this season, but four on Sunday.
"It says a lot when you're playing with these type of quarterbacks," he said. "They just put it in the right place and I just made the play. Hats off to those guys throwing me the ball."
Dalton completed seven of nine passes for 99 yards and two touchdowns.
The NFC's Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers finished 9-of-27 for 186 yards with a pair of touchdowns - and three interceptions. He drew some boos from the sellout crowd of 48,423.
"No excuses," Newton said. "When you hang the ball up there, against these kinds of players, that's what you get. It's the good and the bad of playing in a Pro Bowl. I learned a lot."
NFC.....14.....14...... 7...... 6-41
NFC-Fitzgerald 10 pass from Rodgers (Akers kick), 9:14.
NFC-Fitzgerald 44 pass from Rodgers (Akers kick), 9:05.
AFC-Green 34 pass from Roethlisberger (Janikowski kick), 6:54.
AFC-Marshall 74 pass from Roethlisberger (Janikowski kick), 2:35.
NFC-J.Graham 2 pass from Brees (Akers kick), 9:47.
AFC-Marshall 29 pass from Rivers (Janikowski kick), 5:22.
NFC-G.Jennings 11 pass from Brees (Akers kick), 2:36.
AFC-Gates 27 pass from Rivers (Janikowski kick), :00.
AFC-FG Janikowski 37, 12:23.
NFC-S.Smith 55 pass from Newton (Akers kick), 11:12.
AFC-Marshall 47 pass from Dalton (Janikowski kick), 3:53.
AFC-Leach 1 run (Janikowski kick), 11:40.
AFC-Marshall 3 pass from Dalton (Janikowski kick), 8:25.
AFC-D.Johnson 60 interception return (Janikowski kick), 5:16.
NFC-Fitzgerald 36 pass from Newton (kick failed), 2:37.
|Total net yards||546||596|
|Time of possession||33:03||26:57|
RUSHING-NFC, Lynch 8-43, Newton 4-14, McCoy 2-10, Forte 2-6. AFC, Jones-Drew 6-56, Mathews 8-35, McGahee 4-23, Leach 3-7, Jackson 1-7, Dalton 2-(minus 2).
PASSING-NFC, Newton 9-27-3-186, Brees 10-14-0-146, Rodgers 13-17-0-141, Lee 1-1-0-8. AFC, Rivers 11-19-1-190, Roethlisberger 6-11-1-181, Dalton 7-9-0-99.
RECEIVING-NFC, Gonzalez 7-114, Fitzgerald 6-111, S.Smith 5-118, J.Graham 5-74, G.
Jennings 5-42, White 2-25, Peterson 1-8, Forte 1-4, Rodgers 1-(minus 15). AFC, Marshall 6-176, Jackson 4-64, Gates 3-67, Green 2-42, Wallace 2-34, Jones-Drew 2-25, Brown 2-15, McGahee 1-20, Gresham 1-14, Leach 1-13.
MISSED FIELD GOALS-None.