Team Irvin defeated Team Rice 49-27 in the 2016 Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu this past Sunday. The Raiders placed five players in the game (six total selections), the most since 2002, with four suiting up for Team Rice and one for Team Irvin.
Derek Carr Can Sling It
After a slow start, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr completed 14 of 25 pass attempts for 198 yards and a score. His 50-yard laser to Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton was overturned after Hilton was unable to secure the catch in the end zone, but former Raiders head coach and ESPN color commentator Jon Gruden raved about the throw and Twitter exploded with rave reviews of the "best throw in Pro Bowl history" even though it didn't count. Carr did make some impressive throws including a 10-yard touchdown pass to Kansas City's Travis Kelce in the second quarter. He also hit Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry for a 40-yard strike and Kelce for a big gain on a corner route against two defenders.
"I am impressed with Derek Carr."
Latavius Murray Belongs
Raiders running back Latavius Murray was originally selected as an alternate and was named to replace Carolina running back Jonathan Stewart when the Panthers qualified for the Super Bowl. Murray became the first Raiders running back to surpass 1,000 yards rushing in a season since 2011. His 1,066 yards were good for sixth in the NFL and second in the AFC in 2015. He led all running backs in the Pro Bowl with nine carries for 42 yards. He also caught one pass for 16 yards.
Amari Cooper Draws a Crowd
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning was the first and only passer to connect with Raiders rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper – a 23-yard catch and run in the first quarter that helped set up Team Rice's first score. When Carr entered the game, everyone at Aloha Stadium knew where he was going with the football and Cooper drew a pass interference call on Seattle's Richard Sherman. Sherman did have a couple of passes defensed against Cooper later in the game. Cooper is the first Raiders receiver to play in the Pro Bowl since Jerry Rice after the 2002 season.
What else can you say about the future Hall of Famer? He played 18 years and finished as an All-Star on top of his game. Woodson's 2015 campaign would have been a feather in the cap at any age for many players, but he did it at age 39 in his 18th season in the NFL. He is well-respected by coaches, players, fans and members of the media who cover the NFL. Woodson enjoyed a career for the ages and he finished it with a Pro Bowl.
Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack, playing in his first Pro Bowl, recorded an assist and a fumble recovery. Woodson recorded one tackle on the day. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was named the game's MVP after tossing three touchdown passes in the first half. Kelce led all receivers with five catches for 91 yards and two touchdowns. Sherman lost 22 yards on a failed reverse. Woodson also took a snap on offense.