Kansas City Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes, New York Jets' Jamal Adams named Pro Bowl MVPs

ByMichael DiRocco ESPN logo
Monday, January 28, 2019

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The AFC beat the NFC 26-7 on Sunday at Camping World Stadium, but it was anything but a typical Pro Bowl.

Wind, rain and temperatures in the 50s.

Defensive players catching touchdowns.

Offensive players intercepting passes and rushing the passer.

And a fullback nearly having more receiving yards than any other player in the game.

The only thing that lent the game some sense of normalcy was Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes lighting it up. He threw for 156 yards and a touchdown to win offensive MVP honors.

"It was awesome," said Mahomes, who completed seven of 14 passes, including a 50-yarder to Los Angeles Chargers receiver Keenan Allen. "To be in this experience and have this honor to be in this game, it really is an honor. I was glad that I won it, but credit to my teammates they made some plays for me."

One of those teammates was fullback Anthony Sherman, who caught three passes for 92 yards and ran for a 1-yard touchdown. Allen (95 yards) was the only player for either team with more receiving yards than Sherman. Mahomes was hoping his Chiefs teammate would win the award, which would have made Sherman the first fullback to win MVP honors since San Diego's Keith Lincoln in 1965.

"Sherman had my vote," Mahomes said. "He made some plays out there. For a fullback, we have one of the best in the league, so I'm always happy to try to get him a little vote like that."

New York Jets safety Jamal Adams won defensive MVP honors after registering a sack, a pass breakup and an interception to lead an AFC defense that limited the NFC to 148 yards, intercepted three passes and sacked Seattle's Russell Wilson, Chicago's Mitchell Trubiskyand Dallas' Dak Prescott a combined seven times.

"I dropped two [interceptions], so they said I couldn't catch, so I had to grab the last one," Adams said. "The weather was crazy out there, but it was a great time."

Ah, the weather. It felt more like Seattle than Orlando on Sunday. Temperatures never climbed out of the 50s, and the game was played in a constant rain with wind gusts up to 25 mph. It was the second year in a row that the game was played in the rain. Orlando's three-year contract with the NFL to play the Pro Bowl in Central Florida expired after the game, and the poor weather the past two years might play a role in the NFL's decision about where to play in 2020 and beyond.

But the weather was hardly the only unusual thing about Sunday.

New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara and Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott got some snaps as third-down pass rushers. Tampa Bay receiver Mike Evans got on the field as a defensive back -- and had an interception and a pass breakup. Those came on back-to-back throws from Deshaun Watson to Jarvis Landry.

"I'm an athlete. I can play both sides of the ball," Evans said with a laugh. "Nah, I used to play both sides of the ball. I can't no more. My hips aren't good enough. I don't have the stamina. ... All I do is what most corners in the NFL do: press, play outside leverage and hold. That's what I did, and it worked for me.

"He [Landry] did a good job on the first one not letting me pick it. He had pushed me by pretty good -- I'm usually the one doing that. But I wouldn't want to guard Jarvis on dry land. If it was dry and the weather was good, I wouldn't want to cover him."

Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey stole Evans' limelight, though, by catching a 6-yard touchdown pass from Watson with 19 seconds remaining. Ramsey, who earlier in the game was penalized for pass interference on a fourth-down play, dunked the football over the crossbar after the play.

"Me and Deshaun, that's my brother from another mother," Ramsey said. "We've been plotting and scheming all week, manifesting, and it just came about."

It wasn't all positive for the AFC, however. Allen and Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster each left the game with knee contusions. Smith-Schuster was limping considerably as he headed to the team bus after the game and did not bend his left knee. He declined to speak with a reporter.

Allen left the locker room shortly after the game ended.

Buccaneers reporter Jenna Laine contributed to this report.

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