Whew, I made it! Getting into the stadium wasn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever done, but I’m all set up in the press box now to give you updates on how Vernon Davis, Andy Lee, Frank Gore and Justin Smith perform in today’s all-star game.
Earlier today, I posted a photo gallery of our Pro Bowl cheerleader, Amy. I would also like to thank Brandon Vaccaro of Brandon Vaccaro Photography and Nick Scurfield and Jeremy Stewart of HoustonTexans.com for their help this week. All of our photo galleries from Pro Bowl week were a combined effort by all of us. I posted galleries from Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday practices so make sure to check out all of the content from this week on our Pro Bowl Central page. If you know anyone who may be a Texans fan, make sure to check out Nick Scurfield’s blog as well.
Right when I got in, I headed out to the Tailgate party where Amy and the rest of the cheerleaders perrformed. Doug Flutie also made an appearance and took some photos with fans.
Stay tuned to this blog throughout the game. I’ll be keeping tabs on our players and how often they’re playing tonight.
The temperature at kickoff is 67 degrees with a light rain. It’s been gorgeous all week long and then right when the game is about to start, it rains.
The AFC got the ball to start the game and Josh Cribbs had a nice return of 21 yards out to the 35. No 49ers players are in to start the game for the NFC defense. Patrick Willis was named a starter, but will not play because of a minor injury. Matt Schaub hit Chris Johnson on a swing pass for a 1st down on the first play of the drive. Johnson was involved on the next two plays as the AFC marched down to the NFC 36-yard line. 2nd and 6, Shaub hit Antonio Gates for a gain of 3. 3rd and 3, Shaub hit Andre Johnson for a 33-yard touchdown. Asante Samuel didn’t exactly have tight coverage on the play as Johnson didn’t have a defender within 10 yards. Justin Smith was in the game on the play. Smith bull rushed Faneca and threw him on his backside. The two looked to be joking with one another after the play. Faneca had to give Smith some credit on the play.
AFC 7 – NFC 0
No 49ers are in on the kickoff return team. You can tell these players aren’t used to being in on special teams, Johnny Knox took the ball out to the 32. Aaron Rodgers hit Miles Austin, but was hit immediately for a loss of 1. 2nd and 11, Rodgers hit Vernon Davis who was all alone on a deep crossing route for a gain of 46. 1st and 10, Rodgers looked for Davis again on a go route. The pass was long and incomplete. 2nd and 10, Adrian Peterson plunged ahead for a gain of 4. 3rd and 6, Rodgers pass for Jackson was incomplete as Jackson couldn’t get his feet in. Andy Lee came on to hold for David Akers’ 46-yard field goal attempt. Lee must have done his job just fine as Akers connected on the kick. Davis was in on all 5 plays on the drive.
AFC 7 – NFC 3
No 49ers players were in on the kickoff as Cribbs took the kick out to the 35. 1st and 10, Schaub rolled out and his pass felt incomplete intended for Chris Johnson. 2nd and 10, Johnson plunged up the middle for a gain of 6. 3rd and 4, Shaub hit Andre Johnson down the left sideline. The NFC might want to start covering him. It was a gain of 30. 1st and 10 from the 28, Cribbs took the handoff and pitched to Johnson. The trickery netted 5 yards. 2nd and 5, Schaub hit Brandon Marshall on the slant for the score. Justin Smith was in on the final play of that drive.
AFC 14 – NFC 3
Vernon Davis is making his special teams debut on the NFC kickoff return team. I didn’t get to see how he did blocking on the return as the ball was downed for a touchback. 1st and 10, Rodgers dumped it off to Peterson for a gain of 5. 2nd and 5, Rodgers rolled to his left and hit Jason Witten for a gain of 8. Davis was the deep option on the play and looked to have pretty good separation. 1st and 10, Rodgers bought some time and tried to hit Peterson but the Viking running back couldn’t haul it in. 2nd and 10, Rodgers hit DeSean Jackson on the WR screen. Davis and others had nice blocks on that side to assist in the 7-yard gain. 3rd and 3, Rodgers hit Miles Austin for 7 yards and a first down. 1st and 10, Rodgers hit Austin for a short gain. Davis was lined up as a receiver on the play. 2nd and 5, Rodgers hit Steve Smith of the Giants for a 45-yard touchdown. Smith beat the coverage of Champ Bailey for the score. Davis was in for 5 plays on that drive.
AFC 14 – NFC 10
Cribbs showed some toughness, breaking several tackles and gaining extra yardage out to the 29. Justin Smith is in to start the drive and starting joking with former Bengals teammate Chad Ochocinco before the play. 1st and 10, Young hit Rice on a screen that went backwards for a loss of 8. 2nd and 18, Samuel had good coverage on Ochocinco, deflecting Young’s pass before it arrived. 3rd and 18, Young hit Rice short fora gain of 11. That’s right, we have a punt! A defensive stop in the Pro Bowl? Vernon Davis was in on the punt return team as Jackson gained only a few yards on the return.
1st and 10 for the NFC from their own 22, Davis was in as a blocker and Rodgers hit Witten down the right sideline down to the AFC 45. 1st and 10, Rodgers hit Roddy White quick to the left side for a gain of 6. 2nd and 44, Jackson took the end around and his pass was well behind Mile Austin. It was not a pretty looking pass. 3rd and 4, Mario Williams hit Rodgers for the sack and a loss of 3. That’s the end of the first quarter.
In the first quarter, Vernon Davis was in on 13 plays (11 offense, 2 special teams), Justin Smith was in on five plays by my count and Andy Lee was on to hold twice.
4th and 7 from the AFC 42, Rodgers hit DeSean Jackson who got just beyond the first down marker. 1st and 10, Rodgers tried to find Williams on a short cross, but the Panthers running back could make the grab. 2nd and 10, Rodgers hit White quick to the left for a gain of 3. he was pushed out by Champ Bailey. 3rd and 3, Davis lined up in the slot on Rogers hit him on an out route for a gain of 9. 1st and 10 from the AFC 14, Rodger hit Witten on out route for a gain of 8. 2nd and 2, Williams tried to find some room inside, but went backward for a loss of 1. 3rd and 3, Rodgers hit Jackson to the left side on a screen pass for a 7-yard score. Give an assist though to Davis who came out quickly to seal off Champ Baily and open that side for Jackson.
NFC 17 – AFC 14
Cribbs took the kick out to the 29. 1st and 10, Ray Rice got the inside carry and picked up 9. 2nd and 1, Rice got the ball again and ran hard for a gain of 23. 1st and 10 from the NFC 39, Young hit Ochocinco on a comeback for a gain of 10. 1st and 10, McClain picked up 3 on the carry. 2nd and 7, Rice gained 4, dancing around as he searched for a hole. 3rd and 3, Young scrambled and was brought down by Dockett short of the marker. Why not go for it on 4th and short? The AFC does and Rice gains 3 to ove the chains. 1st an 10, the NFC defense swarmed to bring down Rice for a loss of 4. 2nd and 14, Young hits Gates crossing and he got down to the 12. 3rd and 5, Young’s pass was too short for Vincent Jackson. A good throw would have resulted in a score as Jackson had created space. Dan Carpenter tied the game up with a 30-yard field goal. The crowd was pleased to see their hometown kicker connect.
NFC 17 – AFC 17
Knox got around the right side, down to the 27. 1st and 10, McNabb hit Williams out of the backfield for a nice gain of 15 yards. Ngata nearly deflected the pass at the line. 1st and 10, McNabb threw the ball right to Dolphins safety Yeremiah Bell who couldn’t pick it off. 2nd and 10, Davis was wide open down the middle of the field and a bad pass by McNabb fell way short. 3rd and 10, McNabb called his own number and got just enough for the first down. 1st and 10, McNabb threw the ball right to LaMarr Woodley who returned it all the way, but flags were all over the field. The AFC had 12 men on the field so that may have helped. Davis was called for a facemask so that crazy play will simply be played again. 1st and 10, Frank Gore got his first touch and took the handoff around the left side for a gain of 2. 2nd and 8, McNabb threw too high for Knox. It has not been a good series for the Eagles quarterback so far. 3rd and 8, McNabb scrambled for a gain of 5.
The two-minute warning provided some entertainment as the mascots played a game of musical chair. With just one chair, it quickly became a dog pile.
4th and 3, Gore got the carry from the shotgun formation and looks to be just shy of the first down. Turnover on downs. Garrard hit Kassim Osgood on a crossing route for 18 yards. 1st and 10, Garrard looked for Vincent Jackson in the end zone. Mike Jenkins had good coverage to break up the pass. 2nd and 10, Garrard’s pass is again incomplete for Jackson. 3rd and 10, Garrard scrambled and was brought down from behind by Peppers. With the AFC looking to go for it, the NFC calls timeout. 4th and 8, Garrard threw too high for Gates. Smith made a nice spin move to apply pressure right as Garrard threw. That’s a turnover on downs and the NFC will have 54 seconds to work with before the end of the half.
1st and 10, McNabb’s pass is too long for Jason Witten. 2nd and 10, McNabb avoided the low tackle of Vanden Bosch and got out of bounds after a gain of 4. 3rd and 6, McNabb’s pass was well behind Gore. Wow! Lee is on for his first ever Pro Bowl punt. Cribbs fielded it on the goal line and brought it all the way back to the NFC 35.
1st and 10, Garrard hit Ochocinco on a cross down to the 18-yard line. Carpenter game on for the field goal, but the kick is no good. The score stay all ties up at 17-17 as we head to halftime.
I’ve been doing my best to chart our players’ snaps. Through two quarters, Davis has been in on 24 plays (21 offense, 3 special teams), Gore has been in on 7 offensive plays, Smith has had 13 snaps and Lee has had one punt and 3 holds for field goals and extra points.
I hadn’t even returned to my seat at the press box after running down to the field to get photos. I did see McNabb hit Jackson though for a 58-yard touchdown. I was still in the elevator at the time.
NFC 24 – AFC 17
The AFC will start their drive at the 43 after a nice return by Cribbs. 1st and 10, Garrard hit Jackson for a gain of 9. 2nd and 1, Garrad hit Jackson again. Jackson found a hole in the defense and then took off and outran everyone, diving for the end zone and getting the touchdown. Looked like he may have stepped out of bounds early, but no review.
NFC 24 – AFC 24
Knox took the kick back 21 yards out to the 25. 1st and 10, McNabb’s pass wasn’t close to TE Jason Witten. It was easily picked off by Dawkins. He lateraled the ball to Bailey who lateraled it to Revis who fumbled the ball which was then recovered by the man who originally picked it off, Dawkins. Great work by the press box PA announcer just to get all of that straight.
1st and 10 for the AFC from the NFC 43, Garrard hit Jackson along the left sideline for a gain of 20. 1st and 10, Garrard’s screen pass attempt was too high for Jones-Drew. 2nd and 10, nice coverage by Rolle to break up the pass intended for Gates in the end zone. Unsportsmanlike conduct on the NFC though for illegal defense and the AFC will get the first down plus half the distance to the goal. 1st and 10 from the 11, Jones-Drew gets the carry up the middle for a gain of 7. 2nd and 3, Jones-Drew got a great push from his offensive line and walked in for the touchdown.
AFC 31 – NFC 24
The NFC drive starts at the 25. Peterson got the handoff on first down and got around the left side for a gain of 12. 1st and 10, Peterson rumbled to the right side and picked up just 1. 2nd and 9, McNabb’s pass was too high for Witten and the boos start to rain down for the Eagles quarterback. 3rd and 9, McNabb scrambled, but will be short of the first down. McNabb is just 3 of 10 for 78 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Lee’s second ever Pro Bowl punmt was downed at the 21.
1st and 10, Garrard scrambled, but was chased by Dockett and had to throw it away. 2nd and 10, Garrard hit Ochocinco on a deep cross for a gain of 40. 1st and 10, Garrard connected with Jackson for an 18-yard gain and then hit Ochocinco again for a gain of 13. 1st and 10, Rice got the carry and was tackled by Smith for a short gain. 2nd and 8, Ochocinco nearly made a spectacular touchdown grab, but was hit hard and couldn’t hang on. 3rd and 8, Garrard scrambled and was eventually brought down by Justin Smith for a sack and a loss of 1. Carpenter is good this time from 26 yards.
AFC 34 – NFC 24
Carpenter’s kick goes into the end zone for a touchback. 1st and 10, Jackson got the quick pass and again followed a block by Vernon Davis for a gain of 11. That’s several times now that they’ve run that play. 1st and 10, Romo hit White over the middle for a gain of 16. 1st and 10, they go with the quick screen with Davis as the blocker yet again. This time the pass was to White and gained 5. 2nd and 5, Romo hit Davis on a deep cross for a gain. 1st and 10, Romo hit Jackson short for a gain of 6. 2nd and 4, Romo hit White down the right sideline to the 7-yard line. 1st and goal, Williams took the carry up the middle for the touchdown.
AFC 34 – NFC 31
Cribbs returned the kickoff 37 yards out to the 40. 1st and 10, Rice picked up 7 yard on the inside run. 2nd and 3, Young’s pass skips short of Ochocinco. 3rd and 3, Young checks down to Rice who made a quick move for the first down. That’s it for the third quarter.
1st and 10, Young floated it for Ochocinco. Samuel had good position, but Ochocinco leaped over him and nearly came down with a great grab. 2nd and 10, Young hit Miller over the middle for a gain of 13. 1st and 10, Young’s pass intended for Ochocinco was knocked down by Samuel. 2nd and 10, Young’s pass was well off the mark and picked off by Samuel who returned it from the 4 out to the 39.
1st and 10, Romo hit White who outran the secondary down to the 26. An illegal defense penalty will move the ball half the distance to the goal. 1st and 10 from the 13, Romo looked for Witten, but the pass was incomplete. 2nd and 10, Romo hit White quick to the left side for a loss of 3. 3rd and 13, Romo was hauled down by Mario Williams – his 2nd sack. Lee on to hold for the 39-yard field goal attempt which is good.
NFC 34 – AFC 34
The kickoff bounced in the end zone and Cribbs still took it out to the 24. 1st and 10, Schaub hit Jackson over the middle for a gain of 17. 1st and 10, Schaub was chased by Allen and he had to get rid of it. I have to start getting packed up and ready to go down to the field. We’ll have photo galleries and more coverage though after the game so stay tuned!!
Posted in Gameday | 11 Comments »