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2024 Pro Bowl Games, Day 1: Baker Mayfield, Cowboys stars help NFC take 12-6 lead over AFC

Golf, dodgeball and precision passing were the among the events that went down during opening night of the 2024 Pro Bowl Games on Thursday. The NFC, with the help of several Dallas Cowboys stars, lead the AFC 12-6 entering Sunday’s final. 

This is the second year of the NFL’s revamped Pro Bowl format, which takes place in Orlando, Florida. It’s a two-day event that kicked off on Thursday night and will conclude on Sunday, Feb. 4. The 2024 Pro Bowl Games will be capped off with a 7-on-7 flag football game between NFC and AFC Pro Bowlers. 

Points won for winning an event will be tallied into a total score that will determine which conference is the 2024 Pro Bowl Games winner. 

Here’s a recap of what happened on Thursday night.  

Events

Precision passing: Each of the conference’s three quarterbacks competed in a one-minute accuracy competition. The most targets you hit, the higher your score. 

Winner: Baker Mayfield (NFC) 

The final round was between C.J. Stroud and Mayfield, who won the event on the last throw

Mayfield also had a memorable moment during his interview with Ryan Clark. Mayfield, despite not throwing since Tampa’s season ended, was sharp enough to edge out Stroud, who just completed the greatest rookie season by a quarterback in NFL history. 

Closest to the pin: Six players from each conference drove golf balls to see who could get their drive closest to the pin, which was 115 yards away. 

Winner: Bryan Anger (NFC) 

Dolphins fullback Alec Ingold put the pressure on early with a shot that landed 13 feet, six inches from the cup. Cowboys tight end Jake Ferguson passed him with a shot that landed six feet and two inches from the hole. But his Dallas teammate, Anger, put it away with a beautiful shot that landed just two feet short of the pin. 

Maybe the worst shot of the day went to Bears cornerback Jaylon Johnson. For whatever reason, the NFL has declined to share a video of his shot via social media. 

High stakes: Starting with holding one ball, players tried to catch as many punts as they can from a JUGS machine. Whoever could hold the most balls while still catching a ball from the JUGS machine was be named as the winner. 

Winner: Miles Killebrew (AFC) 

The Steelers‘ special teams standout caught six passes from the JUGS machine. Pittsburgh may want to consider having him line up beside starting wideouts Diontae Johnson and George Pickens next year. 

Snap shots: Offensive linemen/long snappers tired to long snap balls through targets ranging from 1 to 5 points. 

Winner: Andrew DePaola (NFC) 

Fittingly, this skills challenge was won by a long snapper. DePaola took home the win for the NFC by tallying 9 points in the event

It was a humble experience for Eagles center Jason Kelce, who was determined to get one ball through the 5 target. Kelce’s determination was rewarded on his final throw. 

Dodgeball presented by Bud Light: A multi-round tournament of classic dodgeball between four teams of five players representing each side of the ball. 

The AFC offense defeated the NFC defense in the first game, with Derrick Henry throwing a cannon that may or may not have hit a spectator. 

Offense also won the second game, setting he stage for a championship matchup between the league’s best offenses. CeeDee Lamb contributed to the win by catching Patrick Queen’s laser throw.  

What’s next 

The games will continue on Sunday with the following events: 

Madden NFL head-to-head: EA Sports will host this two-on-two matchup between players from both conferences using the 2024 Pro Bowl Games rosters. 

Best catch: Puka Nacua (NFC) and David Njoku (AFC) show off their skills by trying to top the other. Fan votes will determine the winner. 

Kick-Tac-Toe: Each team’s kicker will competed in a giant version of the Kick-Tac-Toe competition. The first one to complete a connecting line of three squares, or hit five squares total will be named the winner. 

Gridiron Gauntlet: A full-field, obstacle course relay race pitting six AFC and NFC players against each other. 

Tug-of-War: A new event this year that will pit five players from both conferences against each other. 

Move the Chains: You might pull your back just watching this event. A competition that will include only offensive and defensive linemen, two five-man teams must move 3,000 pounds of weight off a 2,000 pound wall, then be the first to pull that wall across the finish line. 

Flag Football: The Pro Bowl Games will wrap up with a flag football matchup between the AFC and NFC.

(Full rosters can be found here)

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