AFC wins Pro Bowl, Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster hurts knee |

AFC wins Pro Bowl, Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster hurts knee

The Associated Press
AFC running back James Conner of the Pittsburgh Steelers runs past NFC defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence of the Dallas Cowboys during the first half of the Pro Bowl Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Orlando, Fla.
NFC cornerback Kyle Fuller (23), of the Chicago Bears, intercepts a pass intedned for AFC wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster (19), of the Pittsburgh Steelers, during the first half of the NFL Pro Bowl football game Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)
AFC quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15), of the Kansas City Chiefs, throws a pass against the NFC during the first half of the NFL Pro Bowl football game Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)

ORLANDO, Fla. — The AFC owns Orlando.

Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes completed an 18-yard touchdown pass to Indianapolis’ Eric Ebron, and the AFC beat the NFC, 26-7, in steady rain in the Pro Bowl on Sunday.

Pittsburgh Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster left the game with a bruised knee, but the injury was not considered serious. He had one catch for 16 yards. Teammate James Conner ran six times for 11 yards. Cameron Heyward had 1.5 sacks and tied for the team high with six tackles.

It was the third consecutive victory for the AFC in the NFL all-star game, all of them coming at Camping World Stadium.

The last two were played in sloppy weather, with the latest one also coming amid temperatures in the mid-50s.

It was far from ideal conditions, fairly fitting considering the effort players provided. It was two-hand touch most of the day, with officials blowing plays dead at the slightest hint of contact.

The AFC rallied in the rain last year, outscoring the NFC, 21-3, after halftime to win 24-23.

The AFC led 20-0 early in the fourth quarter Sunday, looking like it might notch the first shutout in Pro Bowl history. But Dallas’ Dak Prescott found Atlanta’s Austin Hooper for a 20-yard score on fourth down with 9:09 remaining.

Mahomes completed 7 of 14 passes for 156 yards and was named the offensive MVP. New York Jets safety Jamal Adams, who had an interception and a sack, was the defensive MVP. Each got a luxury vehicle.

Each player on the AFC will get $67,000 for the victory, $8,000 more than the players who lose the Super Bowl next week in Atlanta. The Pro Bowl losers will get $39,000 each.

The game turned comical late, with several offensive guys playing defense and a few defenders taking offensive snaps.

Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey caught a 6-yard slant pass from Houston’s Deshaun Watson for a touchdown with 19 seconds remaining. Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James failed to haul in the 2-point conversion.

The NFC had plenty of chances before that. It failed to score on a fourth-and-goal run early. Chicago’s Mitchell Trubisky, Minnesota receiver Adam Thielen and Prescott threw interceptions.

Trubisky also was sacked by Adams on a flea flicker, and Dallas’ Amari Cooper had a wide-open touchdown pass bounce off his face mask.

Seattle’s Russell Wilson also was sacked four times.

The AFC had several chances to put the game away, but the Colts’ Andrew Luck and Watson threw interceptions.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Mike Evans picked off Watson. The play ended after several laterals and even more half-hearted attempts at tackles.

New York Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley and New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara also played defense.