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NFL Pro Bowl 2020: Several Saints stand out in 38-33 AFC win over NFC

Drew Brees, Michael Thomas and Jared Cook thrived for the NFC in a losing effort

NFL: Pro Bowl-NFC at AFC Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

A somber 2020 Pro Bowl is now in the books. In a game that was ultimately overshadowed by the tragic passing of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, the AFC defeated the NFC 38-33 in a close game. Several Saints put up serious numbers, including Drew Brees, Michael Thomas and Jared Cook.

Brees started at quarterback at the behest of Russell Wilson, who gave Brees props for possibly opening doors for him to start in the NFL. Brees capitalized on the opportunity, throwing for 95 yards (including a 59-yard completion to Kenny Golladay) and a touchdown to teammate Michael Thomas. Thomas caught five passes for 92 yards, whereas Jared Cook had three catches for 84 yards. Cameron Jordan also logged a tackle for the Saints.

All things told, of the 11 Saints present, Brees, Thomas and Cook were the ones who left a big footprint on the game.

Outside of the Saints, Kirk Cousins threw 22 passes, a team-high for the NFC. He had 181 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Wilson showed out well, despite going just 5 of 11 passing. He had 78 yards and a touchdown. Packers wide receiver Devante Adams also completed a pass of 34 yards.

Golladay caught three passes for 109 yards, over half of those yards coming from his connection with Brees.

For the AFC, Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson unsurprisingly put on a clinic. Jackson threw for 182 yards and two touchdowns, while Watson logged 148 yards and a TD. Both quarterbacks had an interception. Ryan Tannehill went 1 of 2 with an interception of his own.

Former Saints Mark Ingram complemented Jackson well in the backfield, getting five carries for 31 yards. Ravens tight end Mark Andrews also continued continued the big day for Baltimore, catching nine passes for 73 yards and a touchdown. LSU graduate D.J. Chark led AFC wide receivers with 67 yards and had a touchdown of his own.

Four different AFC receivers scored touchdowns, and Earl Thomas and Joe Haden logged interceptions.

This entire game was set on the quirky backdrop of some potential NFL rule changes. Kickoffs went the way of the dinosaur, and scoring teams were given the option of either going for a 4th-and-15 in lieu of an onside kick or giving the opposing team the ball on the 25-yard line.

The NFC’s “onside” attempt was an interception from Cousins, that ultimately signaled the end of the game. The AFC won 38-33, capping a very strange Pro Bowl.