PRO BOWL: FIRST QUARTER
RICHARD WALKER / RWALKER@STARBULLETIN.COM
Peyton Manning scrambled trying to find an open receiver yesterday. Manning found wideout Chris Chambers with 5:09 left for the only score of the opening quarter.
All-Stars and officials take first quarter off
The 2006 Pro Bowl picked right up where Super Bowl XL left off a week before.
And that's not a good thing.
The first quarter at Aloha Stadium yesterday began with Lorenzo Neal bobbling the opening kickoff in the rain and ended with the AFC leading 7-0 on -- you guessed it -- a controversial call by an official.
Overall, the offensive players got their 15 minutes of shame with just a few notable exceptions.
The 16-yard touchdown pass from Peyton Manning to Chris Chambers at the 5:09 mark was ruled a catch even though the leaping Chambers managed just one foot inbounds in the end zone. Field judge Scott Steenson determined that cornerback DeAngelo Hall pushed Chambers out. But replays indicated that unless Chambers defied gravity, the other foot would not have landed in the field of play anyway.
The rest of the action wasn't controversial, just not very good, especially if you like offense. When the quarterbacks weren't throwing the ball too high, their tosses were wobbly.
DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
The AFC's Shawne Merriman tried to bring down the NFC's Steve Smith after Smith picked up a Matt Hasselbeck fumble.
Tiki Barber and Matt Hasselbeck fumbled on consecutive plays deep in their own territory, but fortunately for the NFC the ball bounced their way and not into AFC defenders' hands.
Nathan Vasher intercepted Manning a series after Darren Sharper should've done the same but dropped the ball.
Hall won the first on-field confrontation with AFC receiver Chad Johnson, knocking a pass away from Johnson on third and 15. The two had engaged in a playful war of words leading up to the game, and it continued after that play.
Jerome Mathis made a sparkling play on special teams for the AFC, downing Brian Moorman's punt on the NFC 1. He also returned a punt for 12 yards. And AFC defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch sacked Hasselbeck late in the quarter.
But for the most part, the first quarter looked like it was played by a bunch of guys coming off a week of mai tais and bodyboarding.
AFC STANDOUT: John Lynch intercepted a Matt Hasselbeck pass and returned it 40 yards to the NFC 45. It set up the only score of the first quarter. The Broncos safety also knocked down another pass and made two tackles.
NFC STANDOUT: Lofa Tatupu was in on four tackles, including two on special teams. His father, Mosi, represented the AFC as its special teams player in 1986.
STAT CHAT: Peyton Manning extended his Pro Bowl career touchdown passing record to 12 with his 16-yard scoring toss to Chris Chambers. It was the third touchdown reception in two Aloha Stadium games for Chambers -- separated by more than five years; he caught eight passes for 169 yards and two scores as a collegian for Wisconsin against Hawaii in 2000.
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