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Feb 1, 2024 10:30 pm

NFC takes early lead vs. AFC at Pro Bowl Games

The NFC holds a 12-6 lead over the AFC after the first day of the Pro Bowl Games skills challenges on Thursday in Orlando.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield beat Houston Texas rookie C.J. Stroud in the final round of the Precision Passing competition, one of six events held Thursday with the teams earning three points for each win.

The NFC also won the Closest to the Pin challenge, which had five players from each conference hit a golf ball as close to the hole as possible. Dallas Cowboys punter Bryan Anger sealed the victory for the NFC.

The AFC won the High Stakes event, which began with each player holding two footballs as he attempted to catch punts from a JUGS machine. Pittsburgh Steelers safety Miles Killebrew won the event for the AFC by catching a punt while holding five footballs. He failed in his attempt to catch a seventh ball.

Minnesota Vikings long snapper Andrew DePaola won the Snap Shots competition for the NFC. DePaola scored nine points in the 45-second round, snapping footballs at targets of various sizes from 13 yards away.

There was also a multi-round dodgeball tournament, featuring four teams of seven players. The AFC offense defeated the NFC defense, but the NFC offense returned the favor, beating the AFC defense.

Cleveland Browns tight end David Njoku and Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Puka Nacua faced off in the Best Catch competition, which was a test of creativity, inventiveness and talent as each player got three attempts to secure the reception.

Nacua caught a pass while riding a wakeboard at high speed. Njoku failed in his three attempts at catching a pass while doing a backflip off a rope. Fans will vote online to determine the winner.

The skills challenges continue Sunday with five more competitions.

Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker and Cowboys kicker Brandon Aubrey will face off in Kick Tac Toe, which will test their accuracy in a giant Tic-Tac-Toe board.

In Move the Chains, offensive and defensive linemen will work together to move 3,000 pounds of weights off a wall and be the first team to pull the wall across the finish line.

There will also be a classic tug-of-war as five players from each conference attempt to pull the opposing team to their side in a best-of-three competition.

The Gridiron Gauntlet will be a full-field relay race between six players from each conference as they navigate an obstacle course.

The Madden Head-to-Head Challenge will pit Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill and Njoku against Nacua and Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons as they compete on the virtual gridiron.

The Sunday slate also will include a flag football game.

The conference that wins the competition will earn $88,000 for each of the competitors. The competitors on the losing team will earn $44,000.

–Field Level Media

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