The three Seahawks reps in the Pro Bowl made a little bit of noise for a mostly listless NFC team, which was beaten handily by the AFC, 26-7.
The three Seahawks representatives in Sunday’s Pro Bowl may have felt at home as it dropped buckets of rain throughout the contest at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla.
But the NFC team the three Seattle players played for was hardly bathed in glory as the AFC took a 26-7 win, with only an NFC touchdown with 9:05 left preventing what would have been the first shutout in the game’s history.
Still, the three Seattle players — quarterback Russell Wilson, linebacker Bobby Wagner and punter Michael Dickson — each had a few moments in the sun through all the gloom.
Here are five things to know about how the Seahawks did Sunday:
RUSSELL WILSON STARTED OFF HOT — AND GOT A SNAP AT A POSITION OTHER THAN QB
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Wilson got the start and played the first four series, and things started off well enough. On the NFC’s first play, he hit Green Bay’s Davante Adams for a 36-yard gain (yep, a first-down pass!), then quickly completed two more passes as the NFC ultimately drove to the AFC 4. But he also took a sack en route, a sign of things to come, and the NFC was stopped on a fourth-and-goal run at the 2 that left the drive fruitless.
Along the way, Wilson played one snap at receiver. Fortunately, this is the Pro Bowl, where hitting anyone is mostly forbidden, and all Wilson did was take a few steps forward as the ball was snapped directly to Ezekiel Elliott, who picked up 5 yards on the play.
WILSON THEN COOLED OFF GREATLY
After Wilson drove the NFC 66 yards in nine plays to within 2 yards of the end zone, he played three more series, which each went three-and-out.
In fact, the series all went backward — minus-4, minus-2 and minus-2 yards — as Wilson suffered one sack on each drive, finishing the game with four, which was maybe a fitting capper to a year in which he was sacked a career-high 51 times in the regular season.
Wilson didn’t play after the fourth drive, one of three NFC QBs in the game (the others were Chicago’s Mitch Trubisky and Dallas’ Dak Prescott) and he finished 5 of 8 for 68 yards, which actually made him the leading passer of the game for the NFC.
MAYBE THE REFS ARE ON TO BOBBY WAGNER NOW
Wagner was credited with five tackles, including one on the first play of the game and another that briefly kept the AFC out of the end zone when he brought down Melvin Gordon at the 1.
But the AFC scored a few plays later and then Wagner tried to inject some life into things, once again taking a little leap over the offensive line in an attempt to block a point-after attempt by Jason Myers (yep, the same Jason Myers Seattle released in the preseason to keep Sebastian Janikowski. Myers made it to the game after a standout season with the Jets).
Wagner didn’t get the block, as Myers made the kick, but he did get a flag, officially called for “leaping.’’ Wagner blocked a kick against Minnesota with a similar move in a game in December, a play that didn’t draw a flag at the time but which the NFL later said should have for using his teammates as leverage.
DICKSON GOT MORE WORK THAN MIGHT HAVE BEEN EXPECTED
The NFC’s offensive ineptitude — it was outgained 269-86 in the first half — meant a little more action for Dickson than might have been anticipated in what is usually more of a high-scoring affair.
Dickson finished with four punts for 43.3 yards. He was also on the field for what was the NFC’s best run of the day, a fake when the snap instead went straight to Elliott, who picked up 22 yards.
DICKSON SHOWED HE CAN HOLD FOR A RIGHT-FOOTED KICKER
OK, so we’re searching for anything interesting here.
But recall that last preseason there was some talk about Dickson having to learn how to hold for a left-footed kicker in Janikowski after having done little live holding in his career before being drafted by the Seahawks.
Dickson appeared to adjust just fine.
But now, with Janikowski — who will be a free agent in March — appearing unlikely to be back, Dickson can almost certainly go back to holding for a right-footed kicker. Seattle has already signed Sam Ficken, who is right-footed, to compete for the job.
Dickson got a little head start on holding during the Pro Bowl week of practices, handling the holds for NFC kicker Aldrick Rosas of the Giants. The NFC battery worked just fine on its only attempt of the day, a PAT in the fourth quarter.
And with that, the book can be closed in all ways on the Seahawks’ 2018 season.