At the University of Utah, quarterback Alex Smith was known as much for his running ability as his arm. This year, in Kansas City as a member of the Chiefs -- after a few rocky years in San Francisco -- Smith got back to what he does best, earning his first Pro Bowl selection since 2012.
On Sunday January 26 in Honolulu at Pro Bowl 2014 honoring the NFL's best Smith started out kind of rocky. But boy, did he ever finish with a flourish, leading his team coached by 49ers legend Jerry Rice to a come-from-behind 22-21 win over Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders’ team.
It was a new format at the Pro Bowl in which the NFL did away with conferences and had two NFL legends -- namely Rice and Sanders -- draft players who had already been selected for this game in Hawaii.
Smith nearly had one of his throws fall into the hands of former Ute Eric Weddle. But, fortunately for Smith Weddle couldn’t hang onto the throw across the middle -- dropping it. Weddle had one tackle for Team Sanders.
On Smith’s next possession in the second half, however, he wasn’t as fortunate as his pass was picked off.
But on the ensuing possession Smith masterminded a four-play, 58-yard drive that culminated in a 20-yard touchdown pass to Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray to cut Team Rice’s lead to 21-20.
Carolina Panthers running back Mike Tolbert plunged over the goal line on the two-point try with 41 seconds remaining to give Team Rice its first Pro Bowl win under the new format -- only after Team Sanders missed an audacious 67-yard field goal attempt by Baltimore Ravens kicker Josh Tucker.
Smith finished with nine pass completions for 116 yards, one touchdown and one interception -- along with one rush for 13 yards -- in about one quarter and a half of play.