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The Charger Bulletin

Taylor’s NFL Picks Week 4

by Taylor Hauck | October 1, 2014

Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers
The Packers looked good in an easy win over Chicago. Aaron Rodgers came alive in their big win. Meanwhile, the Vikings played well offensively to get by the Falcons. Look for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to build on their win and roll over the Vikings at home in Green Bay.

St. Louis Rams @ Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia played poorly on offense in their first loss of the season against the 49ers. The offense only had one drive where they got into opponents territory. Their special teams were the only bright spots in the game. The Rams are coming off a bye week and will need to be prepared for the Eagles. Expect the Eagles to bounce back with an easy win.

Chicago Bears @ Carolina Panthers
The Bears look to bounce back after a blowout loss Sunday to the Packers. Chicago sits at 2-2 and is tied with two other teams in the NFC North. The Bears need a win to keep pace in the division. Carolina is atop the NFC South, despite losing two straight games. Expect this game to be close, with the Bears emerging with the victory

Cleveland Browns @ Tennessee Titans
The Browns record doesn’t show how well they have started the season. They are coming off a bye week and hope to get by the Titans. Tennessee hasn’t played well since Week One. They have given up a lot of points on defense and haven’t scored a lot of points on offense so far this season. Expect the game to be close with the Browns pulling out a win.

Atlanta Falcons @ New York Giants
Atlanta has been inconsistent in their first four games. They have either scored a lot of points or given up a lot of points. However their offense has looked better than most teams’ offenses. The Giants have won two straight games after starting the season with two losses. Eli Manning has limited his interceptions during their current win streak. Expect a high scoring game with the Falcons winning.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints
The Saints have failed to show that they are a contender this year. The first four games of the season have been a disaster for New Orleans. Expect them to rebound and gain some momentum over the Bucs. However, the Bucs have momentum of their own after getting an upset win over the Steelers for their first win.

Houston Texans @ Dallas Cowboys
Dallas has been impressive and is currently silencing critics. Both teams have a 3-1 record, but the Cowboys have the better team. The Cowboys’ rush attack is tough to stop. They currently lead the NFL in rushing yards per game. Expect the Cowboys to win easily.

Buffalo Bills @ Detroit Lions
Detroit pulled out another close win on Sunday and their 3-1 record shows their hard work. They hope to run their win streak to three with a win over the Bills. The Bills started the season with two wins but have lost their last two. They hope to put up a good fight against the Lions. Expect a close game with the Lions improving to 4-1.

Baltimore Ravens @ Indianapolis Colts
Andrew Luck and the Colts are coming on strong after a slow start to the season. Luck has thrown for four touchdowns in each of the last two games. Expect the Colts to continue their win streak against the Ravens. The Ravens are 3-1 and lead the AFC North, but they haven’t played an overly impressive team to date. Expect a competitive game in Indianapolis.

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Jacksonville Jaguars
Pittsburgh has been one of the most inconsistent teams in the league. They have played well some weeks and very poorly in others. They look to end their poor streak and rebound with a win over Jacksonville. The Jaguars looked improved with Blake Bortles at quarterback, but still need work. They are winless and look for their first win of the season. Expect Pittsburgh to come away with the much-needed win.

Arizona Cardinals @ Denver Broncos
Despite the Cardinals’ 3-0 record the Broncos have the better team. Both are coming off a bye and should be well rested. Peyton Manning is as good as other years and is tough to beat. Arizona is shaky at the quarterback position and doesn’t know who will start at this point. The Cardinals should compete but the Broncos will pull out a win in a tough, competitive game.

Kansas City Chiefs @ San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers were able to end their losing streak Sunday against the Eagles. They played well on defense and moved the ball effectively on offense. They hope to build off their last game and beat the Chiefs. Kansas City isn’t off to the start they were last year. Expect the Chiefs to put up a good fight, but the 49ers should prevail at the end.

New York Jets @ San Diego Chargers
The Chargers are 3-1 and off to their best start in recent years. Look for San Diego beat the Jets at home. The struggles of the New York Jets continue. Expect a major change in the coaching staff at the end of the season.

Cincinnati Bengals @ New England Patriots
The Bengals are having another good season and hope to become 4-0 with a win over the Patriots. Andy Dalton is leading the way for the Bengals. New England doesn’t look like New England teams of the past, but their defense has played well. They lead the league in opponent passing yards per game. This game should be close, with the Bengals escaping with a win.

Seattle Seahawks @ Washington Redskins
Seattle is coming off a huge win over the Broncos and a bye week. They are well rested and ready to start their stretch of games against NFC East opponents. Washington had a horrible Week Four, getting blown out by the Giants on Thursday Night Football. Washington has a little quarterback controversy, which they hope doesn’t come to a big distraction. Expect a Seahawks win on Monday Night Football.

Three Chargers Earn NFL Opportunities

by Charger Athletics | May 1, 2013

WEST HAVEN, Conn. – For the first time since the program returned to the gridiron, the University of New Haven football team had three student-athletes invited to NFL teams following the 2013 draft on Saturday.

Photo provided by Charger Athletics.

Wide receiver Jason Thompson (Indiantown, Fla./South Fork ) signed a three year contract with the Washington Redskins as an undrafted free agent, while defensive lineman Raheem Stanley (Hartford, Conn./Weaver ) and quarterback Ryan Osiecki (Seymour, Conn./Seymour / Univ. of Louisville) were invited to rookie mini camps with the Kansas City Chiefs and New England Patriots, respectively.

“I’m very happy for them,” said head football coach Peter Rossomando. “They have committed themselves to getting better every day and I’m positive their NFL experience’s will be fulfilling. The entire Charger football family wishes them luck as they begin this chapter of their careers.”

Thompson’s career numbers included 36 touchdowns and 2,511 yards on 132 catches. He ranks among the top insecond in receiving touchdowns and receiving yards, while finishing fifth in receptions in the UNH record books.

Stanley finished his career with 141 total tackles, including 18 tackles-for-loss. As a senior, he was named the NE-10 Defensive Player of the Year with 40 total tackles, nine tackles-for-loss and two sacks.

Osiecki, New Haven’s all-time leader in nearly every passing record, concluded his career with an amazing 91 touchdown passes, 9,572 passing yards and 754 completions.

Previously, New Haven’s had two players drafted in the NFL, Miles McPherson (1982) and Harry Boatswain (1991). Five players have appeared in a NFL regular season game, including the previous two, Fred DiRenzo, Roger Graham and Phil Bogle.

The Redskins will hold rookie minicamp this week, from May 4-6, while the Chiefs and Patriots host minicamps next week, May 11-13 and May 10-12.

 

Ray’s Last Ride

by The Charger Bulletin | February 20, 2013

By Mike Nicolini

Contributing Writer

On the verge of the 2012-2013 NFL playoffs, Ray Lewis made news that shocked the football world. Ray Lewis, one of the greatest linebackers to ever play, announced his decision that he would retire at the end of the year.

Ray is known as being one of the greatest leaders and motivational speakers in sports. Lewis was attempting to beat all the odds by coming back from a torn triceps injury in time to play what would be his last home game in the wild card round of the playoffs versus the Indianapolis Colts.

As expected, the atmosphere for this game was astonishing, as the 71 thousand fans roared from their seats. It was almost as if the viewers knew the Ravens were going to win the game as soon as Ray Lewis walked out of the Ravens tunnel for the last time and did his signature dance as his name was introduced.

Baltimore went on to win the game by a score of 24-9 and move on to the divisional round versus the heavily-favored Denver Broncos. However, going against all odds, Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens walked into Mile High Stadium in Denver and won one of the most exciting games in recent history. The excitement and thrill of the final drive led by quarterback Joe Flacco to bring the game into overtime cannot be matched.

With this miraculous win, the Ravens were set to face the New England Patriots, led by superstar quarterback Tom Brady. The Ravens, being the heavy underdogs once again, rolled over New England, shocking everybody with a final score of 28-13. It was at this point where every football fan took a step to acknowledge and appreciate the great run Ray Lewis was putting together in his final games.

Now, the stage was set for Super Bowl Sunday. The Baltimore Ravens faced the San Francisco 49ers in Ray Lewis’ last game ever. There was one thing for certain on game day, which was that Ray Lewis would give one of the most motivational and emotional speeches in his career before kickoff to get his team ready for battle.

After an exciting gridiron battle, the Baltimore Ravens finished their magical run and edged out the 49ers in an exciting 34-31 ballgame. No one could have written the script any better for Ray Lewis. He beat all the odds by coming back from an injury, quieted all the doubters who said he was too old and too slow, and finished his career on top of the world as a champion. Teammates of Lewis said his speech after the game left them all in tears, which sums up how much he meant to his city.

The Ravens brought the Lombardi trophy home to Baltimore in their celebratory parade, which was bittersweet to fans knowing they have seen the last of the irreplaceable linebacker, number 52, Ray Lewis.

 

 

Taylor’s NFL Picks

by Taylor Hauck | November 14, 2012

Miami Dolphins @ Buffalo Bills

The Dolphins look to bounce back from a dreadful loss to the Titans. This AFC East showdown should result in a win for Miami.

 

Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions

While the Packers haven’t lived up to expectations, they are hot. The Packers also have a quarterback named Aaron Rodgers.

 

Arizona Cardinals @ Atlanta Falcons

Arizona started with four straight wins. They then lost five in a row. They will not compete against a Falcons team bouncing back from their first loss.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers

The Bucs have been a surprise team this season under Coach Schiano and look to continue their success in a NFC South matchup with the struggling Panthers.

 

Cleveland Browns @ Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys are coming off a win over the Eagles and look to put a winning streak together against the 2-7 Browns.

 

Philadelphia Eagles @ Washington Redskins

The turnover-prone Eagles will handle RG3 and the Redskins. The Eagles need a win or Andy Reid could be ousted from Philly.

 

New York Jets @ St. Louis Rams

Both teams are struggling, but the Rams have momentum after competing with the 49ers.

 

Cincinnati Bengals @ Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs are awful, and the Bengals are looking to stay alive in the division race with the Steelers and Ravens. The Bengals are also coming off a huge win over the Giants.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Houston Texans

Houston is enjoying another good season and should blow by the young, inexperienced Jaguars.

 

New Orleans Saints @ Oakland Raiders

The Saints have been a disappointment after a rough offseason, but with Drew Brees at the helm, you can expect the Saints to continue their winning streak.

 

San Diego Chargers @ Denver Broncos

Chargers’ coach Norv Turner could be on his way out if the Chargers continue to fall apart year after year. Peyton Manning leads the Broncos to a victory in Denver.

 

Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots

Andrew Luck has the Colts on the doorstep of the playoffs. However, Tom Brady and company are too powerful for the up-start Colts.

 

Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers

The same old Steelers are back after a sluggish start and should take down their division rival.

 

Chicago Bears @ San Francisco 49ers

Two of the best teams in the NFC square off on Monday Night Football. The game should be close, but the Bears will prevail.

Sean’s Weekend Sports Summaries

by Sean Malone | October 10, 2012

Jets, week five preview at Houston: If you were to approach a Jets fan and ask them what time it is, you would get a lot of different answers. Some who are still committed to Mark Sanchez would say that Sanchez’s time isn’t up yet. Some Jets fans that are fed up with Sanchez’s mediocrity would say that it’s Tebow Time. Even some crazy, desperate Jets fans would say its McElroy time. According to Rex Ryan, however, it seems like Sanchez’s time will continue.

New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw (44) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns.

Now don’t go jumping the gun and saying that it’s the offensive line’s fault or the wide receivers fault for Mark’s lack of success. Sam Bradford has worse of both and is doing much better than Sanchez. Besides, we already saw that same song and dance from Jets fans putting the blame on Brian Schottenheimer, who is Bradford’s offensive coordinator now.

If you think that the Jets are going to bounce back and win this week because they will be motivated to make up for their performance, you couldn’t be more wrong. The Texans are good in every aspect of football. The Jets should play better than they did last Sunday against the 49ers. but not well enough to win. The Texans are arguably playing as well as any team. Watching the game won’t be pretty, especially watching the Jets offense take on the number one defense in the NFL, but it should be better than last week.

My Prediction: 27-6 Texans.

Giants 41, Cleveland 27: It’s amazing how one play can turn around a game. The Giants are coming off a heartbreaking loss at Philadelphia. This week, they are hoping to extract some revenge at home against the Cleveland Browns and, for about the first 28 minutes of the game, it did not seem like they were going to get it. A fumble by Ahmad Bradshaw led to an early 7-0 deficit for the Giants. Then, on the following drive, Browns rookie QB Brandon Weeden hit a bomb to wide receiver Josh Gordon.

The Giants showed some signs of life in this game for the first time, all game after that. They responded with a 92-yard drive that ran over six minutes. After back and forth field goals from both teams, the Giants picked off Weeden, and forced and recovered a fumble on Josh Cribbs on a kickoff return following the Giants touchdown. New York then drove down the field and scored another touchdown, all within two minutes.

After the interception, the Giants scored 24 unanswered points and outscored the Browns 31 to 10 for the remainder of the game. Bradshaw ended the game with 200 yards and a score, and Cruz had three touchdowns himself. However, the Giants did not have a single sack this game. The Giants’ pass rush has been below average this season and with San Francisco, Washington and Dallas coming up on the schedule, the pass rush will need to improve.

Patriots 31, Denver 21:

Tom Brady versus Peyton Manning has returned now that Peyton has returned to the field, and it was as good as it has always been. Brady vs. Manning 11 took place at Foxboro this time, as Peyton faced Brady as a Bronco and not a Colt.

Peyton Manning actually out-performed Tom Brady as Manning threw for 345 yards and three touchdowns compared to Brady’s 223 yards and one passing touchdown. Brady also had a rushing touchdown. The Patriot’s biggest advantage in this game was, surprisingly, their ability to run the ball. They had just over 250 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Despite this, Peyton Manning almost went vintage on them as they were driving late in the game, hoping to make it only a one-possession lead before a fumble by Willis McGahee on the New England 11-yard line. The Patriots would kill the clock for the remainder of the game.

So, Brady beat Manning again to move his record against him to 9-4 on his career. As good as this match up has always been, it never gets old. Even if the players are.

 

Seattle Names Russell Wilson Starting QB

by The Associated Press | August 29, 2012

Pete Carroll and John Schneider were overjoyed during the April NFL draft when the Seattle Seahawks were able to grab Russell Wilson in the third round.

Even they couldn’t anticipate that Wilson would be the Seahawks’ Week 1 starter.

Carroll announced Sunday night that the undersized, but highly successful rookie quarterback from Wisconsin will be the starter when the Seahawks open the regular season on Sept. 9 at Arizona. Wilson beat out Matt Flynn and Tarvaris Jackson — in the process of being traded to Buffalo — for the starting gig.

“It’s been a very exciting competition that has gone on and Russell has taken full advantage of his opportunities and has done everything that we have asked for on the field and more than what you guys could know off the field in meeting rooms and with our players and how he’s represented. He’s earned this job,” Carroll said on a conference call Sunday night. “It was a legitimate competition as we said from the beginning and with the opportunity he’s taken advantage of he deserves to start.”

Wilson has been a dynamic star during the preseason. For the first two weeks, his performance came against backups during the second halves of victories over Tennessee and Denver.

But what Wilson displayed during those two halves were enough for Carroll to give him the start Friday night against Kansas City. Wilson’s response: 13-of-19 passing for 185 yards, two touchdowns and a passer rating of 134.8. And if he didn’t show enough with his arm, Wilson added another 58 yards rushing.

His total preseasons numbers thus far are eye-popping: 35 of 52 (67.3 percent) for 464 yards, five touchdowns and a league-leading 119.4 QB rating. Wilson’s only preseason mistake was throwing a careless end zone interception against Tennessee.

Otherwise, Wilson’s been almost perfect.

“This isn’t just based on the quarters we’ve seen him play. This is based on the practice and the challenges that he’s undertaken here on the practice field,” Carroll said. “We’ve combined everything and with the circumstances that have been presented he won this opening challenge here.”

Wilson’s most recent performance had Seattle fans buzzing, with Twitter overrun with “Russellmania” comments Friday night as he picked apart the Chiefs. As the game progressed, most began accepting the idea that Wilson would be the starter.

Carroll said Wilson took the news in stride.

“He expects to be good and he expects to be successful and he expects to make plays,” Carroll said.

Wilson has been able to pick up the Seahawks offense quicker because of his experience playing in a West Coast offensive system in college. He spent his first three seasons at North Carolina State before transferring for his final year to Wisconsin. In Madison, Wilson led the Badgers to the Rose Bowl and was named the first-team, all-Big Ten quarterback.

“He is so prepared. He doesn’t seem like a first-year player,” Carroll said. “He seems like he’s been around. He gets it, he understands and he is a tremendous leader in that way. He doesn’t do anything but the right thing in all of his work and his preparation and his competitiveness has been demonstrated again.”

Wilson being named the starter leaves Flynn on the sidelines and according to Carroll understandably disappointed. Flynn was Seattle’s big free-agent splash in the offseason and the most highly sought after quarterback not named Manning after spending the last few seasons as Aaron Rodgers backup in Green Bay. But Flynn failed to show the same flashes as Wilson during his two preseason opportunities and sat out the game in Kansas City with a sore elbow.

Flynn’s injury isn’t considered to be severe, but sitting out against the Chiefs didn’t help his case for the job.

“Matt’s done a great job for us in every way, just the opportunities didn’t seem to come in as big a way as it did for Russell,” Carroll said. “He made the most of his.”

Week Two Total Recap

by Amanda Doerr | September 28, 2011

The season is still quite young, but we have seen some interesting performances thus far. The Detroit Lions demolished the Chiefs by 45 points week two. This team hasn’t put up a good fight in years, so it will be interesting to see how long this positive streak for the Lions will last. Will they appear in this year’s playoffs? The Jets walked all over the Jags, and yet again Kerry Collins proved to be no Peyton by giving the win to the Browns. Green Bay is continuing their winning streak and defeated the Panthers by a touchdown. Unfortunately, the Panthers are now 0-2. Sorry Carolina fans; it seems that you are off to a rough start. But no worries, the season is still young, and nothing matters until it gets closer to playoffs.

The Seahawks were up against their former rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers whom they had played in Super Bowl XL and lost (21-10) back in 2006. Yet again the Seahawks were no match for Big Ben during week two’s match up. The Steelers dominated and came out victorious (0-24).  Luckily for Dallas, the Cowboys came out on top by three points against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Patriots played the Chargers and were able to maintain a lead throughout the entire game and ended up winning by two touchdowns. There were a total of three interceptions. One of which was intercepted by none other than their Defensive Tackle weighing 325 pounds and making it 28 yards before he was tackled. Go Vince Wilfork!

The NFL season is flying by and who knows what the football gods have in store for us!

Start Bill-ieving: Buffalo 3-0 After Beating Pats

by The Associated Press | September 28, 2011

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — No matter how big the deficit, no matter which opponent, Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Buffalo Bills are proving they’re not the same old NFL pushovers.

One week it’s rallying to beat Oakland, the next it’s storming back to conquer an even bigger nemesis: AFC East rival New England.

Rian Lindell made a 28-yard field goal as time ran out to seal a 34-31 win over the Patriots on Sunday after the Bills erased a 21-0 second-quarter deficit. The win has Buffalo — a team which hasn’t reached the playoffs in 11 seasons — off to a 3-0 start and sitting alone on top of the division.

It’s early, sure, but maybe it’s time to start Bill-ieving.

“I know that there were probably very few believers going into this game,” Fitzpatrick said, a week after the Bills overcame a 21-3 first-half deficit in a 38-35 win over Oakland. “I think in terms of what this means for the city of Buffalo, it’s the biggest win since I’ve been here for sure.”

That’s not even the half of it for Fitzpatrick, a journeyman backup who signed with Buffalo in 2009. The significance of this victory goes back much further as the Bills snapped a 15-game losing streak against the Patriots that dates to the 2003 season opener.

Linebacker Chris Kelsay can provide the proper perspective, given he’s one of only four players left on the roster who played in that game.

“It’s the biggest win of my career. I can’t think of any bigger,” Kelsay said. “To beat these guys at home, in front of our fans, with the way they’re behind us despite being down early, it’s huge. I’ll never forget it.”

Fitzpatrick led an offense that produced 448 yards and scored 30 points for the third straight week. Fred Jackson had 74 yards rushing and a score, and 87 yards receiving, with his final 38-yard catch setting up Lindell’s field goal.

Buffalo’s opportunistic defense played havoc with the usually unflappable Tom Brady, who threw four interceptions — equaling the number he threw all of last season — and one of which Drayton Florence returned for a touchdown.

New England (2-1) had a 10-game win streak snapped while losing to Buffalo for only the second time in 22 meetings.

“We had too many penalties, too many scoring opportunities that we missed. That’s why we lost the game,” Brady said.

Then again, it’s not as if the Patriots have never lost before.

“It’s one loss, and it’s a long season,” Brady said. “Hopefully, we’ll learn from it, move on.”

Brady still went 30 of 45 for 386 yards and four scores — two each to Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski. He also set the NFL record for most yards passing (1,326) over a three-game stretch.

Welker had a career-best 16 catches for a franchise-record 217 yards.

Not that it mattered.

“You know, what should be a great fun day of breaking records and doing all those things, it’s totally the opposite,” Welker said. “I think it shows that we’ve got a long way to go.”

The Patriots were overwhelmed by a Bills team that’s gaining confidence and showing it’s capable of pulling out victories following last year’s 4-12 finish — three of those losses coming in overtime.

Dating to 1950, the Bills became the only team to overcome deficits of at least 18 points to win in consecutive weeks, according to STATS LLC. In fact, only five teams had previously won twice in one season when trailing by 18 or more points.

“It feels great, man,” said receiver Stevie Johnson, who had eight catches for 94 yards and a touchdown. “We know we’ve got a ton of games to go, but just for the fans to say, ‘We beat the Patriots,’ that’s something big.”

That Time of Year is Back Again

by Amanda Doerr | September 21, 2011

The National Football League’s professional football season has begun! Despite the previous lock out issues and legal setbacks NFL fans will not be unhappy this season.

On Thursday, September 8, the Super Bowl winning Green Bay Packers played the New Orleans’ Saints in an impressive display of Green Bay’s accuracy and endurance. By the fourth quarter, it seemed quite inevitable that Saints would not be able to stop Aaron Rodgers on point passes and offensive success.  The game resulted in the first win of the season for the recent Super Bowl Champions (34-42).

The latter was followed by the devastating loss for the Pittsburgh Steelers who managed to have seven turnovers during their game against the Ravens which ended in a 28 point loss. The last time that the Steelers had six turnovers was back in 2006. This is really not a good look or start for this former six time super bowl winning team.

On a better note, the Bengals performance is looking very promising in comparison to previous seasons.  They came out against the Browns with a 10 point win and look like they may have a chance in their next game against the Broncos who lost to the Raiders. The Colts are not doing so hot without their QB Manning and were crushed by the Texans. Their back up QB Kerry Collins is definitely no Peyton, but maybe they can pull it together for the next game against the Browns. The Chief’s just couldn’t overcome the 41 points scored by the Bills.

Surprisingly, the Detroit Lions look like they really have it together this season. The Lions beat the Buccaneers by seven and will be starting of the season with a solid   1-0 and will be playing the Chiefs in the next game. Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys could not handle the heat brought by Sanchez and went on to lose by a mere field goal.

Tom Brady led his team to a 38-24 point win against the Dolphins and acquired an impressive 517 yards. The Patriots are looking well rested and focused their first game. If they keep up this energy and minimize the injuries they will have no problem making it into the playoffs this year.

It is that time of the year again, and it looks like it will be a football season filled with some unexpected successes. It will only get better in the weeks to come.

NFC Storms to Big Lead, Takes Pro Bowl 55-41

by The Associated Press | February 2, 2011

HONOLULU – A tropical rainstorm moved in from the Pacific and cleared just before the Pro Bowl began on Sunday. What

NFC running back Adrian Peterson, of the Minnesota Vikings, prepares for a handoff from New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) during the third quarter of the NFL football Pro Bowl on Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Eugene Tanner)

followed was a sloppy show that was not exactly riveting entertainment a week in advance of the Super Bowl.

The NFC’s 55-41 victory, a game not nearly as interesting as that score would indicate, did nothing to repair the tattered image of the NFL’s all-star contest.

New England’s Bill Belichick, the AFC coach and a man of even fewer words than usual, might have come closest to summing up the game with his mumbled cliche, “It is what it is.”

MVP DeAngelo Hall had one of his team’s five interceptions and returned a fumble 34 yards for a touchdown to help the NFC match a Pro Bowl scoring record in a 55-41 victory over turnover-prone AFC. He gets a new Cadillac for his efforts.

“I was just about to buy another SUV,” the Washington Redskins cornerback said, “so to come out here and grab one for free, I like that.”

AFC quarterbacks Philip Rivers, Peyton Manning and Matt Cassel each threw first-half interceptions to help the NFC blow open a 42-0 lead in a performance ugly even by the historically low standards of this game.

Fittingly for this strange contest, center Alex Mack of Cleveland scored the final touchdown on a 67-yard pass play that featured two laterals with 16 seconds left.

Carolina’s Jon Beason returned the fifth interception thrown by the AFC, and second by Matt Cassel, 59 yards for the NFC’s final touchdown to match the single-team scoring record set in the NFC’s 55-52 victory in 2004.

“It feels amazing. It was a lot of fun,” Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson said. “We came out and put up a bunch of points and had some fun doing it, so it was a good day.”

Belichick, after his Super Bowl favorite Patriots lost to the New York Jets in the divisional playoffs, had to watch his AFC squad muddle through a first half that ended 42-7.

Pro Bowls are, by their nature, laid-back affairs, seemingly played at half speed by players whose biggest concern is to get on the plane home without injury.

The AFC, though, took that attitude to an uncomfortable extreme early on before coming back to outscore the NFC 41-13.

The NFC led 42-0 after Steven Jackson waltzed through the AFC defense for a 21-yard touchdown — and there still was 4 1/2 minutes left in the second quarter.

Rivers, starting in place of injured Tom Brady, was picked off twice in the first quarter, the second by Hall.

“You underthrow one just a hair and they intercept it,” Rivers said. “You get a deflection for an interception. … They had all the breaks early.”

Manning, in his 11th Pro Bowl, came on briefly in relief and his second pass was picked off. Then Cassel got his chance and quickly joined in the spirit of things, throwing his second pass of the game directly into the hands of Minnesota cornerback Antoine Winfield.

But just when it appeared it would be the most one-sided game in Pro Bowl history, eclipsing the Joe Theismann-led 45-3 NFC rout of the AFC in 1984, the AFC scored three touchdowns in a row. The last came on the game’s seventh turnover, when Devin Hester tried to hand the kickoff return to Hall, but the ball fell to the turf. Montell Owens of Jacksonville scooped it up and ran it in 10 yards for the score to make it 42-21 with 10 minutes left in the third quarter.

With his seven extra points, tying a Pro Bowl record, along with two field goals, David Akers moved ahead of Morten Andersen (45) for most career Pro Bowl points with 52. The Philadelphia kicker would have had more but his 36-yard field goal try in the fourth quarter bounced off the right upright.

“Morten Andersen was a mentor of mine and I competed with Morten for a job in Atlanta and he taught me a lot,” Akers said, “so it means a lot to be able to pass a legend like that.”

The game returned to its traditional home in Hawaii after a one-year detour to Miami, much to the approval of the players involved.

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick started but played only the first quarter, completing 5 of 10 passes for 59 yards.

Peterson rushed for 80 yards in 14 carries for the NFC, including a 14-yarder to set a Pro Bowl record with four career rushing touchdowns. Atlanta got good performances from Matt Ryan (9 of 13 for 118 yards and two touchdowns with an interception), Michael Turner (eight carries for 53 yards) and Roddy White (five catches for 69 yards).

Notes: A 70-yard punt by Mat McBriar of Dallas in the first quarter tied for second-longest in Pro Bowl history. … The state of Hawaii is paying the NFL about $4 million this season and next to keep the Pro Bowl team in Honolulu. Location for the contest is up in the air after 2012. … Peterson had been tied with three career rushing TDs with Earl Campbell, Chuck Muncie and Mike Alstott. … Tony Gonzalez added to his Pro Bowl record for career receptions (42) and moved into first in TD catches with his sixth. … The attendance of 49,338 was just shy of a sellout.

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