HONOLULU — Brandon Marshall caught six passes for 176 yards and a Pro Bowl-record four touchdowns, and the AFC used a second-half surge to beat the NFC 59-41 on Sunday.
The Miami Dolphins wide receiver had a touchdown catch in each quarter, including an early 74-yarder and a 3-yarder in the fourth, in a game filled with highlight-reel catches. He was selected the game’s MVP and his four TD catches set a Pro Bowl record.
The 59 points by the AFC set a Pro Bowl mark, and the 100 points scored by the two teams combined was the second highest, a touchdown shy of the 107 scored in 2004.
But it was clear from the start it was Marshall’s day. He hauled in a deflected, go-ahead 47-yard TD pass from Andy Dalton, while on his back, to give the AFC a 38-35 lead late in the third quarter. It was Marshall’s third TD catch of the game, tying Jimmy Smith’s Pro Bowl record set in 2004.
Marshall, making his third Pro Bowl appearance, then nabbed a 3-yard TD pass from Dalton that gave the AFC a 52-35 lead with 8:25 left and put the game away.
The game featured 36 first-timers, including rookie quarterbacks Cam Newton, of the Carolina Panthers, and Dalton, of the Cincinnati Bengals. Their selection made this Pro Bowl the first to feature two rookie signal callers.
While Dalton looked composed, Newton played horribly – struggling to move the ball, stay in the pocket and find his targets, which drew some boos from the sellout crowd of 48,423.
Newton finished 9 of 27 for 186 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Dalton, meanwhile, was 7 of 9 for 99 yards and two TDs.
Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers. who started for the NFC, was 13 of 17 for 141 yards and two TDs.
The NFC had three players with 100-yard receiving games: Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez (7 for 114), Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald (6 for 111) and Carolina’s Steve Smith (5 for 118).