The Pro Bowl has come and gone for another year, and if you weren't watching the game tonight (and were instead watching the Grammy's or something like that), I have a recap on how the Colts players did. It was honestly the best Pro Bowl game overall in quite a while and there was actually significant effort by some players (like J.J. Watt).
For the Colts, quarterback Andrew Luck (Team Sanders), outside linebacker Robert Mathis (Team Rice), and long snapper Matt Overton (Team Rice) made the Pro Bowl, and Chuck Pagano and the Colts coaching staff coached Team Sanders. Team Rice won in a game that was actually competitive, 22-21, meaning that Mathis and Overton were on the winning team - earning a game check of $53,000 as the winners instead of $26,000 as the losers.
Luck was the first overall pick in the inaugural Pro Bowl draft and got the start for Team Sanders despite the fact that Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (also on Team Sanders) got more votes. Luck was the first overall pick and was playing for Chuck Pagano, however, so it makes sense.
It paid off in the game, too, as Luck played well overall in one quarter of play. He completed 5 of 7 passes (71.4%) for 80 yards, a touchdown, and an interception and left with a 7-0 lead. His touchdown pass came on a flea flicker play where Luck just threw the ball up into coverage deep in the end zone and Desean Jackson pulled the ball out of double coverage and out of the hands of the defender for a touchdown. It was a great play by Jackson on a pass that was just thrown up in the air by Luck. His interception came on a pass that was batted up in the air at the line of scrimmage and then picked off by a diving Vontaze Burfict.
Robert Mathis was the one Colt originally named to the Pro Bowl and he finished the game with 4 tackles for Team Rice. He really didn't rush the passer much at all (I don't remember seeing it), and it is likely because of the rule that restricts blitzing. Still, Ron Rivera runs a 4-3 defense and it would have been simple to put Mathis at 4-3 defensive end on some plays so he could do what he's best at. Either way, it's not a big deal - it was just strange seeing Mathis drop into coverage that often, that's all.
Matt Overton also played well - you didn't hear his name, which for a long snapper is a good thing. He made every snap well and gave effort on the plays, too. On one play in particular he ran all around the field chasing down the ball carrier, and I'm convinced that no one ran more on a single play than Overton did on that one, as he was chasing the returner all around the field without actually making the tackle.
Chuck Pagano and his coaching staff didn't really make any mistakes, either - it's easy when situational football really doesn't come into play much and ultimately doesn't matter. And I'm sure Pagano will enjoy coaching a game without us here at Stampede Blue paying attention to his every move. In all seriousness, I'm glad that the coaching staff was able to make the trip to Hawaii and enjoy the week with players around the league and with each other enjoying the weather (that is A TON warmer than it is in Indianapolis). As many fans have expressed, they hoped that it would be a good recruiting time for Pagano too, as he was the coach of several players throughout the league - in particular Browns center Alex Mack, who will be a free agent on March 11 and who the Browns might not re-sign (it is uncertain). He would certainly be a great addition to the Colts and if Chuck Pagano and Andrew Luck were able to influence him at all this week, then great. But that's not why they were there.
Overall, it was one of the most competitive Pro Bowls in a long, long time and certainly can be considered progress for a game that is annually a joke among fans and media.