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PRO BOWL

Larry Fitzergerald is MVP in NFC's Pro Bowl win

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver catches five passes for 81 yards and two touchdowns in NFC's 30-21 victory over AFC.

February 09, 2009|Associated Press

HONOLULU — Larry Fitzgerald caught five passes for 81 yards and two touchdowns, 44-year-old John Carney kicked two fourth-quarter field goals, and the NFC rallied to a 30-21 victory over the AFC on Sunday in the Pro Bowl.

The Arizona Cardinals wide receiver earned most-valuable-player honors one week after an impressive performance in a Super Bowl loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He caught a 46-yard scoring pass from Drew Brees before halftime and a two-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning for the go-ahead score with 4:07 to play.

The NFC defense took care of the rest. Not surprisingly, Fitzgerald said the victory over the AFC, which featured three members of the Steelers' defense, didn't ease the pain of the Super Bowl defeat.

"No, not one bit," he said.

Manning, making his Pro Bowl debut, completed eight of 14 passes for 111 yards. His big brother Peyton had better statistics -- completing 12 of 17 for 151 yards and a touchdown.

"He didn't play the whole second half, so it's not about beating my brother, it's just about having fun," Eli Manning said.

Carney, who was three for three on field-goal tries, became the oldest player in the game's history. His 48-yarder with 2:06 left made it 27-21, and his 26-yarder with 32 seconds left capped the scoring.

Sunday's Pro Bowl ended a successful 30-year run at Aloha Stadium, with a sellout every year. The Pro Bowl will be played in Miami next year, a week before the Super Bowl. The NFL, which has been looking to increase the profile of the game, hopes to bring the game back to Hawaii.

The players, who spent most of the week by the beach, sipping umbrella-adorned mai tais, were nearly unanimous in wanting the game to return.

On a sweltering day, with 60% humidity, Kurt Warner started for the NFC and played only one series before making way for Brees.

"I would've liked to have won last week and not this week, if I could switch them out," he said.

The question now is whether this was Warner's final game in the NFL or whether he'll opt to continue playing at age 38.

"I don't know right now," Warner said.

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