INDIANAPOLIS – Colts fans wanting to see action from their favorite players had one last chance on Sunday as Reggie Wayne, Robert Mathis and Andrew Luck competed for the AFC in the 2013 Pro Bowl.
Wayne and Mathis both started for the AFC in a 62-35 loss to the NFC, while Luck entered the contest in late in the third quarter.
Wayne was voted into the game this year for the sixth time, while Mathis has had five overall chances to appear. Luck was a first alternate who was added to the game when an injury kept Tom Brady from participating.
Wayne was targeted by AFC starting quarterback Peyton Manning for a one-yard completion to start the game. He found Wayne for an 11-yard snare on the first play of the AFC's second possession. The two failed to connect later on in the possession on third down, and the AFC had to punt.
Wayne also was nailed for a five-yard loss on a rushing attempt in the second quarter. He finished with two receptions for 12 yards.
Manning and Wayne share a place in history as one of only two quarterback-receiver tandems to top 10,000 yards. Playing together from 2001-10, they teamed on 779 completions for 10,602 yards and 67 touchdowns. The only other 10,000-yard passing duo in league history is Manning and Marvin Harrison.
Mathis was credited with five tackles, one sack (for nine yards), one tackle for a loss and one quarterback hit. Mathis sacked Seattle's Russell Wilson in the third quarter. He played a majority of the contest.
Luck, the sixth Colts quarterback to play in the Pro Bowl, entered with 3:52 left in the third quarter. The AFC was trailing, 45-21, when he came in, and Luck guided the AFC the rest of the way.
Luck completed 12-of-19 passes for 205 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception. His passing yardage led all quarterbacks.
Luck teamed with A.J. Green for both scores, a four-yarder with 11:36 to go that cut the NFC lead to 55-28 and a 49-yarder to account for the game's last score. He later was intercepted for a touchback with 1:46 remaining.
Prior to the game in a television interview, Luck commented on the opportunity to play.
"Just being around the guys," said Luck of what he would remember from the experience. "You watch these guys on TV, and (then) you're standing around the pool with them."
Earlier in the week, Luck said the chance to play in the Pro Bowl was one that afforded multiple benefits. He never had been in Hawaii and while seeing sights was important, so was the chance to refine his game even more.
"(It's) a little bit of both, I think," said Luck of having fun and learning. "Obviously, you're going to have fun. You're in Hawaii. Any time you're around so many great players, it's not an obligation but close to it to try and get better at football."
Manning was joined in the Pro Bowl by another prominent former Colt, center Jeff Saturday. Though playing in different conferences, they teamed up for a ceremonial moment in the first half where Saturday snapped the ball to Manning in live action.
Manning and Saturday were teammates from 1999-2011. They combined for 170 starts as a quarterback-center tandem, the most in NFL history. Saturday announced his retirement during the week leading into the Pro Bowl.