ORLANDO, Fla. — Fans tuning in to get one last look at their Indianapolis Colts players in the 2019 NFL Pro Bowl were not disappointed, as tight end Eric Ebron, quarterback Andrew Luck and guard Quenton Nelson took to a rainy Camping World Stadium field in Orlando for their last appearance on a football field for the 2018 season.
Their AFC squad would go on to win the annual all-star game, 26-7.
Ebron started the game for the AFC side, making his first career Pro Bowl appearance. It didn’t take him long to make an impact, as Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes found him for a wide open, 18-yard touchdown on a post route on the opening drive of the game.
Including the playoffs, it was the 16th time that Ebron hit paydirt this season. He and the AFC starters stayed in the game for three drives, giving way to the next group two minutes into the second quarter. On the day, Ebron caught one-of-three targets for 18 yards and the touchdown.
Nelson came into the game at left guard at the start of the second quarter when Ebron and the AFC starters were in their third drive. The rookie First-Team All-Pro stayed in the game as many of the starters were replaced by Luck and the AFC’s second wave of players. Ebron remained in the game with his Colts teammates.
Making his fourth career Pro Bowl appearance, Luck took the field four minutes into the second quarter. The elements clearly played a role in a sloppy first drive, as players’ inability to hold onto and catch the ball was on display. While targeting Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, Luck threw an interception to Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller on his third throw in his first drive.
On Luck’s second drive, the AFC milked the clock for nearly eight minutes, going 79 yards on a whopping 17 plays. The drive was punctuated with a 31-yard Jason Myers field goal which put the AFC up 17-0.
Luck went 7-of-17 passing for 81 yards with the interception and was “sacked” once.
The Colts’ trio played together for two drives, which spanned the majority of the second quarter. Luck continued for one drive into the second half while Ebron and Nelson sat out the drive but then returned on the AFC’s following possession and played the remainder of the game.
"The guys, obviously. It's a great group of guys. Unbelievable fans, the hospitality of Orlando,” Luck said on the sideline when asked what was the best part of Pro Bowl week. “The weather's a little bit fun. It's fun when you're playing, not so much when you're standing, but it's all good."
Nelson technically made his NFL debut at right guard in the third quarter rather than lining up at his typical left guard spot, with Joel Bitonio of the Cleveland Browns manning the other guard spot. Nelson stayed on the right side for the rest of the day.
AFC DEFENSIVE DOMINATION
The Colts didn’t have any defenders in the Pro Bowl (Darius Leonard would’ve been a welcome participant), but the AFC defense dominated the NFC nonetheless.
The NFC all-stars didn’t get on the board until the 9:05 mark in the fourth quarter when Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott hit Atlanta Falcons tight end Austin Hooper down the middle of the field on a 20-yard score.
Starting early in the game, the AFC pass rush constantly harassed NFC quarterbacks, sacking them seven times in all. The AFC also put together a goal-line stand in the first half and intercepted three passes including one thrown by Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen.
The AFC held the NFC to just 148 yards of offense and a combined 3-of-13 on third and fourth downs.
Get a look on the field as Andrew Luck, Eric Ebron and Quenton Nelson play in the 2019 Pro Bowl