One hundred points were scored in the Pro Bowl on Sunday night, but there was only one play that really mattered and it sure wasn’t made by a defensive player.
The best moment in the AFC’s 59-41 victory? Brandon Marshall’s deflected 47-yard touchdown pass from Andy Dalton in the third quarter in Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. The TD — the third of Marshall’s fourth in the game — gave the AFC a 38-35 lead
“It was the most unathletic highlight I ever had,” Marshall said. “Andy put it up there for me to make a play. I saw the ball, got nervous, fell, saw the ball, kicked it up and it just fell in my hands.”
That pretty much sums it up. Marshall, the game’s MVP with six receptions for 176 yards, may have had something of an advantage over the game’s other receivers. With the Miami Dolphins this season, he had to get used to a bunch of QBs and used his NBC platform Sunday to point out what a difference a marquee quarterback (*cough* Peyton Manning *cough* or perhaps Matt Flynn or Robert Griffin III) can make. (This is a guy who grows wistful talking about Jay Cutler...)
“Down in Miami, getting a feel for different quarterbacks, had three or four of them throughout my two years there,” Marshall said in a sideline interview. Quarterbacks make it easier for me. These guys are putting it in the right places and I’m making plays. It’s easy right now.”
The Dolphins’ new head coach, Joe Philbin, formerly was the Green Bay Packers’ offensive coordinator, so there’s a natural connection with Flynn, who is likely to become a free agent. Marshall has reached out to Flynn and expects to do so with Manning, assuming he 1) can play and 2) is released by Indianapolis.
Marshall seemed to be making no secret of the fact that he wants a more accurate QB than Matt Moore. “Elite quarterbacks put [the ball] in the right spots,” Marshall said.