HONOLULU, Feb. 13 -- Peyton Manning was still at the peak of his game in the Pro Bowl, and Michael Vick showed he's only beginning the climb.
Manning threw three touchdown passes to extend his career record in the NFL's all-star game; meantime, Vick led the NFC to 17 points in a second-half comeback that fell short in the AFC's 38-27 victory on Sunday.
Tarik Glenn, left, Marvin Harrison and Peyton Manning, right, celebrate a touchdown in the Pro Bowl.
(Ben Margot -- AP)
"I'm not going to say I wasn't holding my breath over there once Vick started to roll around, but our defense did a great job of stopping him," Manning said. "It was good we got the game this year after we let the lead slip away last year."
Pittsburgh's Hines Ward caught a touchdown pass and returned an onside kick for a score, and three San Diego Chargers led the clinching scoring drive in the fourth quarter. Overall, the AFC has won seven of the past nine meetings.
Manning, the regular season most valuable player after breaking Dan Marino's NFL record with 49 touchdown passes, completed just six passes for 130 yards. But three were spectacular scoring tosses, and the Colts quarterback was named the MVP in his fifth trip to the Pro Bowl.
Manning has thrown 11 touchdown passes in the Pro Bowl, four more than any quarterback in NFL history. He hit Colts teammate Marvin Harrison, Ward and San Diego's Antonio Gates in the first 25 minutes while the AFC built a 28-10 halftime lead.
But Vick was determined to make a splash in his first trip to Hawaii -- and with the Atlanta coaching staff calling the plays, he led three straight scoring drives after entering the game in the third quarter. Vick was 14 of 24 for 205 yards and a score, nimbly avoiding several sacks along the way.
Harrison scored on a 62-yard pass from Manning in the first quarter, tying Jimmy Smith's career record with his fifth Pro Bowl touchdown. Ward followed with a 41-yard scoring catch on a pinpoint throw from Manning, and he celebrated with a goofy hula dance with Vili the Warrior, the University of Hawaii's mascot.
Philadelphia's Brian Westbrook scored on a 12-yard run later in the half. When the NFC tried an onside kick, however, Ward leaped for the ball and outran several defenders, avoiding tackles and somersaulting through the end zone.
It was the first touchdown on a kickoff return in the 55-year history of the Pro Bowl.
Vick went 4 of 6 and hit Torry Holt for a 27-yard touchdown in his first series. Vick, who had to drop out of the 2003 game with an injury, led another scoring drive moments later, diving to score on a three-yard run despite having his helmet knocked off by Baltimore's Ed Reed.