Rookie Eddie Murray of the Detroit Lions kicked four field goals and quarterback Steve Bartkowski threw a 55-yard scoring pass to Atlanta teammate Alfred Jenkins today to lead the National Football Conference to a 21-7 Pro Bowl victory over the American Conference.
The NFC, in winning its fourth consecutive Pro Bowl and sixth of the last seven National Football League all-star games, was tough on the AFC's potentially high-scoring offense. Tampa Bay linebacker Lee Roy Selmon and Dallas tackle Randy White led the NFC defense.
"It was primarily a defensive game because the guys on defense can just go out there and hit while the offense has to come together and get organized playing together," said Redskin Joe Lavender, who, along with Mike Nelms and Lemar Parrish, represented Washington in the game.
After the NFC had taken a 9-7 lead at intermission, Bartkowski gave his team some breathing room by passing to Jenkins, who raced down the sideline and caught the ball 45 yards from the line of scrimmage.
Murray increased the margin with his fourth field goal, a 36-yarder, late in the final period.
Both the touchdown and the final field goal were set up when Los Angeles linebacker Jack Reynolds stopped Buffalo's Joe Cribbs on fourth-and-one plays.
The AFC's only score came on a nine-yard pass from Cleveland's Brian Sipe to Stanley Morgan of New England in the second quarter.
That put the American Conference ahead, 7-3, but Murray, who had kicked a 31-yarder in the opening period, hit two more field goals in the final two minutes of the first half.
White's recovery of Sipe's fumble led to Murray's second field goal, another 31-yarder. Lavender intercepted Sipe's pass a minute later to set up a 34-yarder by Murray.
"It's always great to be able to contribute in a game like this and with the caliber of people you're playing with," Lavender said.
The NFC's final score late in the game on a safety when the AFC was called for a holding penalty in the end zone.
Murray, a 5-foot-10, 170-pounder out of Tulane University, was named the game's most valuable player as he helped the NFC gain a 7-5 advantage over its rival conference in the series.
He missed tying Garo Yepremian's 7-year-old Pro Bowl record of five field goals when a 37-yard attempt with 22 seconds remaining hit the crossbar. Murray also missed a 37-yarder in the first quarter.