Mahomes and Rodgers headline 2021 Pro Bowl rosters
Cincinnati Bengals pulled off a 27-17 upset over the reeling Pittsburgh Steelers
The Cincinnati Bengals celebrate their win over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium. Photograph: Getty Images
The annual exhibition game will not take place in its standard format this year due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and will instead play out in a “virtual Pro Bowl experience within Madden NFL 21,” the EA Sports video game, the league said.
The Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers, Seattle Seahawks and Kansas City Chiefs led the league with seven players from each team named among the 88 All-Stars.
Inclusion in the roster is considered among the highest honours a player can receive for on-field performance, and selections are made based on input from coaches, fans and players.
The Pro Bowl celebration is scheduled to take place January 31st.
Meanwhile Giovani Bernard hauled in a touchdown catch and ran for another score as the host Cincinnati Bengals pulled off a 27-17 upset over the reeling Pittsburgh Steelers.
Cincinnati (3-10-1) snapped a five-game losing streak. Pittsburgh (11-3) lost its third in a row and missed a chance to clinch the AFC North title.
Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger connected on 20 of 38 passes for 170 yards, becoming the seventh player to surpass 60,000 career passing yards. He threw for one touchdown and was intercepted once. Diontae Johnson had a TD catch while Benny Snell had a rushing touchdown among his 84 yards on 18 carries.
Pittsburgh endured a disastrous first half while Cincinnati was opportunistic. The Steelers had two yards of offense and Roethlisberger was four of 10 for minus-five yards in the first quarter. The two Pittsburgh possessions that didn’t end in punts instead ended in turnovers, and the Bengals capitalised.
A botched centre-quarterback exchange was recovered by Josh Bynes and led to a 34-yard field goal by Austin Seibert for a 3-0 Bengals lead. It was Seibert’s first field goal after taking over for Randy Bullock.
Seibert was wide right on a 55-yard attempt late in the first quarter, but Cincinnati got the ball back when receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster fumbled it over to Vonn Bell at the Pittsburgh 38. Seven plays later, Bernard drifted right, then cut to the end zone for a four-yard scoring run to make it 10-0 in the second quarter.
Another Steelers turnover, an interception by Mackensie Alexander, helped set up Finley’s blitz-beating, 14-yard touchdown pass to Bernard to make it 17-0.
Pittsburgh finally got on the board on Roethlisberger’s 23-yard scoring pass to Johnson with 12:07 remaining in the third quarter, making it 17-7.
Chris Boswell’s 25-yard field goal closed the deficit to 17-10 late in the third quarter. On a nine-play, 80-yard drive that bled into the fourth quarter, the Bengals pushed it to 24-10 on Finley’s 23-yard keeper.
Snell’s one-yard dive into the end zone pulled Pittsburgh to within 24-17 with 5:32 left. Seibert added a 33-yard field goal with 12 seconds remaining.