Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Bucs' McCoy has strong game in his fifth Pro Bowl

ORLANDO — Mike Evans wasn't as fortunate in his Pro Bowl debut, but Bucs DT Gerald McCoy had a busy night Sunday, getting a sack among his four tackles, the most he has had in five career Pro Bowls.

The AFC held on for a 20-13 victory.

McCoy sacked Bengals QB Andy Dalton on the second play of the second half, this after tying for the NFC team lead with three tackles in the first half. McCoy was a starting defensive tackle for the NFC.

Evans, a Bucs receiver, didn't catch a pass. Three NFC quarterbacks went 31-of-52 and had completions to 10 different targets.

Evans said he was "banged up" but loved his first Pro Bowl: "Hopefully I'm blessed enough to get back here."

ALOHA ORLANDO: The Pro Bowl, which had been in Hawaii for all but two games in the past 38 years, drew a sellout crowd at Camping World Stadium. The official attendance was announced at 60,834, the third-largest total since 1977 — the game drew 70,697 in 2009 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami, and 63,225 in 2015 at University of Phoenix Stadium. The game will be back in Orlando next year, with an option for the league to return in 2019.

CLOSE BUT NO POINTS: The NFC twice got inside the AFC 5 in the first half but came away empty both times. The first time, on fourth and goal from the 1-yard line, Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott was stopped for no gain. The AFC got a touchdown pass from Chiefs QB Alex Smith to Titans TE Delanie Walker; when the NFC had a chance to tie it, Saints QB Drew Brees was intercepted by Bills S Stephon Gilmore on a pass to Giants WR Odell Beckham.

USE THE HELMETS: The Pro Bowl allows players to wear their regular jersey numbers, which creates all kinds of double-numbering at key positions. The NFC in particular had some popular numbers— the three most targeted players in the first quarter all wore 88 in Cowboys WR Dez Bryant, Panthers TE Greg Olsen and Seahawks TE Jimmy Graham. Four players wore 21, including three defensive backs.

THIS AND THAT: Camping World Stadium is the fourth Florida venue to host a Pro Bowl — Sun Life did in 2010, Tampa Stadium hosted the 1978 game and the Orange Bowl in Miami in 1975. … Former Bucs DE Michael Bennett, now with the Seahawks, had a big game, forcing and recovering a fumble early in the game and adding a sack, which he celebrated with former teammate McCoy. … The NFC came up short on a fake punt, with Giants S Landon Collins stopped short after a direct snap, but the AFC pulled off a fake field goal, with Chiefs holder Dustin Colquitt flipping a pass to Chiefs TE Travis Kelce for the conversion.

Contact Greg Auman at [email protected] and (813) 310-2690. Follow @gregauman.

     
                                                             
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