RB Makes First All-Star Appearance, Center Records His Seventh
Attrition had brought the Jets' contingent to this year's Pro Bowl up to five players, then dropped it back to two for the week of practice on Oahu and Sunday night's game at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.
But C Nick Mangold and RB Chris Ivory acquitted themselves well as the two men wearing the Jets' green and white helmets for the NFL's annual all-star game back in its familiar Hawai'i setting.
On the down side, Mangold and Ivory both played for Team Rice, the outfit that got its surfboards waxed by Team Irvin, 49-27. On the upside, in the third year of the game's unconferenced format, there was more opportunity to have a little more competitive fun than there had been pre-2014 and to meet up and team up with players that one didn't see that often during the year.
Or saw quite often over the years. Consider that Mangold, a first alternate who was named to the Pro Bowl roster on Jan. 7, not only got to play in his seventh Pro Bowl but to start in his fifth. And on that starting Team Irvin O-line was RG Logan Mankins, the former New England Patriot now with the Buccaneers, and Mangold was snapping to Giants QB Eli Manning.
Then in the third quarter, Mangold stayed at center and was snapping to shotgun QB Tyrod Taylor of the Bills with Ivory lining up as the tailback.
Ivory, also a first alternate who was playing in his first Pro Bowl, did his most damage with Oakland's Derek Carr and Taylor at QB and in fact had the most yards from scrimmage of all the RBs in the game.
Ivory had a 16-yard run up the middle on his first play, in the second quarter, followed by 11- and 5-yard receptions from Carr on the last drive of the half — and with Giants CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie knocking him out of bounds after the 5-yarder on no doubt one of the harder hits of the game.
Then No. 33 added a 39-yard reception from Taylor on the last play of the third quarter. Ivory wound up with 71 scrimmage yards.
Mangold even figured in an aborted fake two-point conversion after the game's final touchdown, when Giants kicker Josh Brown took the extra point snap at the 33-yard line, rolled right and tried to thread the two-pointer apparently to the Jets center diving at the goal line, but Cowboys LB Sean Lee picked the pass off.
The three Jets who were named to the original Pro Bowl roster all were replaced due to injuries during the pregame leadup. CB Darrelle Revis was replaced by San Diego's Jason Verrett, DE Muhammad Wilkerson by Cincinnati's Carlos Dunlap, and WR Brandon Marshall by Oakland rookie Amari Cooper.