The 2014 Pro Bowl takes center stage today as the NFL's best competes in Hawaii. Except this year the rules are new and the teams are constructed differently. Gone is the traditional AFC vs. NFC match-up, replaced with a fantasy football-style draft. There are two teams -- Team Jerry Rice and Team Deion Sanders -- along with a few player captains, including Kansas City Chiefs' Jamaal Charles. Both Rice and Sanders picked their teams earlier this week.
The KC Chiefs have the most players in the Pro Bowl of any team this year with 10. They started out with eight and then Alex Smith and Derrick Johnson were added late as replacements (why DJ wasn't a Pro Bowler to begin with is another question).
The NFL has also tweaked some of the rules in the game this year making things different. Previously, teams were only allowed to play "man" defense but now they can play press and cover two. There are two-minute warnings in the first and third quarter and the ball will change hands after each quarter, which increases the amount of two-minute drills (something fans love). Read on below for more rule changes to this year's Pro Bowl.
Nuts and bolts
Date: Sunday, January 26, 2014
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Online streaming: NBC Sports Live Extra
Location: Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii
Rosters: Team Rice | Team Sanders
Coaches: Ron Rivera | Chuck Pagano
The coaches are made up of the losing teams in the AFC and NFC Divisional playoffs.
RB Jamaal Charles (captain)
OT Branden Albert
NT Dontari Poe
OLB Tamba Hali
S Eric Berry
QB Alex Smith
OLB Justin Houston
ILB Derrick Johnson
CB Brandon Flowers
KR Dexter McCluster
There are also several new rules in the game. Here are a few of them (via NFL.com):
Game within the Game -- A two-minute warning will be added to the first and third quarters and the ball will change hands after each quarter. This will increase the opportunities for quarterbacks to direct "two-minute drills," which are especially exciting for fans.
No Kickoffs -- The coin toss will determine which team is awarded possession first. The ball will be placed on the 25-yard line at the start of each quarter and after scoring plays.
Rosters -- The rosters will continue to consist of 43 players per squad. The kick return specialist will be replaced by an additional defensive back.
Cover Two and Press Coverage -- The defense will be permitted to play "cover two" and "press" coverage. In previous years, only "man" coverage was permitted, except for goal line situations.
Stopping of the Game Clock -- Beginning at the two-minute mark of every quarter, if the offense does not gain at least one yard, the clock will stop as if the play were an incomplete pass. This rule will make the team with the ball attempt to gain yardage toward the end of each quarter.
Game Timing -- The game clock will start after an incomplete pass on the signal of the referee, except inside the last two minutes of the first half and the last five minutes of the second half.
Play Clock -- A 35-second/25-second play clock will be adopted instead of the typical 40-second/25-second clock.
Sacks -- The game clock will not stop on quarterback sacks outside of the final two minutes of the game. Currently, the game clock stops in these situations outside of two- minutes of the second and fourth quarters.
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