Pro Bowl

Raiders QB Derek Carr throws game-winning TD in 2018 Pro Bowl


Raiders QB Derek Carr throws game-winning TD in 2018 Pro Bowl


Derek Carr had a pretty good week, all things considered. The Raiders quarterback was named to his third straight Pro Bowl, this time as an alternate replacing Tom Brady.

He was on the initial ballot a year ago, following a 12-4 campaign where he was a legitimate MVP candidate. It ended too early, with a broken fibula ruining the Raiders’ Super Bowl hopes. It obviously took him out of the NFL’s annual all-star game, an afterthought for many of the league’s players and die-hard fans.

Carr would've rather been alive and fighting for a Super Bowl LII title, but accepted this year’s invitation without a second thought.

Let's get one thing clear: it provided zero consolation for a dismal 6-10 campaign where he and the Raiders didn’t realize great expectations, and ultimately got a coaching staff fired. Carr wasn’t going to sulk.

Carr was named to the Pro Bowl Monday– New England’s Super Bowl berth sealed the deal, though Brady likely would’ve skipped anyway with a hand injury – and left for Orlando the next morning. He brought the family, which went to Florida amusement parks most every day while Carr practiced.

Carr won the precision passing contest during the Pro Bowl Skills Challenge, knocking passes through distant or moving targets.

The 26-year old also entered the Guiness Book of World Records, believe it or not, by breaking five piñatas faster than anyone else.

Then on Sunday afternoon, with the AFC down for the count, Carr orchestrated a fourth-quarter comeback. Raiders fans know that sequence well. Carr won seven games late in 2016, and just one during last year’s disappointment.

His touchdown pass to Tennessee tight end Delanie Walker with 92 seconds left (and the ensuing extra point) secured a 24-23 victory and a $64,000 payout for everyone on the AFC roster. The losing team got half that.

"That's as real as it gets in football. You always want to win, especially with money on the line," Carr said after the game, via the Associated Press.

The touchdown pass was well crafted, as was a 12-yard pass to Miami receiver Jarvis Landry – soon to be an unrestricted free agent – on 4th-and-7 to extend the game winning drive.

Carr completed 11-of 15 passes for 115 yards in sum, with an interception and the game-winning touchdown during a rain-soaked affair in Central Florida.

"You've got guys on the sidelines saying, `I need that money,'" Carr said.

He led the AFC on two touchdown drives scores it help eliminate a 17-point halftime deficit, and now enters a long gap between competitive football games on somewhat of a high note.

The Pro Bowl victory doesn’t erase last season’s ills, nor was that expected or even possible. It doesn’t change the fact Carr had a pretty fun week.

He wasn’t the only one. Left guard Kelechi Osemele was in the AFC’s starting lineup, and center Rodney Hudson was a reserve.

Khalil Mack was also voted into the starting lineup, but bowed out with an undisclosed injury. Donald Penn skipped the Pro Bowl recovering from surgery.

Derek Carr enters Guinness World Records books in one wild way


Derek Carr enters Guinness World Records books in one wild way

Derek Carr broke a world record on Friday and football had nothing to do with the achievement by the Raiders' quarterback. 

Well, there was kind of a football involved -- a piñata football. 

At the Pro Bowl in Orlando, Carr picked up a bat and entered the record books. He is now the title-holder for the fastest time to break open five piñatas. 

Carr is playing in his third straight Pro Bowl, which is clearly all about a competitive football game.

49ers veteran expected to play in Pro Bowl thanks to Eagles


49ers veteran expected to play in Pro Bowl thanks to Eagles

UPDATED: The 49ers announced Monday morning that Joe Staley has accepted a spot on the NFC Pro Bowl team. He will replace Dallas offensive tackle Tyron Smith.

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Veteran 49ers left tackle Joe Staley is expected to benefit from the Philadelphia Eagles’ trip to the Super Bowl.

Staley, originally chosen as an alternate, is expected to be named to his sixth Pro Bowl to take the place of Eagles Pro Bowl tackle Lane Johnson.

The Pro Bowl will be played Sunday, Jan. 28, in Orlando, Florida. Members of the Super Bowl participant Eagles and New England Patriots will not play in the all-star game. The Eagles advanced to the Super Bowl on Sunday with a 38-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

The other Pro Bowl offensive tackles representing the NFC are Dallas’ Tyron Smith and Los Angeles’ Andrew Whitworth, who replaced Washington’s Trent Williams.

Staley got off to a rough start last season as the 49ers opened on a nine-game losing streak. The idea of his career coming to an end began to creep into his mind, he said recently on the 49ers Insider Podcast.

But Staley said he had a talk with coach Kyle Shanahan that got him refocused for the remainder of the season. The 49ers finished with a five-game win streak to finish with a 6-10 record, and Staley played well down the stretch.

“I’m so far gone from where I was in that moment early in the year that I’m just focused on next year and, hopefully, years after that,” said Staley, 33, an 11-year NFL veteran. “I feel like I can still play.

“I think this last half of the season I played some of the best football of my career. I feel very confident in what we’re doing schematically with the people surrounding us, and it shows in my own play.”

Staley would join fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who was the only 49ers player named to the Pro Bowl when the teams were announced last month.