Four Patriots took part in the Pro Bowl on Sunday, as the AFC prevailed in the tackling-free exhibition that serves as a final offseason farewell to a collection of NFL stars before next weekend's Super Bowl matchup between the Rams and Bengals.
J.C. Jackson, Matthew Judon, Matthew Slater and Mac Jones were the Patriots' representatives in the game, and while Slater might've thought he'd get an easy afternoon without any special teams play he did get some time on defense. The others showed up with some Pro Bowl-quality plays.
Judon would lead a pick-six convoy into the end zone, while Jackson recorded an early interception in the end zone, picking off a Russell Wilson pass that went off the fingertips of 49er Kyle Juszczyk. Wilson had been lights out earlier this week in the Skills Showdown but it was appropriate for Jackson to continue making plays on the ball, a skill that will likely earn him a lot of money this offseason as he faces free agency for the first time.
Jones would pick up a two-point conversion for the AFC in his first pass of the game, coming early in the second quarter, as he connected with Steelers' Diontae Johnson to put the AFC up 22-13. But he'd follow that up by throwing an interception to Trevon Diggs, a play reminiscent of the Patriots-Cowboys game this season. Jones was targeting Travis Kelce up the seam on a 4th-and-15 attempt that took over in place of kickoffs for the Pro Bowl's experimentation purposes.
Jones would narrowly miss Stefon Diggs in the back of the end zone later in the second quarter, with a nice tight-window throw. Diggs couldn't keep his second foot inbounds but the commentators noted the quality throw from the Patriots rookie with pressure in his face.
Mac would open the third quarter engineering a 95-yard, touchdown-scoring drive for the AFC, going 7-for-7 for 83 yards through the air and finding Hunter Renfrow along the backline for a touchdown. It was another impressive throw by Jones, made on the run and placed just out of reach of defender Micah Parsons.
Jones would then help the AFC ice the win with a 4th-and-2 conversion at the end after the NFC scored some late points.
Quarterback Mac Jones, cornerback J.C. Jackson, linebacker Matthew Judon and Matthew Slater on special teams represented the New England Patriots in the 2022 NFL Pro Bowl on Sunday, February 6, 2022.