Despite having five guys in the Pro Bowl in Hawaii on Sunday night, the Chicago Bears were relatively inactive during Team Rice’s 22-21 victory over Team Sanders in the first “unconferenced” edition of the annual All-Star Game.
For the victorious Jerry Rice-captained squad, Alshon Jeffery had two catches for 22 yards in the game, and Brandon Marshall had just one catch for 21 yards. Marshall also picked up a tackle in the game after a Philip Rivers interception in the second quarter, one of four interceptions that Team Rice quarterbacks threw in the contest.
On the ground, things didn’t go much better for the Bears, as Matt Forte rushed for just 31 yards on six carries in the game. He was also the most productive pass-catcher among the three skill-position Bears, grabbing three passes for 24 yards in the contest.
On Team Sanders, the story was pretty much the same in terms of impact on the game. Tim Jennings picked up three tackles in the game, but wasn’t able to take part in the interception buffet that his defensive back teammates took advantage of, as four different players (including cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and Darrelle Revis) all had interceptions in the game.
Perhaps the biggest impact a Bears player made in the game was the play that right guard Kyle Long made in the second quarter. On a 4th-and-goal play from the 1-yard line, quarterback Cam Newton tried to drive up the middle for the score, but was stopped on his initial push. After pulling from the right side of the line, Long grabbed Newton by the shoulder pads and essentially dragged him into the end zone for the score, giving Team Sanders a 14-7 lead with less than six minutes to go in the first half.
For the Bears this season, we saw Matt Slauson perform similar magic by pulling to the opposite side of the line, so it was interesting to see Long grab that trick out of his playbook for this game.