Those that watched the Pro Bowl got a glimpse of the Cleveland Browns’ star power Sunday night at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, HI.
Four of the Browns’ 6 Pro Bowlers started but safety T.J. Ward and tight end Jordan Cameron quickly saw the field as Cleveland, who won just 4 games this past season, was well represented in the NFL’s All-Star game.
Receiver Josh Gordon and tight end Jordan Cameron both caught touchdowns for their respective teams and cornerback Joe Haden had an interception in the new “unconferenced” format that saw Team Rice rally for a 22-21 win over Team Sanders.
“It was crazy, but we had fun with it,” Gordon said. “I loved it and enjoyed it.”
Gordon also made a 24-yard reception to help set up DeMarco Murray’s 20-yard TD catch which was followed by a Mike Tolbert’s game-winning 2-point conversion run with under a minute to play.
Cameron gave Team Sanders a 21-14 lead by going up to bring down a 12-yard touchdown in the back corner of the end zone from Eagles quarterback Nike Foles with 4:41 to play in the game. He finished with 3 catches for 27 yards and the score.
“If you have not followed the Cleveland Browns at all, they have some players in that franchise,” NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth said after Cameron’s catch.
Gordon, who led the NFL with 1,646 receiving yards in just 14 games this season, led team Rice with 6 catches for 66 yards – including a 10-yard touchdown catch with :36 left in the first half on a fade from Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers to tie the game at 14.
Gordon celebrated his TD grab at halftime by tweeting, “Y’all saw that?? Lol quick six from the gun slinging Big Phil Rivers 🔫🙊.. #Icallembigphil #ProBowl2014.”
Ward had 3 tackles for Team Sanders but had the hit of the game when he blew up Gordon on a 13-yard gain on an end around early in the second quarter, which likely caused the entire organization to hold their breath.
But the teammates jumped up quickly, laughed and high-fived each other after the play.
“I don’t think he knew what he was doing but I’ll give him the benefit of a doubt on that one,” Gordon said. “I’ll get him back in Cleveland.”
Ward almost came away with an interception in the back of the end zone in the first half as well but his left foot was out of bounds when he came down with the football.
“Had a blast in my first #ProBowl. We didn’t get the win but the experience was great! Thank you to all my fans and supporters, much love,” Ward tweeted after the game.
Cornerback Joe Haden was unable to prevent DeSean Jackson’s 36-yard touchdown in the first quarter to give Team Sanders a 7-0 lead, but he ripped the football away from Jackson for an interception in the second quarter.
Steelers receiver Antonio Brown also came away with a 39 yard grab against Haden with 5:43 to play in the fourth. Haden notched a tackle and pass defensed in addition to the pick for Team Rice.
Joe Thomas, playing in his seventh Pro Bowl, started at left tackle for Team Rice while center Alex Mack started for Team Sanders in his second Pro Bowl appearance. Both took the vast majority of reps throughout the game.
Haden, Gordon and Thomas took home $53,000 along with the rest of Team Rice while Ward, Mack and Cameron netted a $26,000 game check as members of Team Sanders.
(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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