Weekly Gold: The 2020 Pro Bowl

It’s time to panic, there’s only TWO MORE games left this season.

Super Bowl LIV is set: Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Francisco 49ers! Both the Chiefs and 49ers cruised to victory in the conference championship games and their victories set up one of the most intriguing Super Bowl matchups this century. The NFL could not be any happier with this matchup and we here at Champions Round are happy that we’re going to see some serious offense on February 2.

Go Set Your Lineups

If you’re still competing for a Champions Round title, remember to drop players on the Packers and Titans. Those players, sadly, no longer hold any value. Your roster should now consist of only players on the 49ers and Chiefs. We’ll have much more next week on what to expect in the Super Bowl and who to play, but for this week we wanted to focus on another game: The 2020 Pro Bowl.

They Got Game

The Pro Bowl Skills Challenge is almost more fun than the actual Pro Bowl game at this point — which isn’t a high bar depending on what year it is. The Skills Challenge takes place on Jan. 22 but is broadcasted on ESPN on Jan. 23 in primetime.

The Skills Contest will feature 20 Pro Bowlers, split into two teams. The teams will compete in five events, with the finale being the wildly entertaining dodge ball game.

I don’t know about you, but I hope Russell Wilson gets involved in the dodgeball game. That is the last dude I want chucking stuff at my dome — but it’ll be entertaining to watch.

How’d He Get In?

For the most part the right players are in the Pro Bowl. However, sometimes — either due to injuries, players dropping out or players going to the Super Bowl — an undeserving player gets into the game. Last year Bears QB Mitch Trubisky got into the Pro Bowl and his performance in the skills competition was jaw dropping — and not in a good way.

This year our “favorite” Pro Bowler is Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes. Rhodes used to be one of the better defensive backs in the NFL. However, at this point of his career he is serviceable at best — and that’s being generous. He was Pro Football Focus’ 6th worst rated cornerback this year. Somehow he made it to the Pro Bowl. Congrats?

New Rules

There’s one fun wrinkle the NFL is throwing into the Pro Bowl this year. If you hate onside kicks (or the lack of successful onside kicks) then this rule is for you. After a team scores in the Pro Bowl, that team can elect to either give the other team the ball at the 25-yard line OR they can take the ball at their own 25 yard line and they have to successfully get a first down on 4th and 15. If they do, they keep the ball. If they’re unsuccessful, the other team will get the ball at the dead ball spot.

Basically the NFL is turning an onside kick into a 4th and 15 from your own 25 yard line. I love this rule. Both the AFC and NFC should be forced to attempt this feat once a half.

Pro Bowl Odds

Spread: AFC -1 vs. NFC

Money Line: AFC -115 / NFC -105

Over/Under: 50.5

It’s not often that the Super Bowl has a higher over/under than the Pro Bowl. While the 2019 Pro Bowl only saw 33 total points, the five year average for total points in this all-star game is 62 points.

I’ll take the NFC and the over in this one. The AFC has won three straight but I think Russell Wilson and Michael Thomas will have big games and will be co-MVPs.

Final Thoughts

The Pro Bowl isn’t the best all-star game in existence, but the skills challenge has made the weekend a bit more appealing. If you’re anything like me then you’re starting to panic a bit that football is leaving us for a couple of months (sorry XFL). I will gladly take the Pro Bowl over no football at all. For the record, the NFL needs to move the Pro Bowl from Orlando to Vegas or L.A.

Good luck to all of your who are in contention to bring home a Champions Round title. We hope the Super Bowl results work out in your favor.

Speaking of Super Bowl 54, here’s my early prediction: Chiefs 31 — 49ers 27.

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