For a pair of guys who were snubbed initially, Davante Adams and Za’Darius Smith were two of the most impressive players at the Pro Bowl on Sunday.
In an environment where it’s tough to find energy and an ability to play at 100 percent, the two Packers stars were among the NFC’s best players in Orlando. Adams caught six passes for 61 yards and a pair of second-half touchdowns, following up on a two-reception, 41-yard game to lead the NFC a year ago.
Smith, a first-time Pro Bowler, put his stamp on the game with a pair of sacks, one each on Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson in the first half. The Watson sack also stripped out the football for a fumble, though an AFC lineman recovered. Then, on the final play of the second quarter, Smith picked off a pass from Ryan Tannehill, a play that gave him one more pass defense than he had all of the regular season.
Kenny Clark had a relatively quiet day with one solo tackle. But all in all, the Packers’ stars showed up and played very well in an environment that was marred by more than just a lack of energy; it was marred by tragedy, as the news of the death of Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven others in a helicopter crash broke early in the game.
Here’s a look at what else is going on around the Packers this weekend.
What we learned from the 2020 Pro Bowl - NFL.com
We got our first look at a possible onside kick alternative in this game, but it was disappointing. Instead of having his receivers run real routes on the 4th and 15 attempt from the 25-yard line, NFC quarterback Kirk Cousins just chucked a Hail Mary deep and got intercepted.
Packers GM full of ‘optimism going forward’ | Packers.com
We addressed a handful of Gutekunst's comments on Friday, but here's a wider look at the GM's press conference. The next time he will speak will be in Indianapolis at the NFL Combine.
Brian Gutekunst should let history be his guide with Bryan Bulaga | Packersnews.com
This article argues that the team should let Bulaga walk if he gets a contract offer of more than his current $6.75 million average, given his age (30) and injury history.
Top practice players from 2020 Senior Bowl | Packers Wire
Oregon QB Justin Herbert, meanwhile, won MVP honors in the game on Saturday after leading the North team to a victory.
Kobe Bryant’s death: live updates and remembrance | Los Angeles Times
The event is a tragedy, with Bryant, his daughter, and seven others perishing in the crash. While all the attention seems to be on Bryant himself, let us not forget the others who were on board.