The 2014 Pro Bowl kicks off later tonight with the NFL's top player taking the field in Hawaii. This year, the game is setup differently, however, as the AFC vs. NFC format is gone, replaced with a fantasy style draft. The draft took place on Tuesday and Wednesday, with Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders acting as the two captains.
The league has also changed some of the rules for tonight's game, including removing the kickoff, adding two minute warnings in the first and third quarters, and removing some of the limitation on the defense. In previous years, teams were only allowed to play straight man-coverage on defense; now, they will be able to press or play a cover two zone as well. Also an odd change designed to bring some more excitement to the game, the ball will change hands at the end of each quarter, adding additional hurry-up offense chances as a team gets the ball with little time remaining in the first or third period.
Continue reading for all of the game's pertinent information, including kickoff time, online and TV coverage, coaches, and more.
2014 NFL Pro Bowl
Date: Sunday, January 26, 2014
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Online streaming: NBC Sports Live Extra
Location: Aloha Stadium, Honolulu, Hawaii
Rosters: Team Rice | Team Sanders
Coaches: Ron Rivera | Chuck Pagano
Cameron Wake, defensive end
Mike Pouncey, center
Brent Grimes, cornerback
Brandon Fields, punter
There are also several new rules in the game. Here are a few of them (via NFL.com):
Game within the Game -- A two-minute warning will be added to the first and third quarters and the ball will change hands after each quarter. This will increase the opportunities for quarterbacks to direct "two-minute drills," which are especially exciting for fans.
No Kickoffs -- The coin toss will determine which team is awarded possession first. The ball will be placed on the 25-yard line at the start of each quarter and after scoring plays.
Rosters -- The rosters will continue to consist of 43 players per squad. The kick return specialist will be replaced by an additional defensive back.
Cover Two and Press Coverage -- The defense will be permitted to play "cover two" and "press" coverage. In previous years, only "man" coverage was permitted, except for goal line situations.
Stopping of the Game Clock -- Beginning at the two-minute mark of every quarter, if the offense does not gain at least one yard, the clock will stop as if the play were an incomplete pass. This rule will make the team with the ball attempt to gain yardage toward the end of each quarter.
Game Timing -- The game clock will start after an incomplete pass on the signal of the referee, except inside the last two minutes of the first half and the last five minutes of the second half.
Play Clock -- A 35-second/25-second play clock will be adopted instead of the typical 40-second/25-second clock.
Sacks -- The game clock will not stop on quarterback sacks outside of the final two minutes of the game. Currently, the game clock stops in these situations outside of two- minutes of the second and fourth quarters.