Philip Rivers and Casey Hayward helped lead the AFC to a 20-13 Pro Bowl victory.
Casey Hayward helped get the defense off to a fast start, and Philip Rivers took the final kneel down as the clock struck zero to seal the 20-13 win for the AFC.
Hayward got the start at cornerback, making an early impact. NFC QBs barely targeted the NFL's interception leader. When they did, Hayward showcased the skills that earned him his first Pro Bowl nod.
Early in the second quarter, New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees launched a bomb down the sideline for his former tight end and current Seattle Seahawk Jimmy Graham. Hayward stayed stride for stride with the 6-7, 265-pound tight end, forcing an incompletion as ESPN's Jon Gruden praised the cornerback.
Shortly thereafter, Hayward almost singlehandedly ended a two-minute drive. He had a pair of breakups against two NFC East wideouts he'll face next season. The first came against the Dallas Cowboys' Dez Bryant, and the second on a deep pass intended for the New York Giants' Odell Beckham, Jr. Hayward honored teammate Joey Bosa with his signature shrug after the latter breakup.
Overall, Hayward finished with two tackles and a pair of passes defensed as his Chargers teammates cheered him on through social media.
Meanwhile, Rivers finished 7-for-11 for 59 yards. Named an AFC captain, number 17 entered the game with 6:34 remaining in the third quarter. He orchestrated the Pro Bowl's longest drive, spearheading a 15-play series that took over seven minutes. Rivers completed his first four passes of the game, and the drive ended with a 31-yard field goal that extended the AFC lead to 20-7.
Finally, the third Charger at the Pro Bowl didn't see the field. Melvin Gordon was named to the AFC squad earlier in the week, but missed the end of the regular season with knee and hip injuries. Gordon totaled 997 yards in 13 games, averaging 3.9 yards per attempt with 10 touchdowns on the ground. He also caught 41 passes for 419 yards and two TD catches.