Prior to playing in his first career Pro Bowl, Cleveland Browns center Alex Mack was jumping for joy after he was named a replacement for Maurkice Pouncey and Nick Mangold last week. He seemed to be one of the few players who was genuinely excited to play in the game itself.
That seemed to show up on gameday too. Jeff Saturday got the start, but after about two or three series, Mack went in at center and played the remainder of the game there.
The game got off to a lopsided start with the NFC winning 42-0 in the first half. The AFC put some drives together in the second half to make the game seem a little bit closer, but the NFC was still winning 55-34 with about a minute left in the game. The NFC started taking a few knees to drain out the clock, but to the surprise of some, Bill Belichick started calling timeouts to give the AFC another shot. That is when the magic happened.
With about 40 seconds left in the game and the defensive line not rushing whatsoever, Matt Cassel fired a pass over the middle to Dwayne Bowe for 21 yards. Bowe lateraled to the Jaguars' Montell Owens for 6 yards, but he was stood up by a defender. The entire time, you could see one big offensive lineman running behind Bowe and then behind Owens, begging for the football -- Alex Mack. Rather than the referees blowing the play dead while Owens was being stood up, Owens decided to dish the ball to Mack.
Mack proceeded to bolt up the sideline with the football held tight. He blew up safety Roman Harper, who tried to tackle him about ten yards away from the end zone, and then leaped into the end zone for a touchdown that was the highlight of the game. The AFC lost 55-41, but Mack has a moment that he will remember forever. The season ended on a high note for Cleveland. Go Browns!!!