- The 2021 Pro Bowl will be played virtually Sunday, using the Madden NFL 21 video game
- Quarterbacks Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans and Kyler Murray of the Arizona Cardinals will be the “team leads”
- All you need to know about the virtual Pro Bowl, including the odds, can be found below
The NFL will hold its annual Pro Bowl, though it will be unlike any all-star game of any of the major professional sports leagues in North America.
This version of the Pro Bowl will be contested virtually in just another twist in this pandemically altered sports world.
The game will be played at 5 PM EST Sunday, January 31st, 2021, using the Madden NFL 21 video game from EA Sports. It will be held as a watch party and streamed on various platforms.
Odds have been posted for the game, just like any other NFL game, including Super Bowl 55.
2021 Pro Bowl Odds
Odds as of Jan. 27
How Will It Be Played?
Eight NFL players and celebrities will compete against each other playing Madden 21 with four each controlling the AFC and NFC rosters.
Two Pro Bowl quarterbacks have been named “team leads.” The Houston Texans’ Deshaun Watson will serve in that role for the AFC and the Arizona Cardinals’ Kyler Murray will lead the NFC.
The other AFC competitors are Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry, ESPN commentator and former star wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson, and rap legend Snoop Dogg. Joining Murray in running the NFC team will be Seattle Seahawks safety Jamal Adams, former standout running back and current SBD contributor Marshawn Lynch, and NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace.
The #ProBowl: Madden NFL 21 Edition presented by @Verizon kicks off this Sunday (1/31) at 5PM ET
Watch your favorite NFL athletes & Celebs battle it out on the virtual gridiron‼️ https://t.co/erDn0PF8AU #Madden21 pic.twitter.com/ZNL1wbXAtr
— Madden NFL 21 (@EAMaddenNFL) January 25, 2021
Just like a normal Pro Bowl, each conference has 44-man rosters that were selected in voting by fans and NFL players and coaches:
2021 Pro Bowl Rosters
|*Patrick Mahomes (KC), Josh Allen (BUF), Deshaun Watson (HOU)||QB||*Aaron Rodgers (GB), Russell Wilson (SEA), Kyler Murray (ARI)|
|*Derrick Henry (TEN), Nick Chubb (CLE), Josh Jacobs (LV)||RB||*Dalvin Cook (MIN), Alvin Kamara (NO), Aaron Jones (GB)|
|*Tyreek Hill (KC), *Stefon Diggs (BUF), Keenan Allen (LAC), A.J. Brown (TEN)||WR||*Davante Adams (GB), *DeAndre Hopkins (ARI), DK Metcalf (SEA), Justin Jefferson (MIN)|
|*Travis Kelce (KC), Darren Waller (LV)||TE||*T.J. Hockenson (DET), Evan Engram (NYG)|
|*Patrick Ricard (BAL)||FB||*Kyle Juszczyk (SF)|
|*Laremy Tunsil (HOU), *Eric Fisher (KC), Orlando Brown (BAL)||OT||*David Bakhtiari (GB), *Trent Williams (SF), Terron Armstead (NO)|
|*Quenton Nelson (IND), *Joel Bitonio (CLE), David DeCastro (PIT)||G||*Brandon Scherff (WAS), *Elgton Jenkins (GB), Andrus Peat (NO)|
|*Maurkice Pouncey (PIT), Ryan Kelly (IND)||C||*Jason Kelce (PHI), Frank Ragnow (DET)|
|*Myles Garrett (CLE), *Joey Bosa (LAC), Frank Clark (KC)||DE||*Cameron Jordan (NO), *Brandon Graham (PHI), Chase Young (WAS)|
|*Chris Jones (KC), *Cameron Heyward (PIT), Calais Campbell (BAL)||DT||*Aaron Donald (LAR), *Fletcher Cox (PHI), Grady Jarrett (ATL)|
|*T.J. Watt (PIT), *Bradley Chubb (DEN), Matt Judon (BAL)||OLB||*Khalil Mack (CHI), *Za’Darius Smith (GB), Jason Pierre-Paul (TB)|
|*Darius Leonard (IND), Tremaine Edmunds (BUF)||ILB||*Bobby Wagner (SEA). Fred Warner (SF)|
|*Xavien Howard (MIA), *Tre’Davious White (BUF), Marlon Humphery (BAL), Stephon Gilmore (NE)||CB||*Jalen Ramsey (LAR), *Jaire Alexander (GB), Marshon Lattimore (NO), James Bradberry (NYG)|
|*Minkah Fitzpatrick (PIT), Justin Simmons (DEN)||FS||*Quandre Diggs (SEA)|
|*Tyrann Mathieu (KC)||SS||*Budda Baker (ARI), Jamal Adams (SEA)|
|*Morgan Cox (BAL)||LS||*Tyler Ott (SEA)|
|*Jake Bailey (NE)||P||*Jack Fox (DET)|
|*Justin Tucker (BAL)||K||*Younghoe Koo (ATL)|
|*Andre Roberts (BUF)||RS||*Cordarrelle Patterson (CHI)|
|*Matthew Slater (NE)||ST||*Nick Bellore (SEA)|
Rules Still Hazy
It has not been announced which participants are playing which quarter.
Another aspect of the game that has yet to be clarified is if all the players will be involved like in a normal Pro Bowl or if the starters will play all four quarters in line with a regular season or postseason game.
It is possible that there will be plenty of substitutions because Madden 21 has a feature in its preseason for the franchise mode that automatically subs in reserves.
What is certain is that the real-life players get Pro Bowl jerseys as keepsakes.
Pro Bowl Jerseys came in..! Wasn’t too long ago my Dad and Mom were in Hawaii at the Pro Bowl..! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Qh6XFVf1D6
— Marlon Humphrey (@marlon_humphrey) January 27, 2021
How Can You Watch?
The game will be streamed on NFL Network with Charissa Thompson and Michael Strahan serving hosts. It is unclear if Strahan will still be able to participate after contracting COVID-19.
Fans can also watch on the EA Sports Madden NFL Twitch Channel and NFL’s YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook platforms. Streamers Ninja, FaZe Swagg, AustinShow, and AMP will have the game on their Twitch channels as a watch party.
Who Will Win?
The NFL is a quarterback’s league and that holds true even in the virtual world.
The AFC has the edge with a group that includes the Kansas City Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes as the starter, being backed up by Watson and the Buffalo Bills’ Josh Allen. That trio combined to throw for 14,107 yards and 108 touchdowns in the regular season.
Mahomes shook him and then completed the pass ? @PatrickMahomes @Chiefs
? #BUFvsKC on CBS pic.twitter.com/kdwNrfpePZ
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) January 25, 2021
However, there is an overriding reason why we at SBD feel compelled to go with the NFC and that is Lynch. It’s never wise to bet against Beast Mode, especially since he is on our team, too.
Pick: NFC (+160)