The Indianapolis Colts had seven players in the game as their passing combo was joined by cornerback Vontae Davis, linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, safety Mike Adams, kicker Adam Vinatieri and punter Pat McAfee.
Luck, who had told The Indianapolis Star he thought about skipping the game after being “embarrassed” by the Colts’ 45-7 loss at New England in the AFC Championship Game, came out firing in a game without elaborate defensive schemes and blitzes and few if any hard hits.
The Colts quarterback completed 9-of-10 passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns, the latter a 14-yard strike to Hilton to complete the first-quarter scoring with Cris Carter’s team ahead of Michael Irvin’s squad 13-9.
Luck didn’t play another snap. Irvin’s team rallied for a 32-28 victory on Matt Ryan’s 1-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Graham with 3:10 remaining. Graham caught two touchdown passes and punctuated both by spiking the balls over the goal posts, a celebration which cost him a $30,000 league fine in preseason.
Hilton finished with three receptions for 40 yards. Jackson had three tackles and Davis two stops for Team Irvin. Adams also played for the winning side, but did not make a tackle in his first Pro Bowl of an 11-year career.
Vinatieri, who had been critical of moving the uprights to 14 feet apart from 18.6 feet, missed two 33-yard extra points as well as a 38-yard field goal. He made two other extra points and a pair of field goals for Team Irvin.
Modified game rules meant no kickoffs, so McAfee was used as a punter and a holder on kicks for Team Carter. He averaged 41.3 yards on four punts with one downed inside the 20 and a long of 59 yards.
Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford passed for 316 yards and two touchdowns for Team Irvin to earn offensive MVP honors. Houston defensive end J.J. Watt was named defensive MVP after he intercepted a pass, recovered a fumble, had three passes defended and one tackle for Team Carter.
The one-year hiatus from playing the game in Hawaii drew a sellout crowd of 63,225.
Players on the winning team pocketed $55,000 with the losing team participants receiving $28,000.
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.