Golden Nuggets: Pro Bowl recap...and that says it all

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

49ers and NFL links for Monday January 27, 2014.

We're officially entering our first "dead period" of 49ers coverage this offseason. Last week, Jim Harbaugh wrapped up the season with his Tuesday press conference, and the media provided some year-end takes to keep you warm for a few days. Now, the Pro Bowl gave us something Sunday, but otherwise there isn't a whole lot of much. That won't stop Niners Nation from keeping you company, but otherwise, winter is here!

The Pro Bowl wasn't spectacular, but I think you could say they provided some improved quality compared to recent years. It still needs some work, but the rules changes added a little something interesting. There were no kickoffs, but rather, teams took over at the 25. The ball changed possession at the end of each quarter, so it created instances of more hurry-up offense.

Team Rice won the game 22-21, and Alex Smith was one of the heroes. After Team Sanders took a 21-14 lead, Alex Smith led a 58-yard drive for a touchdown. The drive came with under a minute remaining, so they went for two, and scored it to take the final 22-21 lead.

We almost had a great moment in gambling history. Team Rice as a 1 1/2 point favorite in this game (yes, there's a Pro Bowl spread!). Justin Tucker of Team Sanders lined up to attempt a 67-yard field goal. The kick was short and Antonio Cromartie was lined up undernearth the goal post to catch the ball. He caught and slowly came out of the end zone. People were starting to congratulate each other and sideline folks started walking on the field. Cromartie wasn't tackled and took off for the end zone. The refs ruled the play dead even though he wasn't tackled. Had he been given the score, Team Rice would have covered. Such is life!

Patrick Willis had surgery on thumb (Barrows)

Early 49ers free-agent primer (Williamson)

Colin Kaepernick – Is it essential to sign him now? (Lynch)

Team Rice defeats Team Sanders in NFL Pro Bowl (NFL.com)

Cam Newton still salty about Panthers' loss to 49ers (NFL.com)

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