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Notes: Highlights from the Detroit Lions at the 2023 Pro Bowl Games

All four Lions (and one former Lion) are scoring high for the NFC in their respective competitions.

NFL: Pro Bowl Skills Competition Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Lions are represented well at this week’s Pro Bowl festivities, and the league recently posted videos of the fun skills competitions. Jared Goff, Frank Ragnow, Penei Sewell and Amon-Ra St. Brown are in Vegas mixing it up with fellow Pro Bowlers and the results are very entertaining.

Quarterback Jared Goff lit up the Precision Passing competition, in which the NFC and AFC quarterbacks threw footballs at a mix of stationary and moving targets for points based on difficulty. Goff hit a ton of points early in his run (21 total points), outscoring both NFC teammates Kirk Cousins (14 points) and Geno Smith (20 points). Unfortunately for our squad, the AFC’s Derek Carr put up a monstrous 31 points to clinch the win for the home team (it is in Las Vegas, after all). You can watch the entire precision passing skills competition video on the league’s official YouTube channel.

Meanwhile in the Best Catch competition, the Pro Bowl took four different wide receivers to crazy setups and had veteran quarterbacks Jimmy Clausen throw to two of them at Vegas hotel pools and Matt Leinart throw to two at Vegas landmarks. Detroit’s Amon-Ra St. Brown was one of the receivers Clausen threw to, and he made two wild catches with split-second concentration. The first was a catch while running on floating pads in the pool, snagging the ball out of mid-air while falling into the water. The second catch was while he was in mid-air after a somersault off the springboard. In both cases, St. Brown had just a fraction of a second to lock onto the ball in flight and make the catch. As Lions fans have come to expect, he secured the passes both times with no problems. The crazy catches at both full speed and slow motion to really appreciate the skill and concentration involved are available on the league’s YouTube channel as well.

In the Lightning Round set of skill competitions, it seems like the NFC had a ringer involved in the water balloon catching game called “Splash Catch.” First-down chain moving threat Penei Sewell showed everybody how it’s done, but Frank Ragnow was unable to bring it in on the return throw (on the replay you can see he closed his eyes instead of keeping them open and on the “ball”). The balloon burst in Ragnow’s hands and splashed his entire upper body, eliciting a cheesy grin from the Lions center.

Unfortunately Sewell is such a good athlete that it seems the Pro Bowl organizers decided it would have been cheating to put him in the “High Stakes” punt return competition since there was film evidence he could already do it with ease from last June. The Lightning Round video can also be watched on the league’s YouTube channel.

Rounding out the Saturday games, former Lions tight end T.J. Hockenson was part of the NFC squad’s contingent in the Longest Drive golf game (which was hosted on site by Dan Orlovsky). Hockenson had the longest ball for the NFC team at 316 yards, but Bills safety Jordan Poyer managed to best it on the AFC’s final swing with a ball that went 320 yards. The video for that skill competition is on the YouTube channel in its entirety, complete with some funny player introductions that would have been nice on the other competition videos.

As we mentioned in our Pro Bowl Events post, there’s more to come on Sunday, including flag football with both Jared Goff and Amon-Ra St. Brown, Penei Sewell in a relay race, and Frank Ragnow trying to pull down walls with some teammates (wtf?). The team’s official site posted photo galleries of Jared Goff visiting the flag football championships and some promo shots of Goff and St. Brown from the first day of skills competitions.

There’s quite a fan representation out there, but everyone at home can stay tuned to the NFL Network for more zany coverage. Now, on to the rest of your weekend Notes:

  • There are some phone wallpapers up that Lions fans may be interested in:

  • Some USFL news:

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