HONOLULU -- Derrick Brooks and the NFC's solid defense gave the NFL's so-called inferior conference something to feel good about.
Brooks returned an interception 59 yards for a touchdown, the AFC committed six of the Pro Bowl's 10 turnovers, and the NFC rallied for a sloppy 23-17 victory yesterday in a game that didn't turn out to be the offensive show most expected.
Brooks, the Tampa Bay linebacker playing in his ninth straight Pro Bowl, was honored as the game's outstanding player.
Neil Rackers kicked a 22-yard field goal with 6:29 left to give the NFC a 20-17 lead. With Seattle's Matt Hasselbeck at quarterback, the NFC moved 59 yards before its drive stalled, and coach John Fox was booed for opting for the field goal on fourth and 2. Steve McNair mishandled two snaps from center after that, and the NFC recovered both. Jeremiah Trotter fell on the second one at the AFC 18, and Rackers kicked a 20-yard field goal with 1:10 left to complete the scoring.
The AFC reached the NFC 49 before McNair was sacked by Michael Strahan on the game's final play.
AFC teams have won five of the past six Super Bowls.