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Pro Bowl teams pit teammate on teammate

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 23, 2014 at 6:57 pm •  Published: January 23, 2014
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PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) — Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is disappointed he's not teammates with Robert Mathis during the Pro Bowl.

But the Colts linebacker says if he gets a shot at Luck during Sunday's game, he'll take it.

"I'm going to bust him," Mathis said Thursday after practicing for Team Rice, drawing laughs from a crowd of fans while signing autographs.

Luck versus Mathis is just one of several head-to-head matchups made possible by a new Pro Bowl format modeled after fantasy sports and schoolyard pickup games. The teams were drafted by Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders.

Arizona wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald could line up against teammate Patrick Peterson. Chicago's wide receiver tandem of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery might have to face off against cornerback Tim Jennings. And Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith could be sacked by linebacker Tamba Hali or defensive tackle Dontari Poe, or intercepted by safety Eric Berry.

Nearly 30 of 88 players in the Pro Bowl have a reasonable chance of facing their NFL teammates on Sunday during the game at Aloha Stadium.

Marshall said practicing against Jennings throughout the season has given him inside information he plans to use during the game.

"I know what he likes, I know what he doesn't like," Marshall said. "I know what he bites on so I'm going to give him some double moves, give him some triple moves and I'm going to run right by him a few times."

Asked if Jennings could say the same about him, Marshall said: "I don't think so, man. I don't give away a lot."

"I'm a good actor out there," he said.

Rice and Sanders split up the Pro Bowlers in an "unconferenced" format earlier in the week. Players on six NFL teams — Baltimore, the New York Jets, Houston, New Orleans, Tampa Bay and Washington — ended up with their teammates only on the same Pro Bowl side.

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