By Ron Wynn
It wasn’t the postseason MVP award he truly wanted, but Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker capped off another sterling season Sunday by being named Offensive Most Valuable Player in the AFC/NFC Pro Bowl.
Walker scored two touchdowns, including the game-tying reception with less than two minutes remaining. His second TD catch helped the AFC overcome a 20-3 deficit and win 24-23 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando.
Walker led the Titans in receiving yards during the season with 807: but was originally a Pro Bowl alternate. But injuries to other receivers resulted in Walker being added to the squad. He had four receptions overall for 29 yards and the two scores.
There was no controversy over Walker’s selection. But the choice of the Denver Broncos’ Von Miller as Defensive MVP wasn’t as widely praised. Miller did have a stellar game in a contest where defense is usually an afterthought. Miller had three tackles and a pass deflection.
He also had the biggest defensive play of the day when he had a strip sack of Los Angeles Rams QB Jared Goff and fumble recovery with less than a minute remaining and the NFC trying to get in position for a game-winning field goal.
The Arizona Cardinals’ cornerback Patrick Petersen had two interceptions, one of which he returned for a 79-yard touchdown. He was less than thrilled with the choice of Miller, though the timing of the strip sack was most probably the key reason Miller was the choice.
But it was also a far more compelling game than usual, and for once had thrills down to the final minute. While Delanie Walker would certainly rather be a Super Bowl MVP than a Pro Bowl one, he showed Sunday he is not only one of the cornerstones for the Titans, but among the leagues’s premier players at his position.