Elvis Dumervil made it clear leading up to the Pro Bowl that he planned to play the game at full speed.
The all-star contest has a reputation of being played at a slower, less-competitive pace with little defensive effort compared to actual games, but the Ravens pass rusher had no interest in approaching his fourth Pro Bowl appearance that way.
He even denied Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh's request before the game to take it easy (the two were on opposing teams).
"You only coached us a certain way. I can't change in the matter of a week," Dumervil told Harbaugh on the field before kickoff.
Dumervil stayed true to his word and came up with a pair of sacks in the contest. He crushed Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and buried Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton and was also penalized for blitzing, which is not allowed in the Pro Bowl. Dumervil was the only player in the game to come up with a sack.
"This feels great man, to cap off my season with a win finally. This has been amazing," Dumervil said. "I was trying to represent Ravens Nation, and was trying to win and play the game the right way."
Dumervil's full-go mentality made a difference, and his team came away with the 32-28 Pro Bowl victory after a fourth-quarter comeback. Dumervil and guard Marshal Yanda suited up for Michael Irvin's squad, while running back Justin Forsett and inside linebacker C.J. Mosley played on Cris Carter's team. Harbaugh and his staff coached Team Carter.
Dumervil and Yanda will have bragging rights heading into next season, and they will also have heavier wallets thanks to the victory. Players on the winning team brought home $55,000, compared to $28,000 for players on the losing side.
"At the end of the day we're still teammates, so I might have to talk with Marshal to see if he'll split some of that money," Mosley said.
The game came down to the final seconds with Dalton trying to engineer a game-winning drive after the Harbaugh-led team lost the lead with three minutes, 10 seconds left. But Dalton threw four straight incompletions inside the red zone to turn the ball over on downs, which sealed the contest.
Dumervil's two sacks were the biggest highlights of the game for the Ravens players. Running back Justin Forsett mostly had a quiet night in his first Pro Bowl appearance, outside of his 31-yard run to close out the first half. He did most of his work as a receiver, however, adding five catches for 53 yards.
"Playing in this game was just a great experience, and the answer to a lot of prayers," Forsett said.
Mosley, who was the first rookie in team history to make the Pro Bowl, started and played most of the game. He also called the defense for Team Carter like he did for the Ravens during the season. Like Dumervil, Mosley brought intensity to the game and was also penalized for blitzing. Mosley finished with six tackles.
Harbaugh also had an aggressive mindset in his own right, and he even decided to go for it on 4th-and-6 from inside his own 30-yard line in the second quarter. The move left Cris Carter stunned, and he joked during an interview with ESPN that Harbaugh made the decision without consulting him.
"No! That's John Harbaugh and the whole Harbaugh family," Carter said. "I told him, 'That's the worst decision any of the Harbaughs have ever made.'"