Schaub shines as AFC win Pro Bowl

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By Simon Evans

MIAMI (Reuters) - Matt Schaub of the Houston Texans fired two touchdown passes and was named MVP after sparking the AFC to a 41-34 victory over the NFC in the annual Pro Bowl game Sunday.

More than 70,000 turned out at Dolphin Stadium but many drifted away during the second half of what was a light-contact, high-scoring friendly encounter between the league's two conferences featuring 987 total net yards gained.

The game, usually played in Hawaii the week after the Super Bowl, was switched to South Florida during the run-in to the NFL's biggest event.

Next Sunday, the NFC's New Orleans Saints take on the Indianapolis Colts of the AFC in the Super Bowl and quarterbacks Peyton Manning of the Colts and the Saints' Drew Brees watched the Pro Bowl game from the sidelines.

Schaub was delighted with his MVP award.

"There was a ton of talent on this field and it has been a great experience," he said. "It is a huge honor to be named MVP with all these great players here."

The score was level 14-14 at half-time, with Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers throwing two touchdowns for the NFC.

Diluted by the absence of many big-name players, the game nonetheless came alive in the third quarter when the NFC grabbed the lead.

Donovan McNabb, the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, passed to his team mate, wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who weaved past opponents to run home a 58-yard touchdown.

That prompted two touchdowns and a field goal from the AFC but their victory was not secured until the fourth quarter when Tennessee's Chris Johnson ran home from two yards.

(Reporting by Simon Evans in Miami; Editing by Alastair Himmer)