John Niyo and Justin Rogers talk about the Lions-Bengals game in Cincinnati on Sunday. Detroit News
Allen Park — Long gone are the days of the Quarterback Challenge, where the NFL’s best passers would throw footballs dipped at blue chalk at moving targets to determine the league’s most-accurate thrower.
But starting last season, the NFL began a series of skills-based competitions at the Pro Bowl, which included a target competition for quarterbacks, a four-man relay race, a best hands course for receivers and, randomly, a game of dodgeball.
This year, the event is being tweaked with a few new events. One of the new contests will be a “Drone Drop,” which will require competitors to catch balls dropped from a drone at increasing heights. The other will be called Kick Tac Toe.
The challenge will test the accuracy of placekickers from both conferences with a version of the classic game, as they attempt to hit a 3-foot-by-3-foot grid of targets inside the uprights.
Only one kicker from each conference is selected to the Pro Bowl, so it appears the league will have to invite others to complete.
Lions kicker Matt Prater hadn’t heard about the contest, but said he would be interested in participating if invited.
A Pro Bowler in 2016, Prater has converted 83.5 percent of his field goal attempts during his 11-year career, including 86.3 percent during his four seasons with the Lions.
Additionally, Prater played his college football for Central Florida, located in Orlando, home of the 2018 Pro Bowl.