HONOLULU – Even while the star-studded AFC cruised to a comfortable lead in the Pro Bowl, USC product Carson Palmer could sense a wacky finish lurking just beyond everybody’s control. “With this much talent, anybody could change the game at any time,” the Cincinnati quarterback said. “You’ve got to expect something crazy to happen, because it will.” Palmer’s hunch proved correct in the improbable final minutes – but thanks to Palmer’s poise and a costly NFC penalty, the AFC’s Hawaiian vacation ended with another win. Nate Kaeding kicked a 21-yard field goal as time expired to cap another strong drive led by Palmer, the MVP of the AFC’s 31-28 victory Saturday in the 57thedition of the NFL’s all-star game. The NFC trailed 28-14 with 3minutes to play before injecting a little drama into this normally mellow exhibition. Steven Jackson scored on a fourth-down TD run, and Ronde Barber recovered an onside kick to set up Anquan Boldin’s 47-yard TD catch from Tony Romo with 1:48 left – followed by a tying 2-point conversion catch by Carolina’s Steve Smith. Suddenly, the AFC’s $40,000bonuses for winning the game were in doubt. But just as quickly as the NFC’s playmakers got back in the game, the AFC got it together again. “I had a feeling they were going to have one more shot,” Jackson said. “These games are all about who lands the last punch, and Carson is a great player.” Palmer, who passed for 190yards and two touchdowns, calmly got the AFC across midfield – and then Arizona’s Adrian Wilson, mistakenly believing Palmer’s long pass had been tipped, leveled Chad Johnson at the goal line before the throw reached them. The 39-yard pass-interference penalty put the ball near the goal line. SanDiego’s Kaeding easily made his field goal, setting off fireworks at sold-out Aloha Stadium for the talent-rich AFC’s eighth win in the last 11 Pro Bowls. Palmer threw a 42-yard TD pass to Johnson and a 72-yarder to Reggie Wayne, and Baltimore’s Ed Reed intercepted two passes before the frantic finish. Palmer, who took over for Super Bowl MVP Peyton Manning after just two series, went 8 for 17 in his first Pro Bowl appearance after missing last season’s game with a knee injury. “This is all just a fun game,” said Reed, who tied the Pro Bowl record for interceptions. “Carson made two great throws, and those guys made great catches. We needed those points.” League MVP LaDainian Tomlinson also ran for a score as the AFC underlined its regular-season superiority – but until things got tight, neither side cared much about the result in the league’s annual postseason showcase. NFC starter Drew Brees also played just two series before dislocating his left elbow – a scary moment for Sean Payton, his coach with both the Saints and the NFC squad, but one that’s unlikely to affect next season. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!