The game came down to them, with Smith throwing a touchdown pass with 41 seconds remaining, setting up Mike Tolbert's two-point conversion run that gave Jerry Rice's team a 22-21 victory over Deion Sanders' squad in the first Pro Bowl played without conference designations.
The second-lowest scoring Pro Bowl since 1998 featured a renewed intensity by the defenses, which combined to force eight turnovers and record nine sacks.
The outcome wasn't decided until the final minute, when Tolbert, a Carolina Panthers running back, took a handoff straight up the middle and plowed his 5-foot-9, 245-pound frame just over the goal line for the winning score.
"I knew there was going to be a gap and I had to beat the safety," Tolbert said. "I was so excited, man. Once the safety was a little bit late, I made the play."
Foles was selected the game's most outstanding offensive player, finishing 7-for-10 for 89 yards and a touchdown to put Team Sanders ahead 21-14. The second-year Philadelphia Eagles quarterback completed three consecutive passes, including a deep ball to Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown for 39 yards, to set up a 12-yard touchdown pass to Cleveland Browns tight end Jordan Cameron for the first score of the second half.
"The touchdown was a great feeling," said Foles, who led the NFL in passer rating this season. "Jordan Cameron went up and did a great job making a play and making me look good."
Smith, the Kansas City Chiefs quarterback who threw an interception to Miami Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes on his previous drive, got the ball back on his own 42 with 1:24 remaining.
He needed just four plays to tie the game, hitting Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray for a 20-yard score to set up the winning conversion.
"We knew it would probably come down to us," Foles said of himself and Smith. "He did a great job, and I'm happy for him."
The new format made for some interesting plays, most notably a huge hit Kansas City linebacker Derrick Johnson of Team Rice put on his Chiefs teammate, running back Jamaal Charles, who played for Team Sanders. Charles, who suffered a concussion 22 days earlier in a playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts, was blown up in the hole by Johnson as both teams showed a considerable amount of effort compared to recent Pro Bowls.
Charles was the game's leading rusher with 43 yards on five carries.
"I know I have to have my head on a swivel," Charles said. "It is what it is. I didn't say nothing to him after that."
Johnson led Team Rice with 10 tackles and a forced fumble to earn the defensive most valuable player award.
"He played like an animal, man. He put a hit on Jamaal Charles that was just unbelievable," Rice said. "It was a very physical game. I think the fans got everything they wanted, and this is the type of football we wanted to bring back to Hawaii."
Playing in his final NFL game, 14-time Pro Bowler Tony Gonzalez made three catches for 50 yards, finishing with 52 career receptions in the Pro Bowl -- the most by any player.
The game finished as the lowest-scoring Pro Bowl since the NFC won 23-17 in 2006.
Buffalo safety Jairus Byrd was hurt on a tackle attempt in the first quarter, and Eagles running back LeSean McCoy left the game after injuring his ankle fumbling the ball on the first play of the second half.
"If it was a regular (season) game, I definitely would have played," McCoy said. "I'm all right.
"From the beginning, I definitely seen a big, big difference (in the Pro Bowl."
Smith finished with a game-high 116 passing yards, completing nine of his 22 attempts. San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers of Team Rice was 8-for-13 for 94 yards and a touchdown and two interceptions, while Rice's starting QB, Drew Brees, finished 9-for-19 for 81 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
For Team Sanders, the Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton was 8-for-17 for 95 yards and a pick. He was the only quarterback not to throw a touchdown pass. Starter Andrew Luck of the Colts was 5-for-70 for 80 yards, including a 36-yard touchdown pass to Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson on a flea-flicker for the only score of the first quarter.
Team Sanders sacked Brees twice in the opening 15 minutes and stopped Team Rice on fourth-and-goal from the 3-yard line. Chiefs safety Eric Berry intercepted a Brees pass intended for Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald in the end zone.
Brees finally put his team on the board in the second quarter, throwing to his Saints teammate, tight end Jimmy Graham, for an 8-yard touchdown pass to tie the score at 7 with 9:05 left in the half.
Graham went for his trademark touchdown celebration, slamming the ball over the goalpost, but he was interfered with by Chargers safety Eric Weddle, drawing laughs from both teams.
Team Sanders retook the lead at 14-7 with 5:42 left in the half on a fourth-down quarterback sneak by Newton from the 1. The drive started at the Team Rice 7-yard line after Chiefs defensive tackle Dontari Poe intercepted Rivers' first pass of the game.
Rivers, who was picked off twice on his first three throws, hit Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon for a 10-yard touchdown reception with 36 seconds left in the half to tie the game at 14-14.
Gordon was the leading receiver in the game, finishing with six receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown.
Team Rice kicker Stephen Gostkowski of the New England Patriots attempted a 53-yard field goal with 7:24 remaining in the game, but the kick bounced off the right upright to keep the game score tied at 14.
NOTES: The game began with Team Rice taking the ball on the 25-yard line. There were no kickoffs in the game as part of a host of rule changes. ... Baltimore Ravens K Justin Tucker, who made six field goals in a game this season against the Detroit Lions, including the game-winning 61-yarder, came up short on a 66-yard try to end the half and a 67-yarder to end the game.