NEWS - Saturday, January 26, 2002


Playoff Fever

PLAYOFF FEVER ON XBOX.COM CONTINUES

Today, Microsoft announced Week Three of Playoff Fever on Xbox.com. Playoff Fever is a simulated highlight reel and statistics that appear every week on www.xbox.com previewing the upcoming NFL playoff games. All games will be played in incredibly realistic replicas of NFL stadiums using Microsoft Game Studios’ NFL Fever 2002 for the Xbox to simulate the game.

In regular season action, NFL Fever 2002’s artificial intelligence accurately simulated 10 of 14 Monday night games. Last week, the artificial intelligence correctly predicted the Eagles and Rams but incorrectly predicted the Ravens and Raiders to run Fever’s playoff record to 5-3. After two weeks of Playoff Fever, the artificial intelligence is a combined 15-7 in Monday night and playoff action.

In the AFC Championship Game, the Pittsburgh Steelers won a hard-hitting defensive struggle over the New England Patriots 14-7. On the game’s opening kickoff, the Steelers’ Deshea Townsend recovered a Kevin Faulk fumble and returned it 33-yards for an early touchdown. Both teams exchanged punts until late in the third quarter when the Pats’ Ted Johnson forced and recovered a Plaxico Burress fumble on the Steelers 38 yard line. Five plays later, Tom Brady hit tight-end Rod Rutledge from 6 yards out to tie the game at seven. The game remained tied until Kordell “Slash” Stewart scrambled 34-yards for the go-ahead touchdown with 1:48 left. Tom Brady and the troops rallied late, but New England’s “super” run ended when Tom Brady’s “Hail Mary” pass fell incomplete as time expired.

In the NFC Championship Game the St. Louis Rams booked their second trip to the Super Bowl in three years with a 28-10 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Donovan McNabb and Kurt Warner each tossed a touchdown in their teams’ first drive of the day. The Eagles used a ball control offense and tough defense to keep the game close until Marshall Faulk took over in the fourth quarter. Faulk clinched the Rams’ trip to New Orleans with 123 of his 151 total yards and two touchdowns in the game’s final frame.

This will be the Rams third and the Steelers sixth trip to the Super Bowl. It’s a rematch of Super Bowl XIV where the Rams suffered their only Super Bowl loss at the hands of the Steelers 31-19.

Be sure to check out Playoff Fever’s Super Bowl XXXVI prediction and simulated highlight reel next week exclusively at www.xbox.com.
Source: http://www.xbox.com

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