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At last, we’re here. For all three of you that are looking forward to this, the NFL’s 2007 NIT Tournament’s Super Bowl has finally arrived. Call me crazy, but the match up isn’t half bad. The two number one seeds in either conference, the Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns are geared up for the game that will make one of them the best team that didn’t make the playoffs. If you’ve ever been left out of anything, this game is definitely for you.
As I’m sure everyone knows, this whole thing has been simulated with http://whatifsports.com – but it was not always that way. I actually did this a few weeks back before I even knew about What if Sports (and oh, a world that was). In that version, the Philadelphia Eagles played you guessed it, the Cleveland Browns in the Runners-Up Super Bowl. Suffice it to say, it’s nice to see WiS echo my own brain’s simulations –- tis a very nice stroke of the ego. In my version, the Eagles were the victor. But what would really happen? Let’s find out.
The game was going to be played in Hawaii, because… well, Hawaii’s awesome. Then I realized the Pro Bowl stadium was not available as an option, so I picked Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. Call it a pre actual Super Bowl under card, if you will.
THE 1st EVER NFL 2007 NIT SUPER BOWL
CLEVELAND BROWNS VS PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
The 2007 NIT Super Bowl got off to a quick start with the Eagles going 88 yards on their opening possession to score a quick TD to go up 7-0. Cleveland answered right back after a great Joshua Cribbs kick return – with Jamal Lewis taking one 38 yards to the house for a TD. A successful extra point tied the score up at 7.
After forcing the Eagles into a four and out, Derek Anderson took advantage of the change in possession and led his team 72 yards for another TD. The 1 st quarter would end with the Browns on top 14-7.
The Browns defense continued to impress, allowing a bit of yardage on the Eagles next possession, but not enough for the Eagles to convert it into points. Already having scored two TDs on two possessions, the Browns continued the trend, this time with a FG.
Lock down defense on both sides would assure no more scoring in the first half. The Browns go into halftime up 17-7.
The Halftime show included a fan field goal kicking contest (he missed) as well as a great performance by Kanye West, Chamillionaire and Shakira. Also, everyone was given a free personal size pizza courtesy of Uno’s.
Good defensive play on both sides of the ball continued into the 3 rd quarter. However, the Browns held the Eagles to zero points for the 2 nd consecutive quarter while Cleveland tacked on another field goal to their score.
The score was 20-7 going into the final quarter.
The Eagles wasted no time in the 4 th quarter, scoring a quick TD 2 minutes in. The Browns answered RIGHT back however, going 71 yards to counter the Eagles TD. The 2 point conversion failed however. With 9 minutes to go the score was 26-14 and the Eagles looked to be on the ropes.
After a quick first down, the Eagles would have to punt. The defense would answer the call however and get them the ball back. McNabb would take care of the rest and with 4:31 to go in the game, the Eagles would make it 26-21.
With only 2 timeouts, the Eagles couldn’t stop the Browns rushing attack who successfully gained three first downs to put this one away.
The Cleveland Browns win the 2007 NFL NIT Tournament 26-21!
Player of the game: Jamal Lewis 22 rushes 105 yards 2 TDs (And for anyone interested, Derek Anderson didn't have nearly as good a game as last week -- 18/28 246 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT)