For whatever curse is bestowed upon the cover athlete of each season's Madden NFL game, one doesn't apply to the victory of EA's annual Super Bowl simulation. In six of the past eight seasons, the winner of a pregame simulation has accurately predicted the winner of the NFL's title game.
This is good news for the New York Giants. Behind an MVP performance from Eli Manning, the virtual G-Men defeated the New England Patriots, 27-24, in EA's Super Bowl simulation on Xbox 360.
Manning finished 25-39 for 342 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
The scoring started with a 40-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter from Manning to Victor Cruz. New England took a lead in the second quarter after a Tom Brady touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski, but entered the locker room down 17-10 following a Hakeem Nicks touchdown and a Lawrence Tynes field goal.
Tom Brady led New England on a 14-point fourth-quarter comeback but left too much time on the clock for Manning, who led the Giants on a two-minute drill that resulted in a last-second 40-yard field goal by Lawrence Tynes.
The Madden simulation missed last year when it predicted a 24-20 victory for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Two years before, it missed hitting the exact final score of the Steelers-Arizona Cardinals game by one point on each side.
The game takes into account player ratings based on real-life data and allows for external factors like injuries. There were no stats for how many times Eli Manning impotently shrugged his shoulders to question a lack of pass interference calls, how terse Bill Belichick was is in his pregame interview or what shade of red Tom Coughlin's face would be by the fourth quarter.