In five of the past six years the EA Sports Madden simulation has correctly predicted the winner of the Super Bowl. Last season, Madden NFL 09 pretty much nailed its prediction on Super Bowl XLIII, calling a big first quarter for the Steelers, a comeback by the Cardinals and then a late Pittsburgh victory. The final predicted score was 28-24 Steelers, just two total points off the actual 27-23 result.
All of this bodes well for the New Orleans Saints. EA projects that Drew Brees(notes) and company will pull a 35-31 upset over Peyton Manning(notes) and the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV. Here's how it's expected to go down:
"The first three quarters display the offensive fireworks that both teams have become known for, with the Colts leading 24-21. A nail biting fourth quarter begins with a big play, courtesy of the Saints' special teams, when Reggie Bush(notes) returns a punt for a 42-yard touchdown. However, with minutes left in the game the duo of Joseph Addai(notes) and Peyton Manning put the Colts back on top with a go-ahead touchdown pass. With the game hanging in the balance, Drew Brees hits David Thomas(notes) for an 11-yard touchdown and the game winning score."
So there you have it. You can now feel free to watch the Puppy Bowl on Sunday sans guilt.
Here are some of the "highlights" courtesy EA:A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.
Wait, Reggie Bush scores on a punt return and doesn't do any taunting en route to the end zone? C'mon EA engineers, I thought this was supposed to be realistic! (And a 42-yard punt return for a touchdown? What, is Dwight Freeney(notes) punting for Indy?)
That clip is pretty solid though. In fact, part of me wouldn't mind watching a video game version of the Super Bowl. No commercials, no shots of Kim Kardashian in a luxury box, minimal discussion of football as hurricane-healing, Cris Collinsworth in the booth instead of Phil Simms; there's a lot of selling points for going virtual.