Madden NFL '13 (Credit: EA)Okay, EA, this is getting a little bit creepy.
The Madden franchise added to its impressive Super Bowl prediction track record by not only correctly picking the Ravens over the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII, but even managing to nail the point spread.
Sure, it was a couple points off on the exact score -- the Madden '13 prediction game had the Ravens winning 27-24, versus the game's actual 34-31 outcome -- but it also accurately guessed that Ravens QB Joe Flacco would walk home with the MVP trophy.
Dig deeper and it gets spookier. Madden claimed that 49ers running back Frank Gore would rack up 101 yards on 17 carries. He wound up with 110 yards on 19 carries. It said the 49ers would fight back from a huge deficit to make the game interesting in the final two minutes. Check. It prophesized that QB Colin Kaepernick would have 18 completions, 29 attempts, one TD and an interception. He ended the game just two completions and one attempt shy of that forecast. EA's simulation even predicted that Ravens safety Ed Reed would be the person to intercept a Kaepernick pass, which he did in the second quarter.
[Related: Play that decided Super Bowl XLVII]
We're starting to wonder if the game’s creators are using IBM's Watson to develop Madden at this point.
It wasn't perfect, of course. The sim had Ravens running back Ray Rice racking up 104 yards on 19 carries with a touchdown. Rice had a much quieter game (20 carries, 59 yards, one fumble, no touchdowns). It also underestimated the contribution of 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, who went off for 104 yards and several key catches. Madden predicted he'd only gain 67 yards.
But in the grand scheme of things, it's a pretty amazing bit of crystal ball work. If you're keeping score, this makes Madden's overall Super Bowl prediction track record a stellar 8-2:
- Super Bowl XLVII
Madden: Ravens, 27, 49ers, 24
Actual: Ravens, 34, 49ers, 31
- Super Bowl XLVI
Madden: Giants, 27, Patriots, 24
Actual score: Giants, 21, Patriots, 17
- Super Bowl XLV
Madden: Steelers, 24, Packers, 20
Actual score: Packer, 31, Steelers, 25
- Super Bowl XLIV
Madden: Saints 35, Colts 31
Actual score: Saints 31, Colts 17
- Super Bowl XLIII
Madden: Steelers 28, Cardinals 24
Actual score: Steelers 27, Cardinals 23
- Super Bowl XLII
Madden: Patriots 38, Giants 30
Actual score: Giants 17, Patriots 14
- Super Bowl XLI
Madden: Colts 38, Bears 27
Actual score: Colts 29, Bears 17
- Super Bowl XL
Madden: Steelers 24, Seahawks 19
Actual score: Steelers 21, Seahawks 10
- Super Bowl XXXIX
Madden: Patriots 47, Eagles 31
Actual score: Patriots 24, Eagles 21
- Super Bowl XXXVIII
Madden: Patriots 23, Panthers 20
Actual Score: Patriots 32, Panthers 29
- Super Bowl XXLVII
Madden: Ravens 27, 49ers 24
Actual Score: Ravens 34, 49ers 31
About the only thing Madden didn't predict was the 35-minute power failure that struck in the game's second half. Maybe next year?