Peyton Manning, prepare to make history.
EA Sports just sent over its annual Super Bowl simulation -- this time using the Xbox One version of Madden NFL 25 -- and it’s good news for Denver. The Broncos will grind their way to the Lombardi trophy by beating the Seahawks 31-28 in an overtime thriller, making Manning the first starting quarterback in NFL history to lead two different teams to Super Bowl victories.
According to the simulation, the game will give fans a little bit of everything:
Controversial cornerback Richard Sherman struck early with an interception and a touchdown to give Seattle a 10-7 edge going into halftime, but his pick six only seemed to make Manning mad, leading to a 17-yard TD pass to Demaryius Thomas right in Sherman’s face. A goal line TD by Knowshon Moreno and a 24-yard bomb to Wes Welker gave Denver a big lead going into the 4th quarter.
But Seattle wasn’t having it. A field goal and a Russell Wilson TD toss brought the Seahawks within striking range, though it took a last second, 27-yard Beast Mode touchdown rumble by Marshawn Lynch to keep them alive. A two-point conversion sent the game into OT, but Broncos kicker Matt Prater silenced the comeback with a 48-yard field goal to win it. Unsurprisingly, Manning would walk off with MVP honors after tallying 322 yards in the air, three TDs and one interception.
Ridiculous, right? It’s just a video game! This sort of thing would never, ever happen in a real Super Bowl.
Except in the case of Madden predictions, it does. Often.
Take last year’s game between the 49ers and the Ravens. Not only did Madden correctly pick the winner (Ravens) and the final spread (three points), it accurately had Joe Flacco as MVP and was one attempt and two completions shy of getting Colin Kaepernick’s stat line exactly right. Or how about the year prior, when Madden picked the Giants to beat the Patriots, missed the spread by one point, predicted the exact score for the Patriots in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, and correctly pegged Eli Manning as the MVP?
Even crazier? Super Bowl XLIII in 2009, when Madden’s 27-23 Steelers prediction was just one point off from the total final score of 28-24. The game even nailed Santonio Holmes’ receiving yards on the button (131). Witchcraft!
Or maybe Madden's just freaky good at this. Having gone 8-2 thus far in Super Bowl predictions, its powers of premonition are closing in on Nate Silver and Punxsutawney Phil territory. Check out the track record:
- Super Bowl XLVII
Madden: Ravens, 27, 49ers, 24
Actual score: 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: Packers, 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
For what it's worth, Denver is currently a slight favorite in the real world, too, though there's also a (small) chance that the Super Bowl itself gets rescheduled due to inclement weather. Doubt even Madden can predict that.
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Super Bowl
- Super Bowl XLIII
- Peyton Manning