For the last eight years, EA Sports has proudly fired up the current iteration of Madden, and simulated the Super Bowl predict its winner, generally with favorable results. EA is proud to call their sports games some of the best simulators around, so it makes sense that they fire them up for the big events and pass on the results—whether it be the Super Bowl, the World Cup/Champions League Finals, or the Stanley Cup. Besides, if they didn’t do it officially, others would just do it unofficially anyway. Like we did this afternoon.
So far the game has been mostly right, picking correctly six out of the last eight times. So in keeping with tradition, the folks at EA fired up Madden 12 and pitted the New England Patriots against the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. It was close, but according to EA Sports and Madden 12, this year’s champions with be the New York Giants.
In the simulation, the Giants had control throughout, heading into halftime with a 17-10 lead. As the third quarter winded down, Manning–who the game later crowned the Super Bowl MVP–led the Giants on another drive, pushing the score to 24-10 before the final quarter began. But not to be denied, Tom Brady earned his paycheck and brought the Patriots back with two unanswered touchdowns to tie the game at 24. With under 2 minutes left, Manning drove downfield, setting up Lawrence Tynes for the game winning field goal as time expired. And the digital New Yorkers went digitally crazy. They may have even had a digital parade and met the digital President in the digital White House.
But don’t go planning your victory riot just yet, Giants fans. Last year Madden 11 actually picked the Steelers over the Packers.
Besides, Madden is a game that loves to pride itself on the ability to never be the exact same experience twice. So we decided to run our own simulation.
With the games set up, we ran a best of three series between the Pats and the Giants.
The Giants took game one easily. The final score was 20-13, but that suggests a closer game than it really was. The Giants defense was on fire, forcing five turnovers, including four interceptions from Brady. Manning also had an interception, as well as 251 yards and 2 touchdowns, both to Mario Manningham.
In game two, it was a different story. Towards the end of the first half, both teams had a pair of field goals but no touchdowns when Brady was sacked and injured. He would not return, which meant that third year quarterback, and perennial backup Brian Hoyer took center stage. Hoyer preformed like a hero, going 26 for 37 and throwing for 323 yards in one half. Manning had a poor showing with 4 interceptions, but still the game remained tied at 16 as regulation ended. In overtime, Hoyer pulled off an impressive drive, leading to the game winning field goal.
The rubber match, however, was all New England. At the end of the first half, the Patriots led 21-13, and they would never look back. Both Manning and Brady had good games, but the Giants three turnovers doomed them, and the Patriots won in a rout, 45-16.
So while the official EA pick this year is the New York Giants, the totally unofficial DT pick is the New England Patriots. We’ll find out who is right this Sunday in Indianapolis.