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Madden Super Bowl XLV simulation


Madden 11 projects seventh Super Bowl victory for Pittsburgh in upcoming battle of defenses

The validity of a video game predicting the result of a sports matchup might seem questionable, but considering EA’s track record with these predictions, they might be onto something. Since kicking off their annual Super Bowl simulation in 2004, the Madden franchise has accurately chosen the winner of the Super Bowl six out of seven times.


Check out EA’s impressive picks from the last seven Super Bowls:

Super Bowl XXXVIII – 2004
Madden Prediction: Patriots 24, Panthers 20 [No Janet Jackson]
Actual Result: Patriots 32, Panthers 29 [Arguably too much Janet Jackson]

Super Bowl XXXXIX – 2005
Madde Prediction: Patriots 47, Eagles 31
Actual Result: Patriots 24, Eagles 21

Super Bowl XL – 2006
Madden Prediction: Steelers 24, Seahawks 19 [Virtual refs were on the Steelers’ payroll]
Actual Result: Steelers 21, Seahawks 10 [Actual refs were on the Steelers’ payroll]

Super Bowl XLI – 2007
Madden Prediction: Colts 38, Bears 27
Actual Result: Colts 29, Bears 17

Super Bowl XLII – 2008
Madden Prediction: Patriots 38, Giants 30
Actual Result: Giants 17, Patriots 14

Super Bowl XLIII – 2009
Madden Prediction: Steelers 28, Cardinals 24
Actual Result: Steelers 27, Cardinals 23

Super Bowl XLIV – 2010
Madden Prediction: Saints 35, Colts 31
Actual Result: Saints 31, Colts 17

The consistency of these picks speaks well to the Madden franchise’s simulation-heavy approach to American Football. At the very least it’s a feather in EA’s cap, counteracting the negative publicity attached to the infamous “Madden curse”. For EA, this year’s Super Bowl is good news no matter who wins. If the Steelers win, they’ve proven the validity of their Simulation approach to Football and if the Packers win, their Quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, is without a doubt going to be Madden 12‘s cover athlete.


This Sunday’s Super Bowl (Feb. 6th) ought to be interesting. The teams are equally matched to the point that EA’s prediction might as well be based on a coin toss. Instead, it’s based on real-life statistics and other variables I couldn’t comprehend. As of this writing, the Packers are the odds-on favorites in Vegas and the Steelers are going in as the underdogs (something they’re not at all used to). Having won the Super Bowl for the sixth time a couple years back and in effect having a roster of players with experience in the big game, commonsense dictates the Steelers would win, but commonsense isn’t valued when it comes to American Football. It could go either way, then.

We’ve discussed doing it in the past, but this year we’re following through and making our own predictions. We’ll update with results post-Super Bowl (feel free to mock us for not making the obvious choice, afterwards):

Super Bowl XLV – 2011
Madden prediction: Steelers 24, Packers 20
Thunderbolt’s prediction: Packers 31, Steelers 24
Actual Result: Packers 31, Steelers 25


Box scores, misc. stats, and video of the simulation can be found on EA’s site. What are your thoughts on EA’s annual simulations? Does this mean simulation-style American Football video games are becoming more realistic, or are we reading too much into this?

The author of this fine article

is an Associate Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in July 2007. Get in touch on Twitter @Calvin_Kemph.

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