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"Madden NFL" Super Bowl simulation usually spot-on but wrong this time.

Montee Ball, backup running back for the Denver Broncos, just played in the Super Bowl. At Wisconsin, Ball broke the career touchdowns mark in NCAA Division I history. Before making a name for himself in college, he was highly recruited out of Timberland High School, less than an hour from downtown St. Louis. Speaking of Ball and the Broncos, Madden NFL 25 simulated the Super Bowl just days before the big game.

Front cover art for "Madden NFL 25" for the PS3.

For a decade now, Madden has done an annual simulation of the two teams pitted against each other in the Super Bowl. Amazingly, the winner of the Madden Super Bowl has won the real Super Bowl eight out of ten times. Here are the Madden simulation scores and real Super Bowl Sunday scores for the past ten years: (Silverman)

Super Bowl XXXVIII – Madden: Patriots 23, Panthers 20; Actual: Patriots 32, Panthers 29

Super Bowl XXXIX – Madden: Patriots 47, Eagles 31; Actual: Patriots 24, Eagles 21

Super Bowl XL – Madden: Steelers 24, Seahawks 19; Actual: Steelers 21, Seahawks 10

Super Bowl XLI – Madden: Colts 38, Bears 27; Actual: Colts 29, Bears 17

Super Bowl XLII – Madden: Patriots 38, Giants 30; Actual: Giants 17, Patriots 14

Super Bowl XLIII – Madden: Steelers 28, Cardinals 24; Actual: Steelers 27, Cardinals 23

Super Bowl XLIV – Madden: Saints 35, Colts 31; Actual: Saints 31, Colts 17

Super Bowl XLV – Madden: Steelers 24, Packers 20; Actual: Packers 31, Steelers 25

Super Bowl XLVI – Madden: Giants 27, Patriots 24; Actual: Giants 21, Patriots 17

Super Bowl XLVII – Madden: Ravens 27, 49ers 24; Actual: Ravens 34, 49ers 31

Apart from the Giants winning Super Bowl XLII and the Packers winning Super Bowl XLV, Madden has predicted the winner correctly. This year Madden NFL 25 simulated the big game on the Xbox One. Similar to the last decade of Super Bowls, the simulation was an exciting game to witness, only for the first time in Super Bowl history, the final game went into overtime.

The simulation begins with a pick-six by Richard ‘Me’ Sherman to put the Seahawks up 10-7 at halftime. Broncos QB Peyton Manning gets his revenge in the third quarter by throwing at Sherman with Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas catching the TD pass. Later in the quarter RB Knowshon Moreno rushes for a short TD to put the Broncos up 21-10. Seahawks K Steven Hauschka nails a field goal before the quarter ends to make it a 21-13 game.

Early in the fourth quarter Manning gets his third TD pass, this time to WR Wes Welker. However, the Seahawks make a comeback when QB Russell Wilson throws a TD pass to WR Golden Tate. On the final play of regulation, with the Seahawks down by eight, RB Marshawn ‘Beast Mode’ Lynch scores on a 27-yard scamper to keep their hopes alive. On the next play, the two-point conversion, Wilson scrambles and gets tackled in the end zone to send it to overtime!

The Seahawks win the toss and receive the ball first, but the Denver defense forces a three-and-out, and the Seahawks must punt. Manning drives the Denver offense down the field and stalls in field goal range. Matt Prater comes out and boots a 48-yard field goal to give the Broncos a dramatic win (EA Sports).

Madden predicted the Broncos would scrape by the Seahawks, 31-28, on a Prater overtime field goal. Manning wound up with the MVP after tossing three touchdown passes on 322 yards. Thomas had an MVP-worthy game catching 11 balls for 168 yards and one TD. Lynch was the Seahawks’ MVP after rushing for 109 yards and a TD.

As most of you know, seeing as how Super Bowl XLVIII is the most watched event in American history, here’s what actually happened…

The game begins with a safety on the second play of the game for the fastest score in Super Bowl history after Manning wasn’t ready for the snap, and RB Knowshon Moreno fell on the loose ball in the end zone. Both of the Seahawks’ opening drives result in 30+ yard field goals by Hauschka to end the first quarter 8-0.

In quarter number two Lynch scores a goal-line touchdown, and later in the quarter LB Malcolm Smith takes a Manning pick-six for the 22-0 halftime lead.

On the first play of the third quarter, Seahawks WR Percy Harvin runs the short kick back for a touchdown. Later WR Jermaine Kearse catches a Wilson pass and makes some Broncos defenders miss on his way to the end zone for the commanding 36-0 advantage. The Broncos get their first and only points on the board after a Thomas touchdown catch, and a successful two-point conversion by Welker’s catch.

The only score in the fourth quarter came on Seahawk’s WR Doug Baldwin’s catch and run after he broke some failed tackle attempts. One of the worst Super Bowls to watch as a fan ended 43-8 as the Seahawks won their first ever championship. Smith wound up with the MVP thanks to his pick-six and fumble recovery.

Madden has now correctly predicted the winning team eight out of eleven times, and this incorrect prediction was the worst of the three.

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