Every year, the developers at EA Sports simulate a Madden football game featuring the two teams in the Super Bowl. This year, the simulation was done on Pro difficulty on the Xbox One version of the game with the Patriots’ and Seahawks’ updated rosters. The video game simulation not only correctly predicted the Super Bowl champion, but it was eerily accurate down to the last detail.
“It’s strange, but games are so real now that it doesn’t surprise me. The artificial intelligence that games have now is just making it too realistic,” said Mitch Tenerio-West, a sociology-criminology major at CSU-Pueblo. “I don’t think the difficulty would make a difference either because in Madden tournaments, they set it to Pro because sometimes it takes a crazy play to happen, just like in a real game. All Madden difficulty would just make it harder to do, and it would end up being an all defensive game when that’s not the case in today’s football.”
This year’s Madden simulation predicted the Super Bowl better than any NFL analyst or expert could’ve dreamed of. The game’s final score was dead on with the Patriot’s defeating the Seahawks by a score of 28-24.
But it gets even spookier. The simulation also predicted the Patriots would be the first to score. However, it clearly foresaw that the Seahawks would control the third quarter while the Patriots’ offense failed to get on the board, and that the two teams would go into the final quarter with the Seahawks leading 24-14.
The simulation even predicted that the Patriots would score on a last minute drive with a pass from Tom Brady to Julian Edelman.
Freaked out yet? Don’t worry it gets weirder.
The Madden game predicted that Tom Brady would be the MVP, which he was, after throwing for 336 yards and four touchdowns. Brady actually threw for the same amount of touchdowns but was just seven yards off from his virtual performance.
But it doesn’t stop there. The game closely predicted Julian Edelman’s finishing stats as well, with the wide receiver hauling in eight passes for 106 yards, and during the Super Bowl he caught nine for 109 yards.
The surprising fact about all of this is that it isn’t the first time this has happened. In fact, EA’s Madden is 9-3 when it comes to predicting the winner over the last 12 Super Bowls, and it seems to be getting more and more accurate as the years go on.
For now, the Madden simulations are just a game of fun and novelty, but as the artificial intelligence for games gets better every year and our game systems continue to get smarter and more advanced, this type of analytic insight could become a legitimate tool in sports.
“Well, no game can accurately and perfectly predict a real situation, so I’d say it’s just a fun way of seeing what the Super Bowl players can potentially do, at least right now,” said CSU-Pueblo senior Richard Wheeler.
We will all have to see how accurate Madden is next year and see if they can add to their winning record.