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Madden tested with pick for Super Bowl XLIV champ

February 5, 2010

Madden tested with pick for Super Bowl XLIV champ
By Michael Lafferty

EA Sports’ vaunted football game picks the winner in Sunday’s big game

The Super Bowl – the ultimate prize in American football. It began on Jan. 15, 1967 in Los Angeles where the Green Bay Packers met with the Kansas City Chiefs. That day belonged to Bart Starr and Green Bay, but it set the foundation for one of the grandest events in American Sports.

Fast forward and it’s a new century with the Indianapolis Colts squaring off with the New Orleans Saints to decide Super Bowl XLIV. EA Sports ran a simulation of the game and New Orleans came out on top. But that didn’t stop GameZone from running a simulation as well. The game successfully predicted the outcome of the NFC and AFC title games, setting up the pigskin prognostication for the big game.

There were plenty of fireworks in the first half. The Colts began the game with the football and Peyton Manning came out gunning, driving Indy down into Saints’ territory, but the Colts can only come away with three points. New Orleans’ Drew Brees answered right back, taking the Saints’ offense quickly down the field for the touchdown. New Orleans’ wily veteran defensive back Darren Sharper picked off Manning as the first quarter came to a close and the Saints capitalized with another touchdown.

Midway through the second quarter the Saints followed a three-and-out by the Colts and drove 80 yards in eight plays for another aerial touchdown – Brees’ third of the game. With less than 5 minutes to play in the first half, a Colts’ turnover results in a New Orleans’ field goal. As the half draws to a close, a Colts’ drive deep into Saints’ territory is thwarted with yet another Indianapolis turnover. New Orleans leads at the half by a 24-3 count.

Indianapolis comes out and puts another field goal on the board in the third quarter while its defense starts to shut down the Saints’ offense. The fourth quarter opens with Indianapolis posting its first touchdown of the game. New Orleans answers with a touchdown, but the Colts fire back and close to within a 31-20 count. Manning finds hit stride and open receivers and pulled Indy to within four at 31-27 but that’s all she wrote and New Orleans comes away with the victory.

With EA’s team and GZ’s Madden version both predicting a Saints’ victory, while the odds (as of noon-ish Friday) had Indy a 4.5 point favorite. But forget all that. Anything can happen – and that is why they play the game. Super Bowl XLIV is slated for a 6 p.m. ET start (3 p.m. PT) and will be broadcast on CBS.

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