The Madden NFL 15 simulation was dead-on with this year's Super Bowl. They managed to predict the Patriots' win and the exact score of 28-24.
As simulated, Tom Brady was the MVP of the game and Julian Edelman was his main target. Things get creepier as you dig down into the player's stats. The Madden 15 simulation was pretty close to the mark in their prediction of each team's top performers. Here's a comparison of the Madden stats versus the real-world stats:
The simulation obviously couldn't foresee everything, though. Neither Madden nor anyone else expected Chris Matthews to step up and be the top receiver for the Seahawks in the game. The last key play of the game, in which the Seahawks were picked off at the goal line while attempting a risky pass, also wasn't part of the simulated Super Bowl. In the Madden simulation, the Patriots won with a last-second touchdown catch by Edelman.
This is the most accurate the Madden simulation has ever been. Their previous best was Super Bowl XLIII, which had a final score two points off from the simulation. This is a nice comeback for Madden after it was wildly off the mark last year. It predicted a 31-28 Denver victory in overtime but the game ended up being an embarrassing 43-8 loss for that team.
You can write tonight's performance off as luck if you'd like. Madden's track record over the years has been great, though. With this year's accurate simulation, Madden has now predicted 9 of the last 12 Super Bowl winners.
Anyway, this is as close to a silver lining as I'll find in this year's Super Bowl. I'm pretty disgusted by the end of the game and how the Seahawks blew it with a dumb play-call at the goal line. To make matters worse, that mistake lessens the awesomeness of Jermaine Kearse's ridiculous catch shortly before it. Plus, now we're going to be inundated with ESPN debates about whether the Patriots are the best dynasty ever and equally grating debates about whether DeflateGate will leave a stain on this win. Maybe that's one way that the Madden simulations fall short: they can never replicate the supreme disappointment that comes with real football.