February 13th saw two surprise packages, the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals, go head to head in the Super Bowl, and prior to the big game Electronic Arts (the American video game behemoth) ran a super sophisticated simulation via their latest iteration of the Madden series, Madden NFL 22.
In their simulation, hugely promising Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, excelling in just his second season in the NFL, led this team to a tightly-fought 24-21 victory which would have brought the team their first-ever Super Bowl.
The prediction, which uses a great many metrics and hordes of important information, which could well aid your use of predicting the scores and odds for NFL games more generally, turned out to be a little awry.
The predictions are generally considered some of the most trusted of projections around, but clearly, humans are more fallible than machines, hence the actual outcome being a little different from the simulation.
In the ‘real’ world, the Los Angeles Rams overcame the Bengals in a 23-20 win to bring the Super Bowl to California, and given that the winning side was actually playing on home turf, perhaps the win is less of a surprise when you are talking about two relatively evenly matched outfits.
Prior to the Super Bowl, Electronic Arts ran a massive Madden NFL Championship Series event with $1 million in prize money on the line. The event was streamed on Twitch and on the NFL’s official YouTube channel and drew a massive audience and is further proof if needed, that the eSports revolution continues to grow at quite a pace.
The simulation for the Super Bowl game went into quite a great detail as to how the Bengals would overcome the Rams, with Cincinnati apparently ready to overcome a 14-7 halftime deficit with Burrow leading a comeback to get his side to within field goal range.
Then that only left Evan McPherson to convert the key field goal with second remaining, as he had in playoff games earlier in the postseason.
As it turned out, it was the Rams who came from behind to win the Super Bowl. Sean McVay’s side was down 16-20 ahead of the fourth quarter and picked up the crucial winning touchdown when MVP Cooper Kupp scored the winning points with two minutes remaining on the clock.
When it comes to Madden NFL 22, the latest in the gaming series, the sales have been astronomical. A few months after its release, it reached over $300 million in sales, with profits up 45% on the previous year and the highest total since 2008. This shows the enduring quality of the franchise.
EA has also shown a remarkable level of growth over the past year, with the company posting net revenue of $5.6 billion for the 2021 fiscal year.
This year has particular resonance as John Madden, the famed coach and commentator passed away at the age of 85.