The 2015 NFL season will come to a close on Sunday, February 7, 2016, when the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers meet in Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif. The game is highly-anticipated in the sports community for several reasons. Not only is it a matchup between the two top-seeded teams from this year's playoffs, many believe it is the final game for Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, closing out his Hall of Fame career.
As is the case with every Super Bowl, fans are analyzing the contest to try to figure out who will win. EA always gets in on the fun, simulating the annual game in the latest edition of their ever-popular Madden NFL video game series. Those pulling for Carolina to come out on top will enjoy watching their Super Bowl 50 prediction, since Madden says the Panthers will rise as champions.
EA released a video of highlights from their simulation (watch it above), as well as a press release providing more details on how it all went down. Carolina won the virtual Super Bowl 24-20, propelled to victory by a rushing touchdown from their quarterback, Cam Newton. The Madden version of the championship game was very exciting. Carolina built a 17-0 lead heading into halftime, but Denver rallied back to go up 20-17. The Panthers were forced to put together a game winning drive late in the fourth quarter to cap off their memorable season.
Newton was named the Madden Super Bowl MVP, completing 19 of 26 passes for 216 yards. He also had two touchdowns - one through the air to tight end Greg Olsen and the scramble score that won the game. While Manning didn't end his career with a Super Bowl ring, he still went out in style, throwing for 241 yards and two scores as he led a furious comeback in the second half.
It's worth pointing out that the Madden Super Bowl prediction is fairly accurate. Since the tradition started in 2004, the game has correctly chosen nine of the past 12 NFL champions. The only outliers are 2008 (Giants over Patriots), 2011 (Packers over Steelers), and 2014 (Seahawks over Broncos). Last year, EA was particularly on point with their simulation, when the Patriots beat the Seahawks. In both the video game and real life, quarterback Tom Brady won MVP, New England overcame a 10-point third quarter deficit, and wide receiver Julian Edelman scored the deciding touchdown. It's true this is all up to a computer, but those are some erie similarities that show Madden is pretty realistic.
Of course, nobody knows for sure how the game will go until it kicks off. This is just one prediction of many. Those who would prefer to see the Broncos win are in luck. For the first time, EA is allowing fans to create their own ideal Super Bowl outcome. Gamers can go to the Madden NFL 16 Super Bowl Prediction Hub to play out their dream, choosing a winning team, how they'll win, and an MVP. It's a fun twist that gives everyone a chance to see their desired result before the real thing takes place for millions of viewers to see.
Madden NFL 16 is now available for various platforms. Super Bowl 50 will take place Sunday, February 7, 2016 on CBS.