February 3, 2010 – There’s no way to tell who’s going to win Super Bowl XLIV this Sunday. We can sit here and make all the predictions we want, but that doesn’t mean much once the pigskin soars into the air. Still, that won’t stop us from trying. In yet another attempt to see who will win Sunday’s colossal contest, we’re simulating the game in Madden NFL 10.
We’ve updated the rosters (though Dwight Freeney is still playing), we’ve stamped the proper insignia’s on Miami’s field and we’ve set the clock to the requisite seven minutes (the amount of time EA Sports suggests to get realistic statistics and scoring) in order to bring you the truest Super Bowl simulation possible.
I’ve done a lot of these over my years at IGN, but this sim of Sunday’s big game was easily the most exciting I’ve ever seen. If the real thing is anywhere near as exhilarating, the football world is in for one hell of a treat.
The Saints came out absolutely on fire for Super Bowl XLIV. They took it to the Colts in the first quarter with two touchdowns and a field goal, all of which went unanswered. Brees scored 30-yard and 48-yard touchdown passes and Hartley tacked on a 42-yard field goal for good measure. If the game continued like this, the Colts would be in serious trouble. Thankfully, things would eventually change.
The end of the first half was nowhere near as enthralling as the beginning. The Colts were able to answer back with a touchdown of their own thanks to a 27-yard scamper by Addai who finished with just 53 yards on 16 attempts for the game.
The start of the second half was as quiet as the end of the first with the lone points coming from the Saints in the third quarter. Hartley booted a 26-yard field goal with 26 seconds left on the clock to give the Saints what seemed to be an insurmountable 20-7 lead heading into the final quarter.
In what can only be described as the greatest fourth quarter comeback in Super Bowl history, the Colts came roaring back with two unanswered touchdowns. The first was an easy two-yard run by Addai, the second marked a colossal mistake by Brees as Indy was able to intercept him and return it 41 yards for the touchdown. The score was then 21-20, Colts. All seemed lost for the Saints as the clock ticked below one minute. In a last-ditch effort, the Saints scampered 40 yards down the field in just 30 seconds to kick a 42-yard field goal with 28 seconds remaining.
The score sat at 23-21 with the Saints in front as the Colts returned a Saints pooch kick. It was on the second play from scrimmage, with 13 seconds left on the clock that Peyton Manning hit Dwight Clark for his fifth and most important catch of the game. Clark was able to break a few tackles and scamper down the field for a 68-yard touchdown, sealing the victory for the Colts. For whatever reason, Indy decided to go for two (Madden’s questionable AI at work). They failed and the final score wound up being 27-23 with the Colts outscoring the Saints 20-3 in the fourth quarter. Peyton Manning took home MVP honors with 256 yards on 16 for 22 passing and one touchdown. Drew Brees actually had more impressive numbers with 300 yards on 17 for 27 passing and two touchdowns, but it was the last drive by Manning that put him over the top.