In Electronic Arts' annual Madden NFL Super Bowl simulation, Madden NFL 13 has predicted that the Baltimore Ravens will defeat the San Francisco 49ers 27-24 in Super Bowl XLVII, the publisher announced today.
Madden's simulation has correctly predicted the winner of seven out of the last nine Super Bowls, misfiring only in 2008 (when the New York Giants defeated the heavily favored New England Patriots) and 2011 (when the Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Green Bay Packers). This year, the 49ers are favored by four points.
According to Madden NFL 13's simulation, Super Bowl XLVII will come down to a last-minute scoring drive by the 49ers that falls just short, as Ravens free safety Ed Reed intercepted a would-be touchdown from Colin Kaepernick in the end zone to seal the victory with under 20 seconds left in the game. It wasn't always neck-and-neck, though: the Ravens were up by as much as two touchdowns, leading 24-10 at the end of the third quarter after a 50-yard field goal attempt from David Akers, the Niners' shaky kicker, went wide left.
The 49ers battled back in the fourth, bringing themselves to within seven points early in the quarter and then striking again just before the two-minute warning to tie the game at 24. But the Ravens pulled ahead less than 75 seconds later with a 40-yard field goal, giving Kaepernick and the 49ers one last drive that ended in defeat. He finished 18 of 29 for 257 yards with a touchdown and a pick, and rushed six times for 48 yards. Flacco completed 19 of 27 passes for two touchdowns and 260 yards, enough to earn the self-proclaimed elite quarterback MVP honors.
Developer EA Tiburon conducts the annual simulation on an Xbox 360 console with the latest rosters, and according to a box score provided to Polygon, with 15-minute quarters. Check out the game's highlights in a video above and screenshots below.