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Madden’s Super Bowl prediction: Chiefs win

EA Sports’ simulation calls it for KC, 37-27

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes drops back to throw against the Las Vegas Raiders in Madden NFL 21
All-everything QB Patrick Mahomes collects his second Super Bowl ring on Sunday, says Madden NFL 21.
Image: EA Tiburon/Electronic Arts
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs will pull away from Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win their second straight Super Bowl, 37-27, says Madden NFL 21’s annual simulation. Get your bets down now!

Although unscientific — to say the least — EA Sports’ simulation of the big game™️ has been remarkably accurate, or at least lucky, over the past 17 years. Madden called last year’s Chiefs triumph too, getting the point spread (KC -1.5) and straight-up winner, but again missing the over/under (53.5, and the final came in under). Madden typically bets the over, as is the wont of a high-scoring video game, after all.

The Madden Sim is no Cray-crashing Next Gen Stats analysis — it’s some dudes in an office park in Florida running one (1) CPU-vs-CPU simulation on All-Pro/Simulation difficulty, 6 minute quarters, all sliders set to 50 — i.e., the ranked multiplayer parameters. Still, it kicks up some oddly specific predictions that we love highlighting. For example:

  • Mahomes’ passing line: 422 yards, four touchdowns — that would be the third-most passing yards in a single game, and there have been six performances where a QB threw four or more touchdown passes.
  • Brady’s passing line: 332 yards, three TDs, one interception. Strong totals, but not the Super Bowl’s greatest performance in a losing effort.
  • Third quarter, quoting from EA Sports’ release directly: “Mahomes comes out hot in the second half with a 63-yard touchdown pass back to [Tyreek] Hill, who, according to NFL Next Gen Stats, hits a top speed of 22 mph.” News flash, everyone hits a top speed of 22 mph once they get into the secondary, including my created running back.
  • The fourth quarter is closer than the final score suggests. Tight end Rob Gronkowski (one of four Madden NFL cover stars appearing in the Super Bowl, a record) lands a touchdown pass from good bud Brady to tie the score. Mahomes responds with a game-sealing drive and 12-yard scamper for the TD. The Chiefs tack on a late field goal, but even without it, they’re clear of the real-life point spread (Chiefs by 3).

Lifetime, Madden is 11-6 against the spread, 8-9 against the O/U, and 11-6 calling the straight-up winner. A small sample size, but any Vegas tout worth his 1-900 number would be proud of that record.

Super Bowl LV kicks off at 6:30 p.m. EST on Sunday, Feb. 7, with CBS’ Jim Nantz and Tony Romo calling the action. It’s the first time a team will play the Super Bowl on its home field (Tampa Bay’s Raymond James Stadium), although only 25,000 fans will be allowed in to see it. Eric Church and Jazmine Sullivan sing the national anthem, and The Weeknd performs at halftime.