Madden Simulator Takes a Crack at Super Bowl XLIII

PWN or DIEContributor IJanuary 29, 2009

PWN or DIE simulated the NFC Championship game between the Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles and came amazingly close to the final outcome of the actual game that was filled with video highlights and photos.

Fast forward a couple of weeks to the Super Bowl this Sunday and the Arizona Cardinals will be playing the Pittsburgh Steelers. Given the success of the previous simulation, it was a no-brainer to do it for the "big game." Did the PWN or DIE simulation get it right or did the makers of the game, EA, get it right with theirs?

Check out the highlights from the simulated game and keep reading for details on how it played out.

Super Bowl XLIII Simulation Game Highlights

The story going into the game was how the Pittsburgh Steelers and their modern "Steel Curtain" defense would shut down the high-powered Arizona offense. Needless to say, that was not the case as the Cardinals were able to mount a balanced attack and outscore the Steelers that turned the ball over four times.

The Steelers jumped on the scoreboard first as Santonio Holmes caught a 30-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger on the opening drive of the game. The Cardinals, however, were quick to counter with two rushing touchdowns from Tim Hightower, who kept it going all day for 177 yards.

The first Hightower touchdown may have been the play of the game. Kurt Warner handed the ball off to the left and the rookie running back took it 63 yards to paydirt. His second touchdown was set up by the first costly Steelers turnover of the game.

The Steelers defense did start to toughen up after the end of the first quarter. The Cardinals were held to just two field goals in the second quarter while "Big Ben" was able to connect with Nate Washington on a 45 touchdown pass on the last play of the first half. The Cardinals went into halftime with a 20-14 lead.

The third quarter turned out to be a struggle for field position resulting in no touchdowns for either team. Instead Neil Rackers and Jeff Reed each booted two field goals each to amount to all of the scoring in the third quarter. Both teams racked up plenty of punt return yards and even managed to advance the ball freely before stalling out in field-goal range.

The final quarter of the Super Bowl had more excitement for the fans in virtual Tampa. Steelers fans were extremely excited to see longtime hero Hines Ward be able to play in the big game. Ward took full advantage and had 139 yards in the game. None of those yards were more important than the 9-yard touchdown pass he caught to give the Steelers a one-point lead to open the fourth quarter.

Not to be outdone, Larry Fitzgerald totaled 157 yards himself including a handful of key receptions in the final five minutes. The disgruntled other half of the dynamic duo was a non-factor in the game.

The Steelers lead held until 4:01 left in the game when Kurt Warner finished off a drive by taking the ball in over the goal line himself for a 1-yard touchdown. This put the Cardinals up by five, so they successfully went for a two-point conversion making the score 34-27 with four minutes left.

That is where the score remained as the Steelers turned the ball over in their final attempt to come back. Pittsburgh had no running game and allowed the Arizona offense to put up good individual numbers. Kurt Warner had 300 yards to Ben Roethlisberger's 400-yard game but was able to control the ball and score when it mattered most.


PWN or DIE will compare the simulation to the real game once it is over. Will this be just as accurate as the NFC Championship simulation?