According to an Madden NFL 09 simulation run by EA Sports, the Cinderella story of the Arizona Cardinals is about to reach an abrupt end. They did put up a good fight in the simulated Super Bowl XLIII, which the Pittsburgh Steelers won 28-24.
If that scenario actually unfolds in Tampa Bay, it will be the sixth Super Bowl win for the Steelers. It would also make Mike Tomlin the youngest coach in history to win a Super Bowl at age 36.
In EA Sports’ scenario, Pittsburgh held off a fourth-quarter comeback by the upstart Cardinals. The squad from the Steel City got a strong start heading into halftime with a 21-7 lead. Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger was the sim game MVP with three TDs. The game had a perfect prediction streak for five years straight until the New York Giants’ improbable upset of the then undefeated New England Patriots. That’s right, the New York Giants even defied the video game football gods on that one.
The video game and the Vegas oddmakers are in lockstep on this one as most sportsbooks have the Steelers favored by 6 1/2-7 points. The Cardinals were 45-1 longshots at the beginning of the season and tie the 1978 Los Angeles Rams for the most losses by a team in the Super Bowl. Both teams lost seven games in their Super Bowl seasons and for what it’s worth, the Rams lost the Super Bowl that year. The winning team? The Pittsburgh Steelers.