Madden NFL 22
Madden 22 Super Bowl LVI Simulation But We Do It 10 Times
Christmas for football fans is set to kick off once again when the Rams face the Bengals in Super Bowl 56 on Sunday in Los Angeles. As per usual, Madden has weighed in on the outcome of the game by running a simulation of the game in Madden 22 to add to all of the other prognostication that always accompanies the week leading up to the game. As is often the case with these official Madden Super Bowl simulations, the prediction is that the game will be incredibly close, in this case with the Bengals edging out the Rams by a score of 24-21.
As I have noted and demonstrated a handful of times in the past in our own Super Bowl simulation previews, the trouble with trying to tell how the big game will play out using simulations is that just one simulation is not really enough to get the best possible grasp on all of the ways it could go. That’s why the better idea that we’ve tried out before to “scientifically” analyze the outcome and which players are most likely to have standout performances is to increase the sample size of these simulations. By simulating the game 10 times instead of just the one, we have a greater likelihood of determining what scenarios are more probable on Sunday and whether the 24-21 official prediction was perhaps more of an outlier.
Madden 22 Super Bowl LVI Simulation
Has this method proved to be an effective predictive tool in the past? Not really. Is it absolutely necessary to add to all of the hollow hype surrounding the Super Bowl by inserting another voice into the deafening cacophony that claims to know all about what’s going to happen once the teams take the field? Of course not. But is that going to stop us from doing just that and making like a football Nostradamus? Hell no. So let’s have a look at Madden‘s crystal ball and make some sense of its visions of all the possible alternate timelines of Super Bowl LVI.
The 10 Simulations
- Bengals 26 | Rams 23
- Rams 26 | Bengals 14
- Bengals 34 | Rams 27
- Bengals 24 | Rams 17
- Rams 17 | Bengals 12
- Rams 30 | Bengals 6
- Bengals 23 | Rams 14
- Rams 27 | Bengals 17
- Bengals 37 | Rams 35
How in the world does this keep happening? It’s tempting to look at these results and conclude that the teams in this particular game must clearly be evenly matched to both come out on top five of the 10 times they played. Based on our previous experiments in past years though, it’s almost starting to seem like no matter which Super Bowl we attempt to simulate ten times in Madden, it will always end up with each team coming out on top five times. If these simulations can’t really give us any solid indication of who will actually win Super Bowl 56, then perhaps they can at least give us some clues as to what and who will be some of the biggest factors and storylines in the game.
For instance, both teams may have come out on top an equal number of times in these simulations, but not all victories are created equal. When you take a closer look at the all of the scores, a stat that could perhaps have some relevance emerges.
- Average margin of victory for the Rams: 14
- Average margin of victory for the Bengals: 6
If the Bengals are going to win this Super Bowl, it’s most likely going to have to be the kind of game where they need a big play to push them over the top in the dying moments. On the other hand, the Rams are the more likely team to win in a rout, with two of their five victories in these games coming by three scores or more while the Bengals have zero of these types of blowout triumphs.
Average Matt Stafford performance:
26/42, 284 yards, 1.9 TD, 0.9 INT
Average Joe Burrow performance:
24/39, 297 yards, 1.7 TD, 0.4 INT
On the surface, it looks as if there’s no huge advantage for either team in the quarterback department. Both Matt Stafford and Joe Burrow are expected to throw the ball well and quite a bit to boot. With the two quarterbacks hovering around the 40 attempt mark, Madden envisions this being a game where the offenses will rely on going through the air to move the ball downfield. Perhaps the biggest discrepancy though between the performances of these two is when it comes to interceptions, as Stafford is more than twice as likely to throw an interception than Burrow according to Madden. In a tight game where a turnover could become the difference, the looming possibility of a Stafford interception could linger over the Rams like a black cloud.
Average Cam Akers Performance:
17 carries for 80 yards
Average Joe Mixon Performance:
14 carries for 69 yards
Madden sees the Rams having slightly more success than the Bengals on the ground in this game, which isn’t all that surprising considering how tough it can be to open up any holes in that stout Rams’ defensive line anchored by Aaron Donald. When you go deeper on the numbers though, you can start to draw the conclusion that Mixon might end up being more vital to the offensive success of the Bengals than Akers will be to the Rams. If the Bengals are going to win this game, it might be imperative that they’re able to get something going in the run game. Here’s an interesting stat from the simulations to support that:
- Average rushing yards for Mixon when Bengals lose: 47
- Average rushing yards for Mixon when Bengals win: 91
Rams (Average Performances)
- Cooper Kupp: 5 catches for 60 yards
- Odell Beckham Jr.: 6 catches for 73 yards
- Tyler Higbee: 6 catches for 63 yards
- Van Jefferson: 5 catches for 58 yards
Obviously, the biggest and most shocking takeaway here from looking at the receiving numbers for the Rams is that Madden believes the Bengals will likely be able to do a decent job of shutting down the dangerous Cooper Kupp. However, if they are successful at executing that part of their game plan, it’s clear that it will likely open up the field for other receivers on the Rams to become prime targets for Stafford to find. Odell Beckham Jr. and Tyler Higbee appear as if they could end up becoming the biggest beneficiaries of this effect, and it’s entirely possible that Van Jefferson could surprise by being just as productive as Kupp in the game.
Bengals (Average Performances)
- Ja’Marr Chase: 4 catches for 59 yards
- Tyler Boyd: 7 catches for 99 yards
- CJ Uzomah: 5 catches for 55 yards
- Tee Higgins: 3 catches for 40 yards
On the Bengals side of the receiving game, Madden posits that the Rams will be similarly successful at eliminating the Bengals’ biggest threat in Ja’Marr Chase, but he might be able make the most of his few catches so expect a big play or two from him even if the volume isn’t there. With Chase being held down (likely by Jalen Ramsey shadowing him), Tyler Boyd (rather than Tee Higgins) is almost certain to step up as the team’s leading receiver on the game’s biggest stage as Madden sees him averaging nearly a 100-yard game in these simulations. The middle of the field should also be somewhere Burrow finds some success, which is where hobbled tight end C.J. Uzomah is set to do most of his damage.
- Average sacks for Rams: 4.5
- Average sacks for Bengals: 2
Given the difficulties the Bengals have had with keeping Joe Burrow upright since he came in the league (remember his gruesome injury last season?), a huge concern coming into the Super Bowl is how well their offensive line will be able to protect him against a Rams defense that can generate a lot of pressure even without even needing to unleash any blitzes. Madden expects it to play out rather predictably with Burrow being swarmed regularly enough to get him down on the ground an average of 4.5 times.
The best-case scenario has the Bengals allowing only two sacks, and the worst-case scenario would be a repeat of the nine sacks that the Bengals already allowed in their victory over the Titans earlier in these playoffs (they would lose 30-6 instead in that disastrous Madden simulation). The biggest threats the Bengals need to be concerned with are Von Miller and Aaron Donald, who average 1.5 and one sack respectively over all of the simulations.
Player Most Likely To Have An Interception: Mike Hilton (With 3 Over The 10 Sims)
Intriguing Super Bowl Possibilities
Amidst the blowouts, here are a few of the more remarkable games that would leave people talking on Monday morning.
The Money Mac Game
Evan McPherson, the Bengals’ kicker who has emerged as a star in these playoffs, continues his magical run and stuns the world by being named Super Bowl MVP after nailing six field goals, including a game-winner at the buzzer, in a 26-23 Bengals win. Reportedly, he tells Joe Burrow as he runs out on the field to put the 39-yarder through the uprights that would give the Bengals a victory, “Well, I guess we’re going to be world champions.” Just don’t ask him about the one field goal that he missed during the game and focus instead on the ones he made.
The Defensive Struggle
In a battle that’s sure to have everyone talking about what a boring Super Bowl it was this year, the defenses take center stage and shine under the spotlight as the Rams outlast the Bengals by a margin of 17-12. To make matters worse for viewers, both teams go the entire 4th quarter without scoring after the Rams erase a 12-3 deficit by scoring 14 in the 3rd quarter.
The Wild Shootout
The kind of game that casual football fans long for and the NFL salivates over, the Bengals come out on the right side of a back-and-forth 37-35 thriller. After a late Beckham TD catch (maybe some kind of insane one-hand grab?) puts the Rams up 35-34, Joe Burrow continues to build his legend by leading a drive to get the team in position to win it. Fittingly, playoff hero Evan McPherson gets one more shot to win a game in the final seconds when he seals the deal with a 39-yard kick.