Saints win second Super Bowl in franchise history*
* -- According to Madden NFL 23 video game simulation of entire upcoming season
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The Saints are Super Bowl champions for the second time!*
Sure, the season technically doesn’t start until Sept. 8. But for the fifth year in a row, Yahoo Sports has run a full-season simulation of the upcoming NFL season on the stalwart Madden video game franchise. And this year’s sim resulted in the Lombardi Trophy going to the Who Dat Nation, as the Saints defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, 34-14, in the virtual Super Bowl LVII played in Glendale, Ariz.
Who are we to argue?
The result certainly was an upset, since the Indianapolis Colts (16-1) and Dallas Cowboys (12-5) finished the simulated regular season with the best records in the AFC and NFC, respectively. But the 11-6 Saints took down Dallas in the NFC championship game, while Kansas City shocked the Colts for the AFC championship. This was the fourth year in a row that the Chiefs reached the Super Bowl in the annual simulation, which correctly predicted that team’s Super Bowl title in 2020.
Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott finished the virtual season with arguably the greatest passing season in NFL history, finishing with 5,649 yards and 57 touchdowns. Rams receiver Cooper Kupp won the virtual Offensive Player of the Year award with 2,114 receiving yards. Raiders pass rusher Maxx Crosby broke the league’s sacks record with 24.5 to win Defensive Player of the Year honors.
But it all ended with that sweet, sweet Saints victory in the Super Bowl, with safety Tyrann Mathieu lifting the Super Bowl MVP trophy after beating his former team.
Now, before betting the house on this outcome in real life, we must caution that previous simulations have had their, uh, shortcomings. Three years ago, the simulation had Nick Foles leading the Chicago Bears to a Super Bowl title. Last year’s simulation had Jacksonville’s Urban Meyer winning the virtual Coach of the Year award.
This year’s simulation had Atlanta rookie quarterback Desmond Ridder throwing for 5,024 yards, and Falcons receiver Drake London with 1,305 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns to win the Offensive Rookie of the Year award. Outlandish? Probably.
But this year’s simulation did have another outcome that lends credence to the Saints Super Bowl victory prediction: The Falcons again finished with a losing record at 8-9 and missed the playoffs entirely.
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