By Kevin Gibson
Have the Packers fallen prey to the latest version of the dreaded “Madden Curse”?
In a virtual Super Bowl preview conducted by EA Sports this week using Madden 11, the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Green Bay Packers 24-20 on a touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Mike Wallace with just 1:20 remaining. Aaron Rodgers threw for two touchdowns — one to James Jones and one to Greg Jennings — but also threw two costly interceptions, including one deep in Pittsburgh territory in the game’s closing seconds.
Fortunately, it’s only a video game, just a sophisticated rendering of a whole lot of ones and zeroes. The unfortunate part is that the Madden video game has correctly predicted six of the last seven Super Bowls.
In the virtual showdown, the Steelers’ defense also held the Packers to a pair of field goals on two third-quarter drives. The Packers took the lead 20-17 on Rodgers’ 9-yard pass to Jones with 9:00 remaining, but the Packers’ D couldn’t stop Roethlisberger and the Steelers when it counted most.
Interestingly, the video game version was dominated by the defenses, much like many expect the real-life Super Bowl will play out. A.J. Hawk came away with an interception in the second quarter to set up a Green Bay touchdown, and two early Pittsburgh drives ended with field goal attempts (one connected, one did not).
Again, it’s a bunch of ones and zeroes; no real need to panic. Still, here’s hoping there’s a human factor in Sunday’s real game that will prove stronger than any video-game curse.