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EA Predicts Super Bowl Winner

Trying to figure out who to gamble on in Super Bowl XL? Perhaps the simulation that EA just ran using Madden NFL 06 will help you figure things out.

Bolstered by a tough defensive effort that limited NFL MVP Shaun Alexander to just 70 yards rushing and sacked Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck four times, the Pittsburgh Steelers won their fifth overall Super Bowl championship, downing the Seahawks 24-19.

The Steelers moved out to an early lead using the pass and taking advantage of a timely turnover, and then turned to their relentless rushing attack to hold off the surging Hawks and secure the title.

Playing in his hometown of Detroit, Steelers RB Jerome Bettis garnered Super Bowl MVP honors by scoring two touchdowns in the game to go with his 41 yards rushing, getting his team on the board first with a one-yard plunge late in the first quarter to cap a ten-play, 74-yard drive. The teams exchanged field goals in the second quarter, and Pittsburgh upped its lead after recovering an Alexander fumble on the Seattle 24-yard-line. Three plays later, Steeler RB Willie Parker took the ball off right tackle for a seven-yard scamper which made the score 17-3 a daunting margin that very few Pittsburgh opponents have been able to overcome.

Seattle got another field goal to cut their deficit to 11 points midway through the third quarter, but Alexander was finding no running room and the Steeler defense was bringing constant pressure against Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck. Still, the Seahawks managed to close to 17-13 after Alexander finished a seven-play, 66-yard drive early in the fourth quarter with a short dive off the left side. Pittsburgh responded, however, by pounding the ball on a clock-chewing drive, taking more than six minutes off the clock by going 73 yards in 13 plays 11 of them runs to move up 24-13 after Bettis again scored on a one-yard run.

With little time left, Seattle moved the ball down the field quickly and got six more points as Hasselbeck connected with Darrell Jackson on a 19-yard scoring pass, but their two-point conversion failed, and the ensuing onside kick was recovered by the Steelers, who ran out the clock to celebrate their win.

Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger finished an efficient 19 of 28 passing for 173 yards, while Parker picked up 52 on the ground. The Steeler defense was paced by linebacker Joey Porter, who finished with seven tackles and two sacks, while Troy Polamalu added seven tackles. Hasselbeck ended the day completing 21 of 29 passes for 220 yards while Jackson had 91 receiving yards. Lofa Tatupu had eight tackles and Grant Wistrom finished with two sacks for the Seahawks.

1/31/2006 Aaron Thomas

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