Madden 13 Simulations for NFL Conference Championship Games
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And then there were four.
In the hunt for Super Bowl XLVII, two teams remain from each conference. In the NFC, the Atlanta Falcons will host the San Francisco 49ers, and in the AFC, the New England Patriots will play host to the Baltimore Ravens.
It figures to be another great weekend of football in the NFL, but it's anyone's guess as to how the games will unfold.
And that's why we turn to Madden NFL 13. By simulating both conference championship games, the bias is taken out, providing a virtual Super Bowl XLVII matchup to take place next week.
The first game on Sunday afternoon will be the NFC Championship. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is fresh off his first career playoff victory, as is 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Ryan was solid in the divisional round against the Seattle Seahawks, while Kaepernick was sensational against the Green Bay Packers. Who will do enough to propel his team to the Super Bowl? Let's find out.
NFC Championship: San Francisco at Atlanta
The 49ers got on the board early, scoring on their first drive on a one-yard touchdown run by Frank Gore. Later in the first quarter, rookie LaMichael James raced 73 yards to give San Francisco a 14-0 lead after one.
Atlanta's offense struggled to get anything going, as Gore found the end zone once more to start the second quarter. Down 21-0, Ryan was finally able to engineer a scoring drive against the tough 49ers defense. Matt Bryant kicked a field goal to make the score 21-3.
But instead of ending the first half on a high note, the Falcons gave up a 48-yard touchdown strike to wide receiver Ted Ginn.
With a 28-3 halftime lead, this one was all but over.
A 49-yard David Akers field goal extended San Fran's lead to 31-3 before Frank Gore found the end zone for a third time to make it 38-3. There was no scoring in the fourth quarter, and the 49ers easily advanced past the Falcons.
(SF) Kaepernick: 25/34, 318 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT (112.1 Rating)
(ATL) Ryan: 28/47, 258 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT (65.7 Rating)
(SF) Gore: 17-56-3, James: 5-84-1, Kaepernick: 6-14
(ATL) Ryan: 3-8, Turner: 1-2
(SF) Moss: 6-87, Davis: 6-44, Ginn: 5-91-1, Crabtree: 5-78, Gore: 2-13, Miller: 1-5
(ATL) White: 7-113, Gonzalez: 8-62, Jones: 4-35, Turner: 7-31, Douglas: 1-12, Rodgers: 1-5
FINAL: 49ers 38, Falcons 3
Colin Kaepernick outshines Matt Ryan, and the 49ers advance.
It's on to Super Bowl XLVII for the San Francisco 49ers. But who will be their opponent?
AFC Championship: Baltimore at New England
It didn't take long for both teams to light up the scoreboard. After Devin McCourty returned the opening kickoff to the 34-yard line, Tom Brady found Wes Welker for a 66-yard touchdown. One play, one touchdown, and the Patriots led 7-0.
But on the very next possession, Joe Flacco answered with a 44-yard touchdown pass to Ray Rice. It was all tied up 7-7, but the Patriots weren't done scoring yet.
Brady led another scoring drive in the first quarter, again ending with a touchdown pass to Welker. The Ravens went three-and-out on their next possession, giving the ball back to a red-hot Brady.
For the third time in the first quarter, Brady threw a touchdown pass. This time it was a 23-yard screen to running back Stevan Ridley, pushing the Patriots' lead to 21-7.
Ridley started the second quarter with a one-yard touchdown plunge, putting New England ahead 28-7. Baltimore added a 28-yard Justin Tucker field goal to make it 28-10 at half.
The Ravens got a much-needed boost when Jacoby Jones returned the second half's opening kick 98 yards for a Baltimore touchdown. After making the score 28-17, Brady led another touchdown drive for the Patriots, ending with another one-yard Ridley touchdown—his third of the day.
Justin Tucker's 43-yard field goal made the score 35-20 at the end of three quarters.
Flacco led the Ravens to the first points of the fourth quarter with a nine-yard touchdown pass to tight end Ed Dickson. It was now a one-possession game in New England.
But for the third time, Brady found Welker downfield for yet another touchdown. The Patriots led 42-27 with under two minutes to play.
Flacco led a quick-scoring drive, ending with a 29-yard touchdown dart to Jacoby Jones, but it was too little, too late for the Baltimore Ravens.
(NE) Brady: 19/32, 362 yards, 4 TD, 1 INT (125.3 Rating)
(BAL) Flacco: 32/49, 316 yards, 3 TD, 2 INT (86.7 Rating)
(NE) Ridley: 16-43-2, Woodhead: 1-2
(BAL) Rice: 7-41, Flacco: 5-10
(NE) Welker: 7-186-3, Lloyd: 6-81, Hernandez: 3-43, Branch: 2-29, Ridley: 1-23
(BAL) Boldin: 8-83, Jones: 7-62-1, Rice: 5-60-1, Smith: 3-56, Pitta: 7-46, Dickson: 1-9-1, Leach: 1-0
FINAL: Patriots 42, Ravens 34
So, according to EA Sports and Madden 13, it'll be the New England Patriots against the San Francisco 49ers in New Orleans.
The Patriots and 49ers met in Week 15 this season. San Francisco had a 31-3 lead in the third quarter before Tom Brady led the Patriots back to tie it in the fourth.
But ultimately, the 49ers emerged victorious. Colin Kaepernick found Michael Crabtree for a 38-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter to give San Francisco the win.
If Madden is to believe, then Super Bowl XLVII figures to be must-see TV.
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