Paul Bessire and John Ewing of PredictionMachine.com put together some very interesting Super Bowl XLVIII simulations regarding three different situations. They used 50,000 Super Bowl simulations to draw their conclusions.
The first simulation pits this season's Russell Wilson against Peyton Manning in 1999, which was his second season in the league. So if the game was played between those quarterbacks both in their second seasons. All the way back in 1999, Manning was already showing how great he would become. He completed 62 percent of his passes for 4,135 yards, 26 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He led the Indianapolis Colts to a 13-3 record, but a first game playoff exit.
Wilson has taken a massive step forward this season leading the Seattle Seahawks to an identical 13-3 record. He completed 63 percent of his passes this season for 3,357 yards, 26 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. He also has the duel threat capabilities Manning could only dream of. Wilson rushed for 539 yards this season. Manning has never eclipsed more than 157 rushing yards in a season and racked up 73 yards in 1999. It is understood that running is not part of Manning's game because he is a terrific passer.
So the determination made by Prediction Machine was a 54.1 probability that in this scenario the Seattle Seahawks would win the Super Bowl by an average score of 23.8-21.5. If second season Manning were on the Seahawks in the simulation, Denver would be projected to win the Super Bowl with Wilson by an average score of 24.0-23.1. Therefore the conclusion they drew was that Wilson is worth three net points.
Another simulation that was constructed would be if the quarterbacks were taken out of the scenario. With Manning playing for both teams, Prediction Machine says the average score would be Seahawks 27.7-22.4. Therefore, this season's Manning is worth three net points, but Seattle has the better overall team.
The last simulation is if Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman did not play in the game. In the NFC Championship Game, he said he was the best cornerback in the league in his fiery comments post game. Most players in the Super Bowl from both teams have backed him up on those statements. Prediction Machine predicts a 54.8 percent chance the Seahawks win the Super Bowl as the teams are currently constructed. If Sherman did not play, Denver jumps to a 54 percent chance of winning. Therefore Sherman is worth eight percent to Seattle's chances of winning and 3.3 net points to the final score.
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