Yeah I think the guys at espn were a little bored and antsy for something to report before the season. In Madden you can simulate the games and they turn out completely different every time. They have intentionally built in a lot of randomness and it is definitely not scientific.
It's not completely random, believe me. The problem comes in when siimulating because you have to adjust the depth chart and rosters to the way they really are prior to starting the simulation. Or else the computer will play Duce Staley, for instance, or they'll have the offense set at 50% run, 50% pass. So you have to change these settings to fit the true life counter parts, then the results are surprisingly accurate. IGN did a week by week comparison with a human picking games vs NFL2k6 and Madden 06, and Madden was far more realistic.
Why do I know all of this? Because I worked on Madden 06.