Remember Rocky Balboa? The movie, not the boxer.... well the movie was about the boxer but specifically I'm referring to the one where a computer simulation had Rocky go up against Mason "The Line" Dixon. We're taking a page out of that script and simulating the Redskins games throughout the entire season.
I don't think Madden is really meant to create realistic simulations, as you'll see later in the article, but it's still fun to see which team a computer thinks is going to win.
I'll fine tune the settings I use for each game but this week I had 15 minute quarters, pro level settings, and used the most up to date roster. I didn't actually control either team, so yes, I sat and watched an hour long fake game.
This was a high scoring affair that would make Jay Gruden pine for his old Arena League days. A back and forth matchup saw the Redskins pull out a squeaker 50-49.
The Steelers led for much of the game. The Skins had no answer for Ladarius Green and Antonio Brown who went for a 188 and 176 yards respectively and tallied a combined 5 touchdowns.
In the first half the Skins traded field goals for touchdowns and trailed 28-13. Then, in Tampa Bay "YOU LIKE THAT" fashion, Washington exploded with a 27 point third quarter.
The rest of the game was back and forth with each team trading scores like, well, a video game. With only a few minutes to play, the Skins drove down the field and kicked what would become the game winning field goal. The Steelers had a shot with a few seconds left but ran out of time around the Washington 50 yard line.
The game MVP would either go to Ben Roethlisberger who had 560 yards and 5 TDs or the relatively pedestrian Captain Kirk who had 427 yards and 5 TDs but pulled out the win.
The surprisingly realistic parts of this simulation
Now obviously we aren't going to see a quarterback duel that would make Matthew Stafford vs Brady Quinn jealous (look it up that was actually a top 10 quarterback duel) but there were some trends to take from the game.
The Redskins' offense followed Desean Jackson: He certainly wasn't the only Redskin to make plays but Jackson had a large impact on the offensive production of the game. If the Skins are going to win the real for real on Monday Night, they'll have to rely on Jackson to make some big plays.
Jordan Reed in the redzone: In a virtual bloodbath for defenses this game saw way too many touchdowns. But two of them went to Jordan Reed in the redzone. Look for the Skins to attack the Steelers with #86 when inside the 20.
Jordan Reed doesn't run block well: While Jordan Reed is a great pass catcher, even in video games he struggles to run block. I have to give Madden credit for programming this in.
Tres Way punts it a mile: Tres Way makes playing as the Redskins worth it in Madden 17. You could probably punt it the length of the field if you wanted to.
Unrealistic bits from the simulation
Matt Jones looked like an All-Pro. I hope Matt Jones does well but he looked unreal in this unreal simulation. He outran people, he trucked over people. He looked like Matt Jones in week 1 last season but we all know that didn't last. Only thing is, I don't think he'll be doing that against the Steelers. Look for a much more modest performance from the Redskins' backfield.
Mike Tomlin didn't try to trip anyone: So you're telling me that EA took enough time to program in Mike Tomlin's nipples through his tight black shirt but they don't have him trip anyone from the sideline?
Jay Gruden's teeth: Seriously, Gruden looks like Grawp from Harry Potter.
The last game of week one certainly is interesting. You have the perennial contender Steelers against the Redskins who are trying to prove that winning the NFC East last year wasn't a fluke. You have a top 5 receiver in Antonio Brown lining up against a Skins secondary that features Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland. Ultimately I think that Madden got it wrong. I predict the Skins will hang around for a few quarters but that the Steelers will pull away.
Specifically, I predict that Norman and Breeland do a good job against Brown but that Brown will make some big plays, especially when lined up against other defenders.
Let us know what you think of this new segment in the comments and how we could improve it. If there's a demand we could even broadcast this fake games on Twitch while chatting about the Skins.