by Matt George, Sports 1140 KHTK
The following is a complete simulation on the Madden 18 video game of the 2017-2018 NFL season. The results are completely randomized and decided by the game itself. Keep in mind, all real-life injuries up to this point are taking place in this simulation (Ryan Tannehill, Teddy Bridgewater, etc.) but current suspensions are not (Ezekiel Elliott, Vontaze Burfict’s, etc.).
Preseason shakeup – Miami Dolphins sign Colin Kaepernick:
Evidently, Madden has as little faith in Jay Cutler as a starting quarterback as most people do in real life. Week 3 of the NFL preseason, the Dolphins signed Kaepernick to a one year, $3.56 million-dollar deal.
Preseason injuries hit hard:
As if Ryan Tannehill and Julian Edelman weren’t enough, four more stars were put on the shelf before the start of the regular season. Sammy Watkins, out for five weeks with a broken ankle (which he would later re-injure towards the end of the season). Leveon Bell found himself on the bench with an abdominal tear for four weeks. DeMarco Murray dislocated his hip in the final preseason game, out for seven weeks. Plus, Joey Bosa and Dez Bryant both missed the first 5 weeks of the season with injuries of their own.
Blockbuster signings in week 2:
It didn’t take long in the simulation for teams to throw money at some of their stars. In week two, the San Francisco 49ers locked up Carlos Hyde for three years on a $16.7 million-dollar deal. Also, the Washington Redskins and quarterback Kirk Cousins finally came to an agreement; four years, $62.1 million.
Surprise teams off to hot starts:
By week four, a quarter of the way through the season, there were Cinderella stories galore. The Seattle Seahawks were the only undefeated team, followed closely by the Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins and Jacksonville Jaguars at 3-1. The San Francisco 49ers were the only team without a win.
The simulation was not friendly to many of the big-name stars, who missed most of the 2nd half of the season due to injury. Ezekiel Elliott, Marcus Mariota, Andrew Luck, LeSean McCoy, Adrian Peterson, David Johnson, and Todd Gurley all finished the season on the injury list.
Magic in Jacksonville:
By the mid-way point in the season, the Seattle Seahawks and Jacksonville Jaguars were the top two teams in the NFL, each with only one loss. The Raiders still weren’t far behind, dropping only two of their first eight games. The New York Jets also managed success, tying with the Patriots for first place in the AFC East at the halfway point.
Some unexpected playoff entries:
At the end of week 17, the outright division winners were; the New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens, Atlanta Falcons, Detroit Lions, Los Angeles Chargers, Seattle Seahawks, Jacksonville Jaguars and Washington Redskins.
The Oakland Raiders, Dallas Cowboys, Tennessee Titans, and New Orleans Saints won the four Wild Card bids.
Russell Wilson wins NFL MVP:
Before the start of the playoffs, the regular season awards were handed out. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was the above and beyond favorite for MVP after throwing for 4,569 yards with 40 touchdowns and only 12 interceptions. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll won coach of the year.
The AFC and NFC Rookie of the Year awards went to Solomon Thomas (San Francisco 49ers) and Myles Garrett (Cleveland Browns). Andy Dalton (Cincinnati Bengals) and Russell Wilson won Offensive Player of the Year awards for their conferences, and Dont’a Hightower (New England Patriots) and Cameron Jordan (New Orleans Saints) won Defensive Player of the Year honors.
Struggles in San Francisco:
Sadly, the San Francisco 49ers managed to complete the regular season without a single win, going 0-16 for the year. A feat that cost head coach Kyle Shanahan his job. At least they got the first pick in the draft.
Wild Card fireworks:
The Oakland Raiders topped the Baltimore Ravens 40-3 in Baltimore to advance to the divisional round vs the Patriots.
The Dallas Cowboys, without Ezekiel Elliott, beat the Detroit Lions 36-19 and moved on to face the Seattle Seahawks.
The Jacksonville Jaguars proved why they won the AFC South, topping the Titans 33-22.
Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints stuck it to the Redskins in Washington, winning 36-31 to advance to the divisional round.
Divisional round drama:
The Oakland Raiders defense had no answer for Tom Brady, and the offense did their best to keep up. Ultimately, the Raiders fell short in Foxborough 39-24.
The 16th man was out in force in Seattle, and the Zeke-less Cowboys couldn’t withstand the Seahawks onslaught. The Seahawks advanced to the conference championships with a 35-27 victory.
The cinderella story continues! The Jacksonville Jaguars made their way to L.A and topped the Chargers 26-21 to move on and face the Patriots.
Determined to right their wrong from last season’s super bowl collapse, the Atlanta Falcons beat the New Orleans Saints 27-16.
Super Bowl LII matchup is set:
All good things must come to an end. In this case, the run of the Jacksonville Jaguars was cut short by none other than Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. The defending champs make it back to the Super Bowl with a 35-13 win.
Matt Ryan and Russell Wilson went back and forth in the closest game of the entire playoffs, but the Seahawks won in the end. A 42-38 victory punched their ticket to Super Bowl LI.
The G.O.A.T goes down:
The Patriots took an early lead in Super Bowl LI, up 14-0 by the end of the first quarter. But, the Madden curse strikes true, even in a simulation, as cover athlete Tom Brady broke his wrist early in the 2nd quarter. Without their star, the Patriots offense faltered and MVP Russell Wilson took control. The Seahawks scored 24 unanswered points to win the Lombardy Trophy. With three touchdown passes, Wilson won the MVP honors.
What do you think of the simulation results? Who are your picks to win it all? Want to know more about the specific stats and scores from the whole simulation? Tweet @Sports1140KHTK and @MattGeorgeKHTK for more.