I had some free time last night so I went ahead and did a Madden Simulation of Sunday's game between the Vikings and Cardinals. The results were interesting, a little disappointing, but if the real game plays out like the sim, it will be a heck of a game to watch. Like Andrew does, I put Madden 10 on All-Madden level, with 8 minute quarters and a 15 second run-off. Here's what happened:
Vikings win the toss and receive the ball. The Cardinals force a 3 and out, and start moving the ball up the field on the legs of Hightower, with the highlight being a 15 yard toss left that puts the Cards in field goal range. The drive stalls however, and Rackers kicks a 43 yard Field Goal. 3-0 Cardinals.
The Vikings move the ball quickly up the field on the legs of AP, and with the help of a 3rd and long conversion to Percy Harvin move the ball to the Cardinals 22, when AP takes a handoff up the middle and scores. 7-3 Vikings.
LSH returned the ensuing kick to the 40 yard line to give the Cards great field position, but the drive falters on a failed 3rd and inches on the Vikings 38 yard line, and Rackers misses a long field goal attempt.
Vikings are moving the ball well again and sustain a long drive without a single 3rd down. AP is running all over the Cards and scores his 2nd TD of the day from 19 yards out to put the Vikings up 14-3.
LSH has another great return across midfield, and through a series of short passes, the Cardinals get to a 1st and goal from the 1, with Beanie pounding it in for the TD. 14-10 Vikings.
Percy Harvin follows the TD with a long return to the Cardinals 40, and on the 1st play, Favre dumps the ball off to AP and he runs through Wilson to go 40 yards for the TD catch from Favre. 21-10 Vikings .
After a punt by each side, the Cards have the ball with just over a minute left in the half. On the first play of the drive, Warner looks for Fitzgerald deep and is intercepted, Vikings run out the clock to halftime. 21-10.
Cardinals start down the field with some underneath passing plays to Boldin and Fitzgerald, and Warner finds Breaston for a 40 yard completion to the Vikings 22 yard line. 2 plays later Warner finds Breaston in the corner of the end zone for a TD. Cards go for 2 succesfully on an inside pass to Wright, 21-18 Vikings.
After a 3 and out by each team, the Vikings start a drive on the 20 after a touchback. AP is stopped for a loss of 1 on 1st down, but on 2nd down races 81 yards for a TD around the left end. 28-18 Vikings.
LSH returns the ball almost to midfield, and after a 5 yard run by Beanie, Warner beats the blitz to find Fitz behind his man for a 50 yard TD pass. 28-25 Vikings.
The Vikings have finally started mixing in some play action, and work their way down the field mixing a few runs and passes together. the big play was a 3rd and 9 conversion to Sidney Rice, getting the Vikings into Field goal range. On 3rd and 10 from the 33 yard line, Peterson takes a draw play to the house for his 5th TD of the game. 35-25 Vikings.
With another huge return, LSH puts the Cardinals in great field position beyond midfield. Warner finds Hightower in the flat, and he has a nice run after catch, but loses a fumble at the end of the run, and the Vikings take the ball back.
The Cards allow a 1st play 20 yard completion to Berrian, before tightening up and forcing a punt, which Breaston returns to Cards 38 yard line. Warner is spreading the ball around, hitting Patrick, Breaston, Boldin, and Fitz for 1st downs, and with 4 minutes left Warner finds Breaston for a 17 yard TD to bring the Cards back within 3, 35-32 Vikings.
The Cards defense makes a huge stop and forces a 3 and out, and although DRC dropped a sure pick 6 on 2nd down, the Cardinals have the ball with 75 yards to go for the go ahead TD, and a little under 3 minutes on the clock. 2 first downs to Fitz, and the 2 minute warning hits. On the 1st play after the 2 minute warning, Warner is sacked by jared Allen, forcing a 2nd and 17 just shy of midfield. on 2nd down, Warner is hit as he throws, and the ball is intercepted.
The Vikings run the ball twice for no gain, and on 3rd down Favre hits Harvin who bobs and weaves his way to the end zone with 40 seconds left to put the final points on the board, 42-32 Vikings.
The Cardinals did get the ball back, but threw 4 straight incomplete passes to end the game.
When all is said and done, 3 turnovers by the Cardinals doomed this game. Warner threw for over 300 yards, Fitz and Breaston both had over 100 yards receiving, and LSH had nice game returning kicks, but our running game was non existent, with less than 50 yards on the ground. Favre only threw 13 times, but completed 10 of them for 153 yards and 2 TDs, while the big story was Adrian Peterson going for 220 yards on the ground, and another 55 receiving with 5 total TDs. WOW. Hope the game tomorrow is as exciting as this one was, but with our Cardinals on the winning end!