Towards the end of last season, I had an idea that didn't lift off too much with the community. The idea came to me as I was playing a game of Madden '09 and thought, "We should sim a game between the Cardinals and whoever they play that week". But soon after, my idea floated away, only to come back this year at the start of the season. So to get where I'm going, we'll be incorporating a new segment every Saturday called the "Saturday Sim". If you haven't figured it out yet, I'll sim the game(watch the entire game) between the Cardinals and whoever they play for that given week. I figure that a lot of us probably play Madden, and would be curious as to the results of the simulation. It can be an accurate simulation, as the players are each rated based on their play in real life. The teams also feature custom playbooks as well. In other words, this is the best simulation you can get for being a video game.
Before I get started, let me say that this is still in testing and I may make some tweaks down the road. The way it will be currently set up is 7 minute quarters. I have the difficulty set as All-Madden, and the penalties slightly turned up to give it some realism. I also set the clock to be accelerated, because if I don't the score could get out of hand. At this point, I sit and watch the whole game, andI'll then post the score on Saturdays, along with some stats and play by play results. I'll also try to feature some pictures from the game, as you can see below. With that being said, here's the results from the game.
Warner and the offense march up the field at ease to start the game, throwing more then passing. At mid-field, Warner throws a pass over the middle to Anquan Boldin, who then breaks several tackles(I count 4), only to waltz into the end zone 48 yards later. Cards lead 7-0.
On the 49ers first throw, Vernon Davis caughs up a fumble forced by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, recovered by Gerald Hayes. A few plays later and Kurt Warner capitalizes on the turnover by throwing a 13 yard touchdown to Larry Fitzgerald. Cards lead 14-0.
The 49ers start with good field position, only for the offense to burn out, and are forced to punt.
Once the Cardinals receive the ball, they drive down the field. The drive almost stalls due to a hold by Reggie Wells. It's not a problem, as Warner throws yet another touchdown to Steve Breaston, this time for 8 yards. Cards lead 21-0.
On the 49ers next possession, they abandon the run. Shaun Hill converts 2 first downs, and the 49ers are driving. Hill throws a beauty over the middle to a wide open Frank Gore, who runs it in for a 54 yard touchdown. Cards lead 21-7.
On the Cardinals next drive, a hold on Lyle Sendlein forces a punt. A three and out is committed by the 49ers, and they head into the half losing. Their defense looks like it is tightening up. Cards lead 21-7 at the half.
The 49ers receive at the 2nd half, but again start slow, and don't ever threaten. The Cardinals offense still looks impressive, as they move the ball with ease. The Cardinals score the only touchdown of the quarter to Fitzgerald for 8 yards. The 49ers run into another three and out. Cards lead 28-7.
The Cardinals begin the 4th quarter with a drive finally featuring some nice runs, and cap it off with another touchdown to Fitz, this time for 20 yards. Cards lead 35-7.
The 49ers can't seem to muster much offense, and run into another 3 and out. The Cardinals continue to run, and rack a 51 yard field goal. Cards lead 38-7.
The 49ers again can't seem to the move the ball in the last few minutes. They try some trickory with a fake spike, but it doesn't fool the Cardinals as the game ends.
Final Score - Arizona Cardinals 38, San Francisco 49ers 7
Kurt Warner- 24/31 77%, 323 Yards, 5 TDs, 149.6, 8 different receivers
Shaun Hill - 14/23 60%, 161 Yards, 1 TD, 96.4
Tim Hightower - 13 Carries, 33 Yards
Frank Gore - 8 Carries, 13 Yards, 4 Catches, 61 Yards, 1 TD
Larry Fitzgerald- 6 Catches, 76 Yards, 3 TDs
Anquan Boldin - 3 Catches, 67 Yards, 1 TD
Josh Morgan - 5 Catches, 63 Yards
Final Thought -Overall I'd have to say the Cardinals looked great in this game. The offense was able to pass without a problem, although they did had trouble running. The defense virtually shut down the 49ers. The 49ers were never able to do much offensively, and the defense was playing catch up for the entire game. I know it's just a Madden sim, but I'd be happy with these results on Sunday. Only time will tell if this comes anywhere close to the outcome, but it's sure interesting to try and guess. And just so you know, I believe the game will be a lot closer then the score here. Any thoughts on this simulation?