Revenge of the Birds is back, bringing you Week 2 of the Madden 15 simulation segment to see if this video game is a dependable source for your Pro Football Pick'em leagues. Last week we saw Madden 15 was incorrect in predicting the San Diego Chargers to beat the Arizona Cardinals.
Will this week prove similar?
All-Pro, 15-minutes, accelerated clock off, and partly cloudy at Met Life Stadium were the settings I chose to make the simulation as accurate as possible.
After updating my roster on Friday, the most significant drop that can be seen is in Larry Fitzgerald's overall rating from 93 to 91. However, if the game on Sunday goes anything like the Madden game, we'll see that rating shoot right back up.
Final Score: Cardinals 35, Giants 17
The game kicked off with a Cardinals drive resulting in a touchdown pass to the back corner of the end zone caught by Fitzgerald, looking very similar to then-Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Santonio Holmes' catch in 2009 that kept the Cardinals from their first Super Bowl ring.
As for the passing stages, the game must have hiccuped as Eli Manning threw no interceptions -- yes, you read that correctly -- along with 274 yards and two touchdowns. However, he earned a passer rating of 71.5 due to a low pass-completion percentage of 48.4 percent, ultimately going 30-62. Palmer threw for a whopping 491 yards, two touchdowns and went 56-87 (64.4%). However, Palmer is Palmer with 3 interceptions accompanying a QB rating of 72.5.
The Cardinals dominated the ground game, achieving a total of 149 in comparison to the Giants' 78. Andre Ellington carried 33 times for 111 yards and a touchdown. Unlike in last week's simulation, Ellington was not the sole running back as Stepfan Taylor had 10 carries for 25 yards.
As a receiving corps, the Cardinals put up big numbers. Michael Floyd had 15 receptions for 126 yards (53 yards after catch). Jaron Brown caught nine passes for 81 yards, John Carlson caught eight for 79 yards, Andre Ellington had four catches for 40 yards and Stepfan Taylor had three catches for 26 yards.earned back his two overall points, leading his team with 16 catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns -- it was a good day to have the eight-time pro-bowler on your fantasy team.
Surprisingly, Rashad Jennings led his team in catches, posting seven for 41 yards while Ruben Randle led his team in yards with 74 off six catches. However, Victor Cruz put his team on the scoreboard with two touchdowns along with six catches for 63 yards.
The Cards posted big defensive numbers, with 10 sacks trumping the Giants' three. John Abraham posted four sacks for Arizona. Eli Manning never threw toward Patrick Peterson, the highest paid cornerback in the NFL.
Perfect kickers, often a Madden given, Chandler Catanzaro went 5-of-5 (27,30,31,41) while went 1-of-1 with a 39-yarder.
Arizona nearly doubled the Giants total offensive yards, with 640 to 352, doubled their first downs (34 to 16) and had a huge time-of-possession advantage -- by 23 minutes.
All punts were fair caught in the game and each team returned a kickoff once - Cardinals Ted Ginn for 23 yards and Giants Ruben Randle gave his team great starting field position with a 40-yard return.
We're placing our full confidence in this simulation; Cardinals have a great opportunity to start 2-0 for only the fourth time since moving to Arizona.