With the Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles playing on Sunday Night Football this week, it was time to see what sort of result Madden 16 says it will have. The result was a 20-14 Cardinals win in which both defenses made plays. Arizona gives up eight sacks and Carson Palmer is picked off three times, but Arizona sends Sam Bradford to the bench and takes advantage of four Eagles turnovers to clinch the NFC West.
The simulation was run without Andre Ellington, Rashad Johnson, Cory Redding or Lyle Sendlein.
The game starts with teams trading punts until the Eagles fumble and Calais Campbell recovers. However, Carson Palmer is sacked twice and can't take advantage of the turnover in a three-and-out..
The teams continue to trade punts until Arizona takes advantage of another Philly turnover. Jerraud Powers picks off a Sam Bradford pass, returns it 19 yards and then the offense scores in one play with Carson Palmer finding Michael Floyd for a 21-yard score.
Philly punts twice and Arizona once, and then the Cardinals find an offensive rhythm. The march down the field and Kerwynn Williams scores from one yard out to give the Cardinals a 14-0 lead.
At the end of the half, Sam Bradford throws a pass that is picked off by Justin Bethel and, with just a few seconds on the clock, Chandler Catanzaro hits a 45-yard field goal as time expires in the first half.
That was it for Bradford. Mark Sanchez took over in the second half. Sanchez hits Jordan Matthews for a 16-yards score to get the Eagles on the board and then the two teams exchange turnovers the rest of the third quarter. Palmer is picked off by Connor Barwin, then Deone Bucannon intercepts a pass from Sanchez and then Eric Rowe intercepts another Palmer pass.
It was 17-7 entering the final quarter.
Philly turns the ball over on downs going for it on fourth and two at about the 35-yard line. Arizona turns that into a 48-yard Chandler Catanzaro field goal to make it 20-7.
Philly goes three and out, but the Eagles get some life as Barwin has his second interception of the game. The Eagles move down the field with both Sanchez and Thad Lewis in at quarterback that drive (Sanchez had to leave the game after a sack), but the Cardinals stop them on four straight plays from the four-yard line.
The Cardinals can't score and punt the ball back. The Eagles get within a score as Sanchez connects with Matthews for their second TD of the game. But the ensuing onside kick is recovered by the Cardinals and they run out the clock.
It is an ugly 20-14 win, filled with sacks and turnovers, but the Cards are NFC West champs.
Carson Palmer was 22/37 for 272 yards, one score and three picks.
David Johnson rushed 19 times for 64 yards.
John Brown had six catches for 70 yards. Michael Floyd had four for 79 and Larry Fitzgerald had three for 47.
Defensively, Tyrann Mathieu led the way with eight tackles, while Alex Okafor and D.J. Swearinger each had a sack.
Mark Sanchez was 11/23 for 114 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Bradford was 8/18 for 68 yards and two picks, while Thad Lewis was 5/6 for 56 yards.
Ryan Mathews led the Eagles in rushing with 66 yards on 17 carries.
Josh Huff was their leading receiver with seven receptions for 56 yards. Jordan Matthews had six receptions for 44, but scored two TDs.
But the Philly defense made plays.
They sacked Carson Palmer seven times and Drew Stanton once (he came in for a play). Fletcher Cox had four sacks and Connor Barwin had two. Barwin also had two interceptions.