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Saints vs. Cardinals Week 1 Madden Simulation: Carson is back and ready!

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Madden 16 might be more excited than Bruce Arians about the return of Carson Palmer

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Here we are! Back for the 2015 NFL season with our first weekly madden simulation.

The new Madden game has been raved about for months and finally came out in Mid-August. We're hoping that this season might be more accurate than the last. After giving the simulations a few test runs our team found out how to run the simulation to make it as close to an NFL game as possible.

In some last season, Madden did a great job predicting such as the game against the Kansas City Chiefs. Madden predicted a Cardinals win 19-17. The actual score of the Week 14 match-up was 17-14 Cards.  Other Madden predictions were not as close, but the 2015 season is here, which means everyone gets a clean slate - even Madden.

Now to start with the basics, every game will be simulated on All-Pro difficulty level with 8-minute quarters and a 10 second accelerated clock.

For this simulation, I removed Mike Iupati and replaced him with Ted Larsen. I also took out Troy Niklas because he is game time decision. Michael Floyd and Jermaine Gresham I kept in for this simulation.

On the Saints side of the ball, I removed Jairus Byrd, Daniel Ellerbe, Keenan Lewis, C.J. Spiller, and Davis Tull. Tim Hightower looks to be playing so I kept him for the game.

Now for the real question: How does Madden 16 think the Cardinals will perform during the first real game of the season?

Final Score: 28 - 20 Cardinals

A great game for the start of the Cardinals season, but not nearly as close as I expected.

According to Madden, Cards fans are going to get exactly what they expected from Carson Palmer's return. He finished the game with 3 touchdowns and 300 yards going 27 for 38. He spread his touchdowns evenly between John Brown, Michael Floyd, and Larry Fitzgerald - making all fantasy owners happy. Drew Brees also had a great game throwing for 254 yards and 1 touchdown to Brandin Cooks.

John Brown, what some are calling the biggest sleeper in the NFL, lead the Cardinals in receiving yards with 91 yards on 10 receptions. Floyd was next with 85 yards and 8 receptions. Fitz had 76 yards on 5 receptions. Jermaine Gresham had 25 on 2 receptions and lastly running back, Andre Ellington had 2 grabs for 23 yards.

Brandin Cooks led the Saints with 95 yards on 9 receptions, closely followed by Marques Colston with 87 yards on 8 receptions.

The Saints won on the ground with Mark Ingram who had 128 yards from scrimmage on 30 carries and the other touchdown. Andre Ellington had 64 yards on 28 attempts and first touchdown of the game for the Cards.

DE Calais Campbell and OLB LeMarr Woodley both had sacks on Drew Brees - Campbell had 2. Carson Palmer was only sacked once during the game, during which I am sure all of fake people at University of Phoenix stadium held their breath.

Saints kicker Zack Hocker was perfect on his friend goals (2-2) from 29 and 41 yards.

We sure hope that this game is as good as Madden has made it out to be and that Palmer and Brown have a huge breakout to start their season. Although, Ellington really needs to prove himself against a weak Saints run defense much more than Palmer needs to prove he is worth keeping around.

As always, we put our full confidence in the Cardinals. 1-0 sounds pretty great!