Revenge of the Birds is back and ready to bring you Week 10 of the Madden Simulation segment. This week is an NFC West matchup between the St. Louis Rams (3-5) and the Arizona Cardinals (7-1). Thus far, Madden 15 is (4-4) in predicting the outcomes of the Cardinal games.
This week we used the excel clock to 10 seconds and an all-pro setting for the game at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. This week: we suggest you place your bets with Madden.
Final Score: 31-30 Cardinals
What a close game for teams that have such different records. The quarterbacks in the game seemed evenly matched. Cardinals star player, Carson Palmer, who just received a 3-year contract extension, showed why with a stellar 349-yard game on 47 attempts that included three touchdowns and only one interception. However, Austin Davis played only a little bit worse with 321 yards on 39 attempts along with two touchdowns, and two interceptions.
Kenny Britt led the way for his team grabbing 9 passes for 120 yards and both his teams' touchdowns. Tavon Austin was in a close second for 8 catches and 86 yards. Stedman Bailey had 6 receptions for 52 yards. Pretty good numbers, yet, good numbers fail in comparison to great numbers, which is what the Cards put up. Larry Fitzgerald led his team with 13 catches, 144-yards, and a touchdown - nearly topping his game against the Eagles earlier in the season. Rookie John Brown had 8 grabs for 60-yards and a touchdown. Michael Floyd had 4 catches for 40 yards and Palmer's third touchdown.
Cardinal running back Andre Ellington had 14 carries for 50 yards and a touchdown. His backup Marion Grice had 5 touches for a mere 7 yards. Rams running back Tre Mason had a whopping 32 carries for 112 yards on the ground. Zac Stacy also had 8 carries for 6 yards. So that's where all of the Ram's game was.
Larry Foote and Sam Acho each recorded a sack, while Homey Badger (Tyrann Mathieu led the team in tackles with 10 unassisted). Honey Badger also intercepted Davis, as did Antonio Cromartie who had two interceptions against the Eagles. Rodney McLeod logged a team high of 9 tackles (weird that both free safeties led their team in tackles). He also was the solo interceptor of Carson Palmer.
The kickers were perfect. Greg Zuerlein kicked in 3 from 44, 36, and 24 while Chandler Catanzaro extended his own record of consecutive field goals made by a rookie as he knocked down one from 45 yards. Rams had similar stats to the Cardinals in all categories, so why didn't they win? Then I found it - 3rd down percentage. The Rams - 30%, not bad. The Cardinals - 53%, wow!
The ROTB staff is not surprised since Palmer is the best quarterback in the NFL thus far on third down, but the close outcome of the simulation will keep us on our toes. We place our full confidence in our Cardinals and hope that Madden's record improves to 5-4.