Madden is the face of the NFL when it comes to video games, but do you remember the simplicity of the game in its early days? The plays were simple, the graphics were crap, and the play by play was almost non-existent. I remember how amazing I thought the graphics were at the time, but looking back it does not even compare. Madden has grown leaps and bounds as video game consoles have improved over the years, now looking and playing very close to the real thing.
In recent years it has become normal to simulate the entire season to see who wins it all. With the realism of the game, you won’t get a perfectly correct simulation, but you get something that is a pretty good guess. It is always fun to see who the paper champions are, and how the game sees the NFL season panning out. I thought it would be fun to take a look at the Chargers match ups each week through the eyes of Madden 12, and I was happy to help by watching the games on my Xbox 360. So here is the first one of the 2011 season!
Chargers vs. Vikings
5 Minute Quarters
For this game I chose the whites for the Chargers, which always seems to be the choice for September football. The Vikings are in there purple tops and white bottoms, Minnesota wins the toss and will be receiving. Vikings start the game with a three and out on their first drive. The Chargers look to throw on their first offense play, but Rivers is hit while releasing the ball and throws his first pick. The Vikings get the ball at the Chargers 25 and look to get on the board first. After a short run by Peterson and an incomplete pass, McNabb throws into double coverage and Cason picks the ball off on the goal line. The game is tied after one quarter 0-0
The second quarter is pretty much a back and forth as the teams exchange punts throughout the quarter. The Chargers get the ball with 1:56 left in the half and Phillip Rivers just goes into the two minute drill. It takes just 7 plays to go 79 yards, and the drive is capped off with a Rivers to Jackson 13 yard touchdown. With :51 seconds left in the half, its 7-0 Bolts. The Chargers even get one more chance to score in the half, but Rivers throws a pick trying to get the deep ball to Jackson as time expires. 7-0 Chargers at the half.
The second half starts with a 3 and out for both teams, as the defenses continue to control the game. We go through the entire third and most of the fourth quarter without any offensive attack. It is not until late in the forth quarter that some signs of offensive life is seen. Donovan McNabb moves his team down the field, and at the two minute warning the Vikings have driven down to Chargers 24 yard line. First play after the two minute warning, McNabb hits Berrian on a go route for the 24 yard TD, Cason got beat bad on the play. It is now a tie game with 1:56 left, but the Chargers have all 3 timeouts and Phillip Rivers at the helm.
Just like the end of the first half, Rivers takes the Chargers down the field and to the Vikings 25 with :56 left in the game. Phillip completed some clutch passes to Gates, Matthews, and Jackson on the drive. The Chargers decided to run the clock down and Ryan Matthews pounded out an extra 15 yards while San Diego drained the clock. It was time for Nate Kaeding, and Mr Regular Season did not let his team down.
Nate kicked a game winning 27 yard field goal as the game clock hit zero, and the Chargers grind out the win 10-7.
Some notes on the game:
- For some reason Cason’s pick got him player of the game honors, even though he was beat on the game tying touchdown.
- Defense really controlled the game, as neither team had over 200 yards of total offense (194-142 SD)
- Teams combined for a 3-13 3rd down percentage (23%)
- Chargers walked down the field at the end of each half which led to that victory. Rivers was locked in on those drives, 7-7 for 111 yards and a TD.
Good to see that the game sees the Chargers starting out the season with a win, lets hope that life imitates art this week!