In the spirit of zero real sports going on and video games being a prominent thing right now to keep people from going insane, the people over at Bleacher Report collaborated with a Madden 20 content creator to create all 32 NFL rosters consisting of their greatest players of all time. They are now putting on a “B/R GOAT Sim” tournament to see which all-time team will reign victorious over the rest of the NFL’s GOAT teams.
The offensive side of the ball is highlighted by LaDainian Tomlinson (97 OVR), Antonio Gates (98 OVR), Kellen Winslow (97 OVR), and Lance Alworth (94 OVR). Philip Rivers (94 OVR) got the nod at quarterback over Dan Fouts (91 OVR), as well. The offensive line was made up of - from left to right - Russell Okung (82 OVR), Doug Wilkerson (87 OVR), Nick Hardwick (85 OVR), Walt Sweeney (90 OVR), and Ron Mix (95 OVR).
Defensively, the Bolts were led by their front seven but had plenty of talent at all levels. Leslie O’Neal (93 OVR), and Fred Dean (92 OVR) led the defensive line along with Joey Bosa (88 OVR) and Gary Johnson (86 OVR). Junir Seau (97 OVR) was the highest-rated defender and he paired with Shawne Merriman (91 OVR) in the middle. The starting secondary consisted of Rodney Harrison (95 OVR), Eric Weddle (91 OVR), Casey Hayward (89 OVR), and Antonio Cromartie (88 OVR). Derwin James (88 OVR) worked in as a sub-package linebacker from time to time, too.
In their opening round match-up against the highly-touted Raiders team, the combination of Rivers to Alworth was unstoppable, combining for over 150 yards and three touchdowns between the two. Tomlinson also put on arguably the best rushing performance of the entire first round, rushing for over 140 yards, including a 41-yard scamper. The Chargers won that game decidedly by a score of 34-24.
Unfortunately, simulations can be fickle things, ranging from realistic to down-right “no way in hell.” When it came to the Bolts’ second-round match-up against the Chiefs, it got pretty realistic.
Patrick Mahomes unsurprisingly led the offensive attack with his most-popular targets being Tony Gonzalez and Tyreek Hill. The Chiefs’ ground game was led by Larry Johnson with Priest Holmes waiting in the wings. Even with all the firepower they had on offense, it was Kansas City’s front seven that really gave the Chargers their biggest challenge.
KC’s linebacker core was made up of three 99-overall players in Derrick Thomas, Willie Lanier, and Bobby Bell. Their defensive line included current star defensive tackle Chris Jones along with the legendary Buck Buchanan. They got to Rivers and company early and often, turning this game into a lower-scoring affair compared to L.A.’s first contest of the tournament.
When the first half came to an end, the Chiefs held a 10-7 advantage. The Chargers were marching down the field in the final minute hoping to get some points on the board before they would get the ball again to start the second half. Due to the low level of difficulty the CPU was set to, the game didn’t deem it necessary to use any timeouts on the Chargers’ final drive of the half and so the team let the clock run out after a huge play from Rivers to Gates to get the ball on the KC side of the field.
Both the Chiefs and Chargers traded touchdowns in the second half in what was a similar showing to what happened in the first half. Both defenses continued to be stout while only allowing minimal damage. With the ball down 17-14 at the end of the fourth (this was realistic, for sure), Rivers took the Chargers down and kicked a field goal to send the whole thing into overtime.
At this point, I’m thinking the Bolts really have a chance to win this thing. What I noticed in all the simulation games I watched prior is that when the CPU felt like it really needed to score, it would always find a way to score at least get points in some way, usually at the end of a game or when they wanted to answer an opposing score with their own. Well, when the Chiefs won the coin toss and chose to receive to begin overtime, I knew victory just wasn’t meant tot be.
Mahomes was hot out of the gate, slinging several passes to Gonzalez and Hill for consecutive first downs before giving the rock to Johnson at the Chargers’ 31-yard line. What happened next was the virtual gut-punch I had been waiting for. Johnson took a handoff to the right and cut inside the block of the right tackle. Seau was there for the tackle...and then he wasn’t Johnson ducked underneath the tackle attempt and went another five yards before doing the exact same thing to Eric Weddle coming down hill. After two consecutive jukes, Johnson was all alone up the right sideline, out-running Harrison into the end zone for the walk-off touchdown and a 24-17 victory.
NFL News: Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs Walk Off with OT Win vs. Chargers in B/R Madden GOAT Sim https://t.co/qo30vXtNv4— SportNewsBuzz (@Sportnewsbuzz) April 3, 2020
As unfortunate of an ending as it was, the Chargers being able to put a smackdown on the Raiders team in the first round was all I needed to leave me content, especially knowing the other teams in the division were all higher-rated. I mean, the Raiders were led by the likes of Howie Long, Bo Jackson, Tim Brown, Charles Woodson, Willie Brown, Gene Upshaw, and Ted Hendricks. With a defense as stacked as that, it was a real joy seeing Alworth and Gates torch them repeatedly.
If you guys feel like re-watching any of the past games/streams, you can click right here to watch yesterday’s stream.