Madden 20 came out last week for another season. Players don’t only use the game to play each other, but also as a simulation. This article will go through the results of a one year Madden 20 simulation in franchise mode.
The Cincinnati Bengals were used as the user team (TGH’s home team), but no manual roster or personnel moves were made to make it as fair as possible. Here were the results:
The Chargers, Browns, Patriots, Colts, Bengals and Chiefs made the playoffs in the AFC (in that order). In the NFC, the Cowboys, Panthers, Lions, 49ers, Seahawks and Saints made the playoffs. The Bengals are the major surprise here, as they went 11-4-1 and got a Wild Card spot. Detroit won a tough NFC North, which was shocking as well.
Some teams struggled even though their quarterbacks were healthy. The Steelers (5-10-1), Ravens (7-8-1), Eagles (6-10), Vikings (6-10), Packers (6-10), Rams(7-8-1) and Bears (8-8) all missed the playoffs. Conversely, the Cardinals missed the playoffs, but had a surprising year with Kyler Murray under center (7-9).
The top two seeds made the AFC Championship Game in the Chargers and the Browns, with the Chargers coming out on top. The sixth-seeded Saints beat the fifth-seeded Seahawks in the NFC Championship Game.
Super Bowl Champions: New Orleans Saints
New Orleans won the Super Bowl over the Chargers in a matchup of former teammates in Drew Brees and Philip Rivers. The Saints scored 14 first-quarter points and the Chargers struggled to keep up, winning the game 35-21. Drew Brees threw for 297 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. Alvin Kamara rushed for just 73 yards. Cameron Meredith led all receivers with 114 yards and two touchdowns. Cameron Jordan registered two sacks to help the Saints take the trophy.
Rivers kept the Chargers decently close with 306 passing yards, two touchdowns and one interception, but it wasn’t enough in the end. Melvin Gordon rushed for just 51 yards, but Mike Williams had nine catches for 109 yards. No one on defense stood out for the Chargers, which is likely why they lost the game.
Both these teams have Super Bowl aspirations, so this matchup is realistic. It would also be a nice matchup with the storyline of Brees vs. Rivers with Rivers searching for his first Super Bowl win.
NFL MVP: Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
Newton was able to recover from his real-life shoulder injury to win the MVP Award. His play helped the Panthers become the second seed in the NFC. He finished the season with 4,253 passing yards, 40 touchdown passes and seven interceptions on 71 percent completion. Newton only rushed for 126 yards, but got to the end zone four times. It was a great season for the veteran quarterback.
Coming off a shoulder injury, it might be hard for Newton to win the MVP. He could still do it though, as he completed 67.9 percent of his passes, which included games that he played with his injured shoulder. To reach this stat total though, he is going to have to have the best passing season (both touchdowns and yardage) of his career by far. The simulation also had him be the least effective as a rusher than any other season in his career. In all reality, Newton will likely throw for less yards and rush for more.
Coach of the Year: Jason Garrett, Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys had the best record in the NFL at 13-2-1, which helped Garrett take home the Coach of the Year Award. They won all eight home games to help lead them to such a great record. Dallas is supposed to contend for the playoffs, but if they truly do go on a run Garrett could be named Coach of the Year.
The rest of the division struggled. New York had the worst record at 3-12. Philadelphia couldn’t get to the playoffs, despite being the highest-rated team in the game at 6-10. Washington got close, but just missed out on the playoffs at 7-8-1. The Cowboys likely won’t go 13-2-1, but if the rest of the division plays so poorly it becomes a more realistic goal.
Offensive Players of the Year: Philip Rivers- Los Angeles Chargers (AFC), Cam Newton- Carolina Panthers (NFC)
Rivers had a great regular season in the simulation to go along with his first Super Bowl appearance. He threw for 4,194 yards, 44 touchdowns and just four interceptions on 69 percent completion. Even though he took a step down from his real stats in terms of yardage, his efficiency was great. This is all possible for Rivers if he protects the football, although it would require him to have 10 more touchdown passes than he has ever had in a season and he would have to have five fewer interceptions than he has had in a full season. Rivers beat out Andrew Luck and Le’Veon Bell for the award.
Newton’s stats were already looked over earlier, but he had a great season and got the nod at MVP and Offensive Player of the Year. Rounding out the rest of the top five finalists were Ezekiel Elliot, Carson Wentz, Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers.
Defensive Players of the Year: Von Miller- Denver Broncos (AFC), Khalil Mack- Chicago Bears (NFC)
For the simulated season, Miller had 17.5 sacks. He was also second on his team with 98 total tackles. While he is certainly capable of getting to the quarterback 17.5 times, especially with Bradley Chubb across from him, Miller has only totaled more than that once in his career. He had 18.5 sacks in his second year in the NFL in 2012. Miller was able to hold off C.J. Mosley, Carl Lawson, J.J. Watt and Preston Brown to win the award. He is fully capable of winning the award this season.
The Bears got a good season out of Mack, who had 15.5 sacks, 88 total tackles and two interceptions. His play helped him take home the NFC Defensive Player of the Year Award. There is no doubt that Mack can hit all of the numbers listed on his stat line. Mack won the award over Lavonte David, Chandler Jones, Eric Kendricks and Deion Jones.
Offensive Rookies of the Year: Marquise Brown- Baltimore Ravens (AFC), Kyler Murray- Arizona Cardinals (NFC)
Lamar Jackson had a good season and therefore Marquise Brown was able to produce enough to win the award. He finished the simulated season with 68 receptions for 922 yards and six touchdowns. If Jackson can become a better passer this year, Brown could win, but he will be heavily reliant on Jackson to be able to do so. Other players considered for the award were Ryquell Armstead, Noah Fant, Rodney Anderson and Justice Hill.
The first overall pick wins the award in the NFC. Murray almost led the Cardinals to the playoffs at a 7-9 record. His stat-line was solid with 3,553 passing yards, 28 touchdowns and 10 interceptions on 60 percent completion. A peculiar thing though was that he rushed for just 13 yards. This part of the simulation could be true as Murray will have the ball in his hands early. The other players who were in the top five finalists were Darrell Henderson, Andy Isabella, Dwayne Haskins and Tony Pollard.
Defensive Rookies of the Year: Ed Oliver- Buffalo Bills (AFC), Deionte Thompson- Arizona Cardinals (NFC)
Oliver finished the simulated season with 13 tackles for loss and eight sacks. For a defensive tackle, those numbers are really good. It will take a lot of work and good fortune to hit those, but Oliver could do it and win the AFC Defensive Rookie of the Year Award. Other contenders for the award were Josh Allen, Jerry Tillery, Levi Wallace and Quinnen Williams.
The winner in the NFC was another Cardinal. Thompson may have fallen in the draft, but he finished the simulated season with 95 total tackles, 1.5 sacks and one interception to be an impact player for Arizona. It will be a little hard for a player who hasn’t even won the starting job yet to win NFC Defensive Player of the Year, but crazier things have happened. Nick Bosa, Jahlani Tavai, Brian Burns and Darnell Savage finished behind Thompson.
Records and Stats
Terrell Suggs’ 11 sacks pushed him into the top five in all-time sacks with 144.