The 2018 NFL Season: Madden Edition

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It’s that time of year again where we’re all anxiously awaiting a new NFL season. Ironically, the new edition of Madden releases every year around the first week of preseason games. This makes it fitting, and totally justifiable, to simulate the 2018 season in Franchise Mode to see how Madden computers expect this season to go.

The 2018 NFL Season: Madden Edition

I chose the Houston Texans just because I’m interested in building the team after the first season. For the sake of this article, I did not make any adjustments before simming the entire 2018 season. This way it is completely random and up to the Madden computers to decide how things play out.

The Standings

First things first, let’s look at how each team finished the season. We’ll start with the AFC:

The AFC

1. Baltimore Ravens (12-4)
2. Oakland Raiders (11-5)
3. Jacksonville Jaguars (11-5)
4. New England Patriots (9-7)
5. Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7)
6. Cincinnati Bengals (9-7)
7. New York Jets (8-8)
8. Houston Texans (8-8)
9. Kansas City Chiefs (7-9)
10. Los Angeles Chargers (7-9)
11. Cleveland Browns (6-10)
12. Tennessee Titans (6-10)
13. Indianapolis Colts (6-10)
14. Buffalo Bills (6-10)
15. Denver Broncos (5-11)
16. Miami Dolphins (4-12)

The NFC:

1. Atlanta Falcons (13-3)
2. Philadelphia Eagles (13-3)
3. Los Angeles Rams (12-3-1)
4. New York Giants (9-7)
5. New Orleans Saints (8-8)
6. Green Bay Packers (8-8)
7. Dallas Cowboys (8-8)
8. Chicago Bears (8-8)
9. San Francisco 49ers (7-8-1)
10. Carolina Panthers (7-9)
11. Washington Redskins (7-9)
12. Arizona Cardinals (6-10)
13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-10)
14. Detroit Lions (6-10)
15. Minnesota Vikings (6-10)
16. Seattle Seahawks (3-13)

AFC Seeding

Interestingly enough, there are some surprises in how the 2018 season panned out in this simulation. In the AFC, Cleveland managed to get six more wins than they did in 2017 (with Dez Bryant, I might add) with Tyrod Taylor starting all 16 games. The Patriots somehow only won nine games but still managed to win the AFC East and clinch a playoff berth. The biggest surprise, however, has to be the Baltimore Ravens securing that number one seed.

NFC Seeding

In the NFC, the top three seeds are reasonable but I think Philadelphia is more likely to grab that number one spot in reality. Atlanta and Los Angeles likely battle for the third seed and we’ll get to the second seed later. I find it hard to believe the Saints would only manage eight wins and I know Seattle has regressed but I’m not convinced they actuslly go 3-13. The biggest surprise in the NFC is, no doubt, the Vikings going 6-10. Minnesota was a Super Bowl favorite last season with a backup quarterback. With the addition of Kirk Cousins and a healthy Dalvin Cook, there’s no way this team isn’t the first or second seed.

The Awards

Before we dive into the playoffs, let’s take a look at the season award winners. The NFL Most Valuable Player was Carson Wentz. The Eagles quarterback threw for 4,168 yards and 47 touchdowns with only seven interceptions. The NFL Coach of the Year also comes out of Philadelphia. Doug Pederson led this Eagles team to a 13-3 record and a first-round-bye with the number two seed in the playoffs.

AFC Award Winners:

OPOY- Tom Brady (4,395 yards, 38 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions)
DPOY- C.J. Mosley (110 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 4 interceptions, 8 pass deflections, 4 forced fumbles, and 3 fumble recoveries)
OROY- Josh Allen (3,623 yards, 22 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions)
DROY- Tremaine Edmunds (139 tackles, 4 sacks, 5 pass deflections, and a forced fumble)
QB- Tom Brady (4,395 yards, 38 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions)
RB- Leveon Bell (248 carries for 1,466 yards and 10 touchdowns, and 29 catches for 416 yards and 3 touchdowns. Also, Bell signed a 5-year contract with Pittsburgh for $66.6m)
WR- Keenan Allen (85 catches for 1,137 yards and 8 touchdowns)
OL- Rodney Hudson (3 sacks allowed on 1,235 downs played)
DL- Khalil Mack (73 tackles, 16 sacks, 1 pass deflection, 8 forced fumbles, and 3 fumble recoveries. Also, Mack signed a 6-year contract with Oakland for $83.2m)
LB- Dont’a Hightower (82 tackles, 16 sacks, 1 interception, and 3 pass deflections)
DB- Tre’Davious White (84 tackles, 6 interceptions, and 8 pass deflections)
K- Randy Bullock (made 14/16 field goals and 33/33 extra points. Longest field goal made was 56 yards)

NFC Award Winners:

OPOY- Carson Wentz (4,168 yards, 47 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions)
DPOY- Bobby Wagner (149 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 3 interceptions, 9 pass deflections, 9 forced fumbles, and 7 fumble recoveries)
OROY- Saquan Barkley (176 carries for 658 yards and 5 touchdowns, and 37 catches for 483 yards and 3 touchdowns)
DROY- Roquan Smith (125 tackles, 8 sacks, 1 interception, and 5 pass deflections)
QB- Carson Wentz (4,168 yards, 47 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions)
RB- Devonta Freeman (265 carries for 1,461 yards and 15 touchdowns, and 35 catches for 492 yards and a touchdown)
WR- Doug Baldwin (104 catches for 1,440 yards and 15 touchdowns)
OL- Brandon Brooks (3 sacks allowed on 1,200 downs played)
DL- Aaron Donald (62 tackles, 12 sacks, 6 forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries)
LB- Bobby Wagner (149 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 3 interceptions, 9 pass deflections, 9 forced fumbles, and 7 fumble recoveries)DB- Xavier Rhodes (101 tackles, 0.5 sacks, 5 interceptions, 18 pass deflections, and a forced fumble)
K- Matt Bryant (made 20/21 field goals and 57/58 extra points. Longest field goal made was 57 yards)

The Post-Season

Wild Card Round

Jacksonville 42 Cincinnati 3
New Orleans 30 LA Rams 24
New England 27 Pittsburgh 21
NY Giants 23 Green Bay 20

Divisional Round

Baltimore 19 New England 13
Atlanta 24 New Orleans 21
Jacksonville 23 Oakland 3
Philadelphia 27 NY Giants 14

Conference Round

Jacksonville 29 Baltimore 22
Atlanta 42 Philadelphia 17

The Super Bowl

Atlanta 27 Jacksonville 24

That does it for this edition of the Madden simulation of the upcoming NFL season. Time will only tell if the simulation predicted anything correctly. What are your thoughts? Agree? Disagree? Be sure to let us know in the comments!

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