news\ Sep 27, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Madden 10 predicts winners of NFL playoff games

January 15, 2010

Madden 10 predicts winners of NFL playoff games
By Michael Lafferty

Baltimore uses defense to win the game, but in the other three matchups, it’s all about offense

Games aren’t played on paper. Nothing is certain, which is why the games are physically played. That was not a deterrent, though, in letting Madden 10 (on the PS3) match up the AFC and NFC contenders to see who emerges for the right to play in the divisional championship series.

Now Madden does not have the EA Sports Dynamic DNA function of who’s hot and who is not. While it did update rosters, it does not have a one-click feature to simulated the atmosphere of a playoff game. These were straight head-to-head competitions to see who would do what. Only time will tell if the most “accurate” football sim got it right.

But for now, for entertainment purposes, here is how the games transpired:

NFC playoffs:

Arizona at New Orleans (real game played Saturday)

The overtime heroics of Arizona’s defense carries over into the playoff game with the Saints and neither team’s offense can really get untracked. The half ends with Arizona nursing a 10-7 lead. But what didn’t happen in the first blossoms into second-half fireworks. Kurt Warner goes on a rampage, finding receivers all over the field, with his counterpart – New Orleans’ Drew Brees – doing the same. The Saints appear to take the upper hand when cornerback Jabari Greer picks off a Warner pass and returns it for a touchdown, but – undaunted – Warner picks apart the Saints’ second late and guides Arizona to a last-minute 45-41 win.

Dallas at Minnesota (real game played Sunday)

Dallas uses a combination of Tony Romo’s aerial bombardment, some key running plays and a solid defense to take a 17-3 halftime lead, but Minnesota storms back in the third quarter. The Vikings defensive secondary picks off a Romo pass and Brett Favre catches fire, engineering a pair of drives to knot the game at 17-17. Adrian Peterson gets untracked and Dallas’ defense is given a solid dosage of the Minnesota runningback. Dallas scores late to go up 30-27, but Minnesota’s special teams give the Vikings the edge as the game winds down and Minnesota escapes with a 34-30 victory.

AFC playoffs:

Baltimore at Indianapolis (real game played Saturday)

Baltimore’s offense stalls in the red zone on drives in the first quarter and when the second quarter opens, the Ravens have a 6-0 lead thanks to a pair of field goals. Colts’ QB Peyton Manning directs a pair of scoring drives but Baltimore’s Joe Flacco answers back and at the half the Ravens are on top 20-17 (Indy misses a field goal as time expires that would have tied the game). The third quarter opens with defensive stands and ends with a small scoring spree and a game tied at 27-27. The Colts’ defense struggles to contain Ravens’ Ray Rice in the fourth and the runningback pounds it down the field and into the endzone to give Baltimore the lead. The Raven defense stones Manning’s comeback efforts and Baltimore emerges with the 34-27 win.

New York Jets at San Diego Chargers (real game played Sunday)

Talk about your basic wild game! The defenses from both sides generate take-aways and the offenses convert, but San Diego is just a little more charged up – initially – and leads at the half by two scores. New York’s Mark Sanchez finds his rhythm, though, in the third quarter and the game turns into an aerial showcase as regulation winds down. When the final whistle blows to end the fourth quarter, the game is knotted at 46-all. New York gets the ball first in overtime, but fail to move it very far and wind up punting. The Chargers get decent field position for their possession and Phillip Rivers searches for and finds gaps in the Jets’ secondary. The drive is short, sweet and gives San Diego the 52-46 overtime win.

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