Both of this weekend’s NFL conference title games really could go either way. That being the case, we decided to simulate both matchups on the Madden 17 video game.
The results were interesting.
Let’s start on the AFC side. The Pittsburgh Steelers will head to Foxboro and take on the New England Patriots on Sunday. All signs point to the game being shootout, and Madden 17 predicted exactly that with a final score of 44-31 in New England’s favor.
(Apologies for the kind of blurry photos)
The Patriots advancing to the Super Bowl wouldn’t be shocking news, but the manner in which Madden 17 sees it happening definitely is eye-opening. The simulation has the Pats putting 44 points on the board with just one touchdown pass from their Hall-of-Fame QB.
Ben Roethlisberger: 103.4, 21-34, 259 YDS, 4 TD, 1 INT
Tom Brady: 106.1, 22-30, 229 YDS, 1 TD, 0 INT
So how did they pull it off? Well, the running game simply couldn’t be stopped. Dion Lewis and LeGarrete Blount combined for huge performances. Even Tom Brady managed to get in the end zone with his legs.
Dion Lewis: 19 rushes, 72 YDS, 1 TD
LeGarrette Blount: 19 rushes, 100 YDS, 2 TD
LeVeon Bell: 16 rushes, 98 YDS, 0 TD
The Patriots’ success running the ball was the story of this game, so there isn’t anything too crazy about their wideouts’ stats. Chris Hogan had the most receiving yards while Julian Edelman caught the only Tom Brady TD pass of the game.
As for the Steelers, their tight end Ladarius Green had a huge game. It’s worth noting Green is dealing with a concussion in real life and is doubtful to play Sunday against the Patriots. Antonio Brown had himself a night as well.
Martellus Bennett: 6 receptions, 44 yards
Chris Hogan: 6 receptions, 68 yards
Malcolm Mitchell: 6 receptions, 60 yards
Ladarius Green: 6 receptions, 88 yards, 2 TD
Antonio Brown: 5 receptions, 74 yards, 2 TD
Julian Edelman: 4 receptions, 57 yards, 1 TD
With that, let’s see which team Madden 17 has New England taking on in Super Bowl LI.
There wasn’t much defense to speak of on the NFC side either. This one came down to the wire, though, as it took an overtime to decide the victor. The Atlanta Falcons came out on top 41-38 vs. the Green Bay Packers.
Perhaps the most unrealistic part of this entire simulation is in the photo below. Aaron Rodgers threw for a whopping 516 yards (with 67 pass attempts!) and still managed to lose. Matt Ryan- like Tom Brady in the Pats-Steelers simulation- advanced to the Super Bowl with just one touchdown pass.
Aaron Rodgers: 46-67, 516 YDS, 3 TD, 2 INT
Matt Ryan: 22-32, 266 YDS, 1 TD, 0 INT
Last week against the Seattle Seahawks, Tevin Coleman shined for the Falcons. This time, it was Devonta Freeman in the spotlight with 130 yards and two touchdowns. This simulation had James Starks as the starting back for Green Bay, but it will actually be Ty Mongomery on Sunday as Starks will continue to sit out due to injury. Let’s just pretend Montgomery is Starks in this sim.
Devonta Freeman: 29 rushes, 130 YDS, 2 TD
James Starks: 22 rushes, 79 YDS, 1 TD
Tevin Coleman: 2 rushes, 4 YDS, 1 TD
With Rodgers’ 67 pass attempts, Packers receivers had a field day in the losing effort. Take Davante Adams and his 14 receptions for example. On the other side, Julio Jones was kept in check by his standards with 67 yards and no touchdowns. Still, it wasn’t enough to keep Atlanta from advancing.
Davante Adams: 14 receptions, 109 YDS
Randall Cobb: 12 receptions, 91 YDS, 1 TD
Jordy Nelson: 9 receptions, 98 YDS
Mohamed Sanu Sr.: 7 receptions, 85 YDS
Taylor Gabriel: 6 receptions, 86 YDS, 1 TD
Julio Jones: 5 receptions, 67 YDS
Jared Cook: 3 receptions 37 YDS, 1 TD
So there you have it. Madden 17 predicts it’ll be the New England Patriots vs. the Atlanta Falcons in Houston for Super Bowl LI.
What do you think of the simulation? How do you see these games playing out? Tweet us @TheLedgeSports.