March Madness, NFL Style: Madden Edition

Mbw987’s series using the science of bracetology to replace the playoffs for the 2012 NFL season is in its final stages with the winner of a Superbowl between the New England Patriots and our Houston Texans being determined by voters right now. Based on team’s regular season performance he has assigned each one a seed in one of four regions. I thought it was a nifty concept but simply picking the winners based on popular vote, while good for making brackets, means that there will be very few if any surprise upsets, which is half the fun of March Madness. No one picks FGCU to beat Georgetown, but we all benefit from rooting for the little guy once it happens. Therefore I have decided to simulate Mbw987’s bracket using CPU on CPU Madden 13. These were all done with the latest roster download (which overrates the Ravens imo) and using setting for CPU and penalties gotten from googling realistic Madden simulation and were played in full in spectate mode. One of the features that I didn't replicate is the use of neutral fields for the simulations as I don’t think Madden is capable of that. In lieu of that the highest ranked team was assigned as the home team.

So without further ado here are the results for the first round of the 2012 NFL bracket along with the predictions for the games:

South Region

1. Atlanta Falcons (96.4%) 29

8. Kansas City Chiefs (3.6%) 17

This game wasn't even close, even with Atlanta’s inability to make touchdowns inside the redzone. The Chiefs score is artificially high due to a garbage time 80 yard touchdown running play

4. Pittsburgh Steelers (37.3%) 23

5. New Orleans Saints (62.7%) 20

The Saints had the lead for most of the game and it looked like they would win it. However the Steelers score a touchdown with less than a minute left to tie it, and then won the game in overtime with a field goal.

3. Cincinnati Bengals (78.3%) 14

6. Carolina Panthers (21.7%) 26

In our first real upset, Carolina jumped up to an early lead and never looked back. The Bengals could never get anything started and just turned the ball over too often.

2. Washington Redskins (82.9%) 18

7. Detroit Lions (17.1%) 12

This was a very boring game and I literally fell asleep half way through. Neither team actually made it into the end-zone but the Redskins made it closer more often.

West Region

1. New England Patriots (98.8%) 27

8. Jacksonville Jaguars (1.2%) 9

The Jaguars actually made a decent showing in this game, leading 9 to 6 in the first half. Then both teams realized who was playing and Brady stopped throwing ints in the end-zone for a Patriots victory.

4. Dallas Cowboys (48.2%) 36

5. St. Louis Rams (51.8%) 7

This was a very ugly game for the Rams as they were down 23 to 0 at the half and should have been by more due to a pick six being called back due to pass interference. Their first and only points didn't come until 9:04 in the fourth.

3. Minnesota Vikings (84.0%) 19

6. San Diego Chargers (16.0%) 6

This game can be summed up in two words; lol Rivers.

2. Baltimore Ravens (95.1%) 19

7. Cleveland Browns (4.9%) 11

The Browns couldn't recover from an early deficit even with a last minute rally involving a successful 2pt conversion.

North Region

1. Denver Broncos (100%) 30

8. Oakland Raiders (0%) 27

In a game that was much closer than anyone would have thought the Raiders made a late push in the 4th helped by two turnovers from the Broncos but couldn't quite beat Manning and company.

4. New York Giants (73.2%) 31

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (26.8%) 13

Giants hopped to a lead late in the first by following a touchdown with another off of a forced fumble on the kickoff and then never looked back.

3. Indianapolis Colts (95.45%) 13

6. New York Jets (4.55%) 16

It looked like the Colts would make a comeback after going down by 10 with 4:26 left in the 4th when they scored a quick touchdown and intercepted Sanchez on the Jets next drive, but they were unable to move the ball in range of even a field goal.

2. Houston Texans (100%) 41

7. Buffalo Bills (0%) 10

Wow just wow, I swear I didn't mess with the player stats. First play of the game is a kickoff returned for a touchdown. The Texans offence and defense were just generally dominant including a pick six with 52 seconds left in the 2nd by Quinn. Texans just coasted in the second half for an easy win.

East Region

1. San Francisco 49ers (100%) 20

8. Philadelphia Eagles (0%) 6

The 49ers were in control the entire game. After a couple of touchdowns early in the game the Eagles never had much of a chance.

4. Chicago Bears (70.15%) 34

5. Miami Dolphins (29.85%) 21

This game was an interception contest and the Dolphins won. There were a combined total of 10 interceptions in this game which is pretty crazy considering I haven’t seen more than 4 in any of the previous games.

3. Seattle Seahawks (95.59%) 17

6. Tennessee Titans (4.4%) 20

Another upset and this time it the Titans with a last minute go ahead touchdown to steal the game from the Seahawks. I thought about redoing this game because a) I think the Seahawks should win and b) its the god damn BESFs but then I thought what is the point of doing a sim if you don't let surprises (even unpleasant ones) happen

2. Green Bay Packers (100%) 34

7. Arizona Cardinals (0%) 13

This looked like in might be a big upset though three quarters but then the Cardinals completely fell apart in the 4th allowing Green Bay to score 21 unanswered.

In summary, here is what the 2012 NFL season January Madness tournament looks like:



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