Madden 13 – Playoff Predictions: AFC Divisional Round

by Yo Snyder

And so the next round of the NFL playoffs are here. We get
to see some interesting rematches this weekend, including one between Houston
and New England. We also get to see Peyton Manning back in the playoffs, but
the question is can he lead the Broncos to their next Super Bowl? We’ll find
out for sure this weekend, but here’s what Madden NFL 13 thinks is going to


Broncos 30, Ravens 6:

Now, if I were to tell you that this game was pretty much a
defensive struggle, that might sound a little weird. After, Denver hasn’t had a
really good defense in awhile…but they do now. So both defenses are going to
make it tough, meaning it will be up to the quarterback to find the plays
needed to win this game. In that case, who would you want: Manning or Flacco?
That’s what I thought:

The 1st quarter began and saw a whole lot of
nothing happen. Both sides struggled to move the ball, and when the Ravens were
in field goal range, Flacco got sacked and they were forced to punt instead,
but that was pretty much it. The second quarter proved a bit more interesting.
Denver was able to drive down to the goal line and punch it in for TD on a 3
yard Moreno rush. Then, in the final two minutes, the Broncos go close enough
for a 31 yard field goal to give them a comfortable lead. The 3rd quarter
started off in disaster. The Broncos fumbled the ball on their first series and
the Ravens looked like they would take it in for a TD, but the Broncos defense
held and Baltimore settled for a field goal. Neither side got much done after
that, and into the 4th quarter we went. The Ravens finally got
another solid drive going, but once again, the Broncos D denied them access to
the end zone, and so they settled for a 28 yard field goal. It was at this
point that Manning decided to finish things. A solid Broncos drive ended with a
beautiful pass to Thomas for a 39 yard TD.

The Broncos followed that up on their next drive with a 38
yard field goal, and then the next time they had the ball after a Flacco INT they
got a 36 yard field goal. The Broncos D manhandled Flacco, Rice and the Ravens
offense, and just inside the two minute warning, Manning and the offense sealed
the deal with a 15 yard TD pass to Stokely.

Manning finished the day 18 of 28 for 276 yards and 2 TDs.
Flacco, meanwhile, struggled against that mighty Denver defense, going 9 of 15
for just 85 yards and 1 INT. Moreno grounded out 73 tough yards on the ground
and had a TD, while Rice got 68 yards, but was denied the end zone. Dreessen
and Thomas were the top receivers of the day, with Dreessen getting 109 yards
and Thomas getting 65 and a TD. So, will Ray Lewis’ career end in Denver? Looks
like that depends on if the Denver D can contain the Ravens’ offense and if
Manning can find those plays against a tough Ravens defense.


Patriots 49, Texans

These two teams met earlier in the season when it seemed a
sure thing that the Texans would get the number one seed in the AFC. Well, that
didn’t really work out, and they showed just how vulnerable they were when the
Patriots whupped up on them. I’m sure they’d like a different result this time,
but according to Madden 13, that probably isn’t going to happen.

The 1st quarter of this game was just ugly.
Houston had the ball and threw an interception. New England had the ball and
looked like they might score, and threw an interception. Houston had the ball
and threw an interception. Both sides struggled mightily to get anything going.
However, Brady got the Patriots settled in the 2nd quarter, and
finally put together a solid drive that ended with a 4 yard TD pass to
Gronkowski. Houston was ready to strike back, but Schaub threw another
interception, and this time it was returned 14 yards for a TD by Arrington. The
Texans had to punt on their next drive, and Brady moved them down the field for
another TD on a 15 yard pass to Slater. The Texans ended a half that was
starting to look familiar with a deep pass that was, you guessed it,
intercepted. The Patriots got the ball to start the 3rd quarter and
didn’t waste any time. Brady connected with Welker on a 72 yard pass for a TD.


The Texans continued to struggle on offense, but caught a
break on the next Patriots possession when Brady got intercepted off a tipped
ball. However, that didn’t produce any points for the Texans and so their
struggles continued into the 4th quarter. The Patriots took up a lot
of time on their next drive, which ended with a 1 yard TD rush by Woodhead, and
after the 5th Schaub interception was thrown, the Patriots ended
another drive with a TD on a 8 yard rush by Woodhead. Then, suddenly, the
Texans turned it on. They got a TD on a 23 yard pass to Foster, shut down the
Patriots 3-and-out, got a 34 yard TD pass to Walter, forced another quick
3-and-out, and in the final minute of the game, got a 41 yard field goal. But
then their day ended the same way it started, on the ensuing kickoff, Woodhead
returned the ball 93 yards for a final, insulting TD.

Brady ended the day 16 of 29 for 313 yards 3 TDs and 2 INTs,
while Schaub had a dismal day with 18 of 33 for 244 yards 3 TDs and 5 INTs. Ridley
carried the ball 16 times for 66 yards for the Patriots, while Woodhead had 11
carries for 49 yards and 2 TDs. He also had a TD on that 93 yard kick return.
Foster was a non-factor on the ground, just 20 yards, but got 140 yards
receiving off of several screen passes. Gronkowski had a 109 yards and Welker
ended with 118 and a TD. So, it was pretty much the same story for the Texans
there in Foxboro, and if that’s the case, and if our other AFC sim is accurate,
that may mean another Brady/Manning match-up for the AFC championship; a game
that could be better than the Super Bowl.