Madden NFL 13 – WWMD: Week 3 [Updated]
Ah, those spunky Broncos. They’re still playing
like it’s 2011 with a defense that keeps the game close and an offense
that tries to close the gap late for the come-from-behind-win. The only
problem is that’s not Peyton Manning’s game. His game is, or at least
used to be, put up points and the let the defense play from ahead. While
that close, come-back win gameplan may have worked for Tebow, it’s just
not Manning’s way. So Denver is still in transition between how it
worked last year and how it will work this year. Eventually the pieces
will fall into place and everything will “click”, and then we’ll see the
Broncos of the future. For now, it’s kind of a mix of old and new, and
here’s how the real game compared to our Madden NFL 13 predictions for what Manning and co. would do against the Texans.
Broncos 25, Texans 31 – At
first, things were looking pretty good. The Broncos started with a
safety and a field goal for an early lead, but then receivers started
finding ways to be behind the defense; a bit earlier in this game than
in our sim, but Johnson was still targeted for a big time pass TD.
Manning was busy trying to close the gap in score late in the game, and
he ended the day 26 of 52 for 330 yards and 2 TDs (and no picks,
although some were close). Interestingly enough, in our sim he went 22
of 34 for 335 yards, 3 TDs and 2 INTs. McGahee ended the game with 36
yards on 12 carries, again, not far off from the 16 carries for 44 yards
from our sim. And we predicted Decker would have a big day, but he
almost doubled the 77 yards we predicted with 136 yards receiving in
the actual game, no TDs though, as we predicted. All in all, Madden 13
did a pretty good job predicting the outcome of this game, right down
to the score which was only a few points off. Up next, the Broncos have
their first divisional game as the Raiders come to town. Will Denver
rebound or continue to struggle with their new identity? Tune in later
this week to find out.
Peyton Manning and the expectations of Broncos fans every where came
crashing down to a more realistic level after last week’s game against
the Falcons. It became apparent that Manning wouldn’t just pick up right
where he left off after a year away and four surgeries, and Broncos
fans were reminded that we may have Peyton Manning now, but we also have
one of the toughest schedules facing some of the league’s best teams to
get through this season. Next up is the Houston Texans coming to the
Mile High City. They made it to the playoffs last year despite some
major setbacks, and this year they feel is a season of destiny for a
team that’s often been right on the verge of being great. What will
Manning do against one of the best defenses in the league that’s hungry
to throw him to the ground? How will Denver’s D match up against a
fairly potent offense? We turn to the crystal ball of Madden NFL 13 to see if we can find that out:
Broncos 24, Texans 27:
Quarter – Like two prize fighters trying to size each other up, both
teams got of to slow starts. The Texans had a steady drive going to
start the first quarter, but it bogged down and they settled for a 41
yard field goal. The Broncos came back with an equally steady first
drive that slowed down, and they too settled for a field goal from 42
yards away. It become apparent after this first quarter that the game
would likely come down to defensive play.
2nd Quarter – Once again
the Texans put together a steady drive, converting third downs and
chewing up clock, but they once again had to settle as the Broncos D
held them to a 28 yard field goal. After a couple of three and outs on
both sides, Denver then steadily and methodically took the rest of the
quarter and finally punched it to the end zone on a 3 yard pass to
Dreessen. And so the half ended.
3rd Quarter – The Broncos got the
ball to start the second half, giving them a great chance to extend
their lead, unfortunately, Manning attempted a dangerous pass on an out
route, the route was jumped, and the Texans intercepted the ball and
returned it 43 yards for a TD. The Broncos couldn’t get anything going
on their ensuing possession, but fortunately the defense frustrated
Houston’s offense, and so the teams traded punts the rest of the
4th Quarter – As has often happened in our Madden sims
(and I don’t quite know why), the Texans finally shook things loose
early in the final quarter as Johnson got free for a71 yard TD pass.
the pressure on, the Broncos drove down into the red zone, but in
attempting to squeeze it in to the end zone, Manning was intercepted
again. Fortunately, the Texans gave the ball right back on an
interception of their own, and the next thing you know Manning finds
Tammee in the end zone on a 8 yard pass. Now, Denver just needs the ball
back, but they can’t recover the onsides kick. Still, the just need to
hold the Texans, but unfortunately, Foster, who had been kept in check
most of the game, breaks loose on a 48 yard scamper to the end zone.
Manning, however, comes right back and connects with Decker on 54 yard
pass for a TD.
Sadly, the Broncos still couldn’t recover the
onsides kick, and with no more time left, there was nothing more Manning
and the Broncos could do.
Manning ended a disappointing day 22
of 34 for 335 yards, 3 TDs and 2 costly INTs. Foster was kept in check
most of the game, but still ended with 17 carries for 87 yards and 1 TD.
McGahee had 16 carries for 44 yards, but never found the end zone.
Meanwhile, Dreessen and Decker had the bulk of the receiving work,
getting 5 catches and 3 catches respectively for 78 yards and 77 yards a
TD each. So in the end, the Texans defense that made the plays which
really made the difference. It’s going to be a tough test for Manning
and the Broncos, hopefully they can rise to the occasion.