Madden NFL 13 – WWMD: Week 4

by Yo Snyder

To be honest, I wouldn’t have been surprised if the Broncos were 0-3 at this point. Who could blame them? They’re brutal schedule started off with the Steelers, Falcons and Texans; all tough playoff teams. Add to that the fact that Peyton Manning is still getting used to a new group of receivers, and they’re still getting used to them, and the fact that he’s been away for a year; so some rust and miscues were to be expected. But here we are, Week 4 of the NFL season, the regular refs are back, and interestingly enough, both the Raiders and the Broncos have one win…over the Steelers. Both teams need to step up their game, and the Broncos especially. With Kansas City re-surging behind a strong running game, the Broncos can’t afford to drop too many of these divisional match-ups, especially at home. So what will Peyton Manning do when the Raiders come to town? Here’s what Madden NFL 13 predicts:

Broncos 24, Raiders 23 –

1st Quarter: One of the problems Denver has had recently is getting off to a slow start while digging themselves into a hole. Well, this game wasn’t any different. The very first play of the game, Darren McFadden broke loose for a 65 yard scamper into the end zone, and just like that the Broncos were down 7 to nothing.

Denver then compounded the problem by throwing an interception on their first play of the day. Fortunately for the Broncos, the raiders couldn’t do much with it, and so the two teams traded punts for the rest of the first quarter.

2nd Quarter: Early in the second quarter, Denver finally caught a break as Oakland fumbled the ball inside their own territory. Denver quickly took advantage by getting into the end zone on a 4 yard pass to Thomas. Oakland, however, came out and showed what they were made of with a long, steady drive that ended on a nice little 1 yard toss to Reece for a TD. The Broncos tried to stretch the field to open up some running room on their next series, but instead they Manning threw is second pick of the day. The Denver D stepped up and held the Raiders to just a field goal. With less than a minute left in the half, Manning led the Broncos down the field and with just two minutes left, Denver punched a 32 yard field goal through the uprights to end the half.

3rd Quarter – Denver started with the ball in the second half, and the used most of it for a long, methodical drive that culminated in a 4 yard TD run by Moreno. The Raiders couldn’t get anything going the rest of the quarter, but then, neither could the Broncos.

4th Quarter – Oakland got a crazy fourth quarter started with a good long drive that ended on a 28 yard TD pass, and then after the Broncos were forced to punt on their next possession, the Raiders got close enough for a 33 yard field goal. Time was now very short for Denver, with under two minutes to play. However, this time Manning found away to complete the comeback on a 82 yard pass to Caldwell for a TD.

However, that play happened so quickly that it left plenty of time for Oakland to get into field goal range to win the game. Their drive started off strong, but then they got greedy, and in trying to push the ball down the field on a deep pass, the Broncos intercepted the ball and sealed the win.

Once again Denver was plagued with a soft start, and the offense never really found any rhythm. Manning ended the day with 17 of 30 for 299 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs. McGahee struggled on the ground with 18 carries for just 45 yards, but Moreno contributed another 19 and a TD. Meanwhile Thomas had 6 catches for 85 yards and TD. The Raiders had a solid ground game with McFadden racking up 134 yards on 17 carries and a TD. It was really a pretty sloppy game, over all, with both sides turning over the ball a couple times and offenses that never really got going. In the end, though, it was Denver with the most points on the board. Hopefully the real Manning will have a bit more success come this Sunday.