Madden NFL 13 – WWMD: Week 8

by Yo Snyder

After coming off a huge come-from-behind win and their bye week, are
the Broncos ready for the resurgent Saints? Perhaps a more important
question; will this likely final match-up between two of the all-time
great quarterbacks be all that we hope it will be? This was a game I
wanted to go see in person (but couldn’t afford to do so) because of the
very fact it may be the last time these two legends meet. Who will come
out on top? Brees or Manning. Well, to be honest, I found the way
things unfolded in our Madden NFL 13 sim to rather surprising. It wasn’t
quite the shoot-out I thought it might be. In fact, it was a far
sloppier and more mistake prone game than I was expecting. In the end,
however, Manning was able to come out on top in this final battle with
Drew Brees.

Broncos 28, Saints 10 – 

Quarter: The Saints got things started rather quickly by marching
straight down the field on their first possession. However, a timely
sack put their drive to an end and made their field goal attempt a bit
tougher, and then a false start penalty pushed them back even further.
Nevertheless, they able to hit the 52 yarder in that mile-high air to
take the early lead. The Broncos came out and looked like they’d respond
in kind, but unfortunately, just as they go into the red zone, Manning
got picked. However, the Broncos D was able to force a fumble on the
very next play.

2nd Quarter: It took the rest of the first and the
first few moments of second for Denver to turn the New Orleans turnover
into a TD with a 1 yard scamper by McGahee on fourth down. It was after
this that things started to go badly for New Orleans. On their next
series, Brees got things started well enough, but inside the red zone he
was intercepted. The Broncos took it all the way back and scored on a
12 yard pass to Stokely, who had a really big day. The Saint came
marching out for the next possession, but quickly marched off the field
once again after another ball from Brees was picked off. Again, Denver
was able to turn that into points with a 23 yard screen pass to McGahee
for a TD.

Now the Saints were getting desperate, and on a deep
throw to try and get into position to score before the end of the half,
Denver intercepted Brees for the third time in the quarter. With a
minute left, Manning engineered a brilliant drive that looked sure to
score, but Decker fumbled on a 20 yard pass that took him inside the 10
yard line, and that was it for the first half.

3rd Quarter: The
Broncos started with ball in the third, and the took their time, driving
down the field on a long, time-consuming drive that eventually ended
with a 9 yard rushing TD by Moreno on a 4th and inches play.

The Saints
looked like they had settled down a bit as they tried to drive back down
the field, but again their drive ended with a Denver pick.

Quarter: The Broncos were now just killing time, but as they drove
steadily down the field, Manning tried to force one throw too many to
keep the first downs going, and the Saints got their second INT of the
game. With what little time there was left, the Saints drove down the
field and finally Brees connected wtih Henderson for a garbage-time 39
yard TD.

All in all, it was a rough day for Brees and a stellar
one for the Denver D. Along with their four picks and one forced fumble,
they also had two sacks and several knock-downs on Brees. He was under
pressure the entire game. Brees ended 16 of 27 for 196 yards, 1 TD and 4
INTs. I know, not very likely, but then neither was Denver coming back
from 24-0. Manning had a pretty good day overall despite the two ugly
picks. He ended the day 21 of 25 for 332 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INTs. The
Broncos also found room to run, with McGahee getting 67 yards and a TD
on the ground, and Moreno contributing another twenty and a TD of his
own. Stokely was Manning’s go-to target for most of the game with 7
catches for 92 yards and a TD. Dreessen was also a big help in the pass
game with 4 catches for 97 yards. The Broncos offense was clicking, and
really, if it weren’t for the fumble by Decker and two bad throws by
Manning, the score could have been much higher. Whether or not the
Denver D will have this kind of stellar performance Sunday night and
whether or not Manning has this kind of excellent day remains to be
seen. We’ll know one or way or another come Monday, so come back and see
how the real outcome compares with our Madden 13 predictions.