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49ers-Chargers: The World According To Madden

The Madden simulations (used loosely) continue with a look at tomorrow's game against the San Diego Chargers. So far, Madden has taken the 49ers as winners, albeit sometimes in very close matches. The end result isn't always right, and the stats aren't always right, but who cares? This is all for fun and I'm sure that Florida Danny will forgive me for calling them "simulations." Some things turn out pretty close, and it's fun to compare and see if anything can. For the most part, players that are "good" in real life tend to be "good" on Madden. For instance, Frank Gore kicks face in this game and Alex Smith tosses footballs way too high for receivers. It happens.

So basically, the situation is that I pop in Madden NFL 11 for the Xbox 360, turn the game on All-Madden difficulty with something like 8-minute quarters. I be sure to make the roster accurate, and I watch the game - providing commentary to all of you. At some point this year, I'd love to record a full game and provide audio commentary, but that's for the future. For now it's a good ol' text breakdown. 

As far as the rosters go, they are going to be pretty far off. As in, Michael Crabtree will be playing for the 49ers, and the starters will likely play a full half of action. So don't read too much into it (honestly, who would at this point?) and just remember that this is for fun, and nothing more than that!

It's 72 degrees or something along those lines. The camera before the game is showing Phillip Rivers, all kinds of smug getting off his bus, and now Collinsworth is ranting about how Rivers is the guy he's looking at for this game. The Chargers won the kickoff and elected to receive. Joe Nedney kicks off and it is taken from the end zone to the 17 by Sproles, where he is brought down by the first 49er, who happens to be Taylor Mays.

Chargers Opening Drive: From the shotgun, Rivers goes back to pass and is is immediately swarmed on by both Manny Lawson and Parys Haralson, and Lawson gets the sack for a seven yard loss. From the shotgun 2nd and 17, Rivers stands in the pocket, is pressured by Isaac Sopoaga and fires off a pass thirty yards downfield but it's broken up by Nate Clements. 3rd and long, from the shotgun, it's a pass to the right with pressure from Justin Smith, and it's caught out of bounds. It's a three-and-out for the Chargers, and they elect to punt. The 49ers have Ted Ginn back to return. He picks up about five yards and they're at the Chargers' 47-yard line.

49ers Opening Drive After The Punt: From under center, Smith drops back to pass and throws a quick slant over the middle, but it's broken up and almost picked off by a Chargers linebacker. 2nd and 10, from under center in the I-formation, it's a handoff to Frank Gore on the left side, who picks up three yards before being brought down. 3rd and 7 now for the 49ers. Smith takes the snap from the shotgun and looks to have a man downfield, but commits to the play and dumpoffs to Gore on a screen, who only picks up a yard before being brought down. The 49ers elect to punt, and Lee puts it through the back of the end zone.

After The Punt: From under center Rivers hands off to Matthews, who is tackled by Parys Haralson after a gain of two. On the next play it's play action, then over the left side over Shawntae Spencer it's Naanee, who runs down the sideline and picks up the first down and more. It's a 32-yard completion before he's pushed out of bounds.

From the 49ers 46-yard line, it's a handoff to the left side outside, and Matthews picks up six yards before being trampled by several 49ers. On the next play, it's Naanee over the middle for a first down and more.

From the shotgun, It's a completion to Antonio Gates for six yards, over the middle.On the next play, it's to Wilson over the middle yet again - for six yards. 1st and 10 in the red zone. It's a handoff on first down to the left side for two yards. It's a fake and a pass over the middle on second down for six yards to Davis. End of the first quarter.

The next play is yet another play action and a pass to Davis in the flat, who jogs in for a touchdown with nobody around him. With the extra point, the Chargers lead 7-0.

The kickoff is taken by Ginn out of the end-zone to the 16-yard line.

After The Score: From under center, Crabtree goes in motion from the right side, and it's an end-around, he picks up six yards. On second down, it's a handoff to Frank Gore, who breaks three tackles and picks up six yards through the middle of the line.

The next play, on first down, is a pass over the middle to Frank Gore who picks up nine yards bringing up 2nd and inches. It's Gore again after that, and he picks up three yards. 1st and 10 and it's a pitch to Gore, and he picks up two yards with horrible blocking. 2nd and 8 with 3 to go in the half. From the shotgun, it's a handoff to Brian Westbrook and it's very unimaginative. He loses two yards bringing up 3rd and 10. From the shotgun, it's a pass to Ginn, who goes back to make the catch, then turns up field and makes it past the first down marker. It's a 12-yard reception.

From the shotgun on first down, it's a handoff to Westbrook, who has a whole and goes up the middle for another 12 yards. It's the 2-minute warning. 1st and 10, Smith handsoff to Gore on the right side, but he cuts left and picks up nine yards when it looks like he's going to be brought down. 2nd and 1 on the 23-yard line. From under center, Smith drops back, has nobody really open and hits Gore on the left side who turns up and picks up three yards for another 49ers first down.

On the 20-yard line with 1:10 to go, the 49ers are taking their time. Smith lines up under center and it's a hand-off to Westbrook, who picks up three yards. On the next play, it's a carry for Frank Gore again and he picks up a first down and more, carrying to the eight-yard line for a 49ers first and goal. The 49ers burn their second timeout, and it's Smith from the shotgun, who passes into the end-zone but it's broken up. 2nd and goal, from th shotgun, Smith hits Ginn over the middle who gets six yards. 3rd and goal with 30 seconds to go with two yards to pay dirt. It's a handoff to the left and Gore can't get it done. He loses a yard. 4th and goal. They kick a 20-yard field goal as time expires and the 49ers trail with three points to the Chargers' seven.

Halftime: Looks like the 49ers aren't doing much more than running the ball and not being creative. Seems pretty true to life here.

Ted Ginn takes the kickoff to the 19-yard line. I took control of the 49ers to put in backups but the first play will be starters.

First Drive Of The Half: Smith, from under center hands off to Gore, who goes seven yards. On the next play, it's David Carr who lines up under center with Brian Westbrook in the backfield. Carr takes the snap, then tosses it to the right side to Westbrook, who makes one player miss and then is running down the middle of the field. Nobody catches him and he goes 74 yards for the touchdown. With the extra point it's 10-7, 49ers.

For the Brian Westbrook touchdown, you can check out a video here!

After Westbrook Is Awesome: The kickoff goes to the 16-yard line and Billy Volek leads the Chargers onto the field. His first pass is almost intercepted by LB Travis LaBoy. 2nd and 10, Ray McDonald gets to the quarterback and brings him down for a sack. 3rd and 15 for the Chargers. The pass is downfield on the righ side and it's broken up again. 4th and 15 for the Chargers. Ginn takes the punt and gets two yards.

After The Punt: David Carr pitches outside to Westbrook, who gets three yards. From under center, David Carr hits Dominique Zeigler over the middle, who picks up a first down and more before being brought down. On first down, it's an incomplete pass to running back Anthony Dixon, and on second down it's a screen pass to the right side to Dominique Zeigler, who turns upfield and picks up nine yards bringing up 3rd and inches. On third down, Anthony Dixon gets the carry and picks up two yards for a 49ers first down.

On first down, Burnett gets a sack on Carr who goes down for a six yard loss after attempting to tuck and run the football.  Second down, it's a pass to Dixon who picks up three yards, not nearly enough. 3rd and 13 to go, David Carr tosses the ball through the end-zone when not being pressured at all. 4th down and the 49ers go for a 47-yard field goal and miss. 10-7 still.

After Joe Nedney's Calcium Buildup Rears It's Ugly Head: It's Volek from the shotgun and a fake handoff to the fullback, and then an incomplete pass to the half back on the right side with huge pressure from Ricky Jean Francois.  The next play is a run to the left for Ryan Matthews, who picks up nine yards bringing up a 3rd and 1 for the Chargers. On 3rd down, he's pressured fast, and he throws it over the middle but it's incomplete. 4th and 1 and they punt with one second left in the third quarter. The punt bounces into the endzone for a touchback.

After Good Defense: Carr from the shotgun has all the time in the world and hits Josh Morgan on the right side for 14 yards. First down. From the shotgun again, Carr takes the high snap from David Baas and goes to Ginn down the sideline, but he leads him out of bounds bringing up a 2nd and 10. The next play is another pass down the right side, but it's broken up by the defender. 3rd down with 10 to go. Again from the shotgun, Carr takes the snap. Good blitz pickup from Anthony Dixon, but Carr stands there doing nothing. He has receivers but he holds on too long and is sacked hard for an 8-yard loss. The 49ers elect to punt. Sproles takes the ball to the Chargers 41-yard line.

After The Punt: We get a penalty, the 49ers were offsides so it's 1st and 5. On first down, it's Reed over the middle for an 11-yard gain and a Chargers first down. They lose yardage on the next play, a run to the left side, and it's a two yard loss. On second down, it's another run to the left side and they pickup three yards. 3rd and 9 with 3 minutes to go in the game. It's a pass downfield to the left side, but it's incomplete and the Chargers go to punt at 4th and 9. The ball goes out of bounds at exactly the 20 yard line.

After The Other Punt: It's a handoff from the shotgun to Anthony Dixon, who picks up two yards on the left side. We reach the two minute warning. Next is another run, to the left, and it picks up one yard. The Chargers use a timeout. 3rd and 7 for the 49ers. It's another run, for two yards, and the Chargers burn a timeout. The 49ers only take 20 seconds off the clock. Yikes. They punt, and they end up at their own 36-yard line.

Next Drive: It turns out to be all for naught, excuse me just sort of cutting it off here, but there was a single first down for the Chargers, a 16-yard pass to Buster Davis, but after that, nothing, including a failed fourth down conversion, and the 49ers proceeded to run out the clock. The 49ers win this one 14-10

Postgame: It was pretty darn uneventful. David Carr looked bad despite his touchdown. It was so uneventful, I turned it off before it got all the way to the very end so once again, I do not have stats and the information on the video of the touchdown is all screwed up. No, I didn't change the outcome or anything like that - it's a known issue, and I have no problem with the Niners losing on Madden. Still, I'd be mostly played is Westbrook played and showed some stuff like he did in the game.