The Madden simulations (used loosely) branch into the regular season as I take a look at the week one matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks. Madden keeps picking the 49ers as winners, as the team came out on top in all of the preseason simulations. Turns out the team won all of those games. Keep in mind, folks, that this is all for fun, and in no way, shape, or form am I really claiming that this "simulation," is actually a simulation at all. It's just a fun look to take before a game. I find that occasionally some things will be pretty on point. Good players generally play good and bad players generally play bad. Of course the stats never come out looking great. But, and here's a "for instance," the 49ers get beat by tight ends over the middle in Madden, which is pretty darn true to life, no?
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.
I've done my best to take our the players who will not be active as per the injury report, but short of cutting them it's hard. They're buried in the depth chart, but if Ahmad Brooks is randomly mixed in, well, I can't do anything about that. Let's get to it, make the jump.
Don't know who won the coin toss, but the 49ers are kicking. Joe Nedney's kick is fielded at the three-yard line and RB Justin Forsett brings it out to the 20-yard line.
Seahawks' First Drive: From the shotgun, Hasselbeck isn't pressured at all, and immediately hits Golden Tate over the middle for a gain of 12 yards. First down, and it's Hasselbeck under center, dumping off to the right to Deion Butler, who breaks a tackle and picks up nine yards on the reception down the sideline. 2nd and 1 to go, from the I-formation, it's a handoff to Justin Forsett and his blocker, Owen Schmitt whiffs on the block. Patrick Willis comes in with a huge hit and forces the fumble! It's recovered by Seattle though, and it's a five-yard loss bringing up third down. From the shotgun, Hasselbeck hits wide receiver Mike Williams, but it only goes for three yards, bringing up a Seahawks 4th down. They punt the ball to Ted Ginn. Jr, who takes the punt at the 14-yard line and takes it ten yards to the 24-yard line.
49ers First Drive: Smith starts out under center and it's a handoff to Gore with no fullback, and it's a four yard gain on the left side. On second down, Smith takes the snap from the shotgun. It's a handoff to Gore on the right side, and he picks up two yards bringing up a 3rd down with 3 to go. From the shotgun, it's another handoff to Gore ... and he picks up about four yards to get the first down.
Again from the shotgun, Smith handles a low snap but has pressure in his face, and he dumps off to WR Michael Crabtree over the middle for two yards. Again from the shotgun, Smith has Vernon Davis motion right, takes another low snap, and fired deep down field for Michael Crabtree, but it was batted away bringing up a 3rd and 8. From under center, Smith drops back, rolls out to his right, stands there and is sacked for an eight-yard loss. 4th and 16 to go, and the 49ers have to punt. The ball is fielded at the 21 and Tate takes it back to the 34-yard line.
After The Horrific Sack Which Might Just Happen: Hasselbeck takes it from under center and it's a toss to Forsett to the right and Willis is through the line - but completely misses him and Forsett picks up nine yards, bringing us to the end of the first quarter.
2nd and 1 for the Seahawks, and it's another run for the Seahawks, and this time he picks up the first down and much more, going for at least ten yards through a big hole in the line. 1st and 10 at the 49ers 45-yard line.
It's another handoff to the right, but this time he's brought down by Patrick Willis for a one-yard loss. Willis tries to yank the ball loose, but can't get it. Hasselbeck drops back to pass and fires over the middle to Deion Branch, but it's incomplete and goes through his hands. This brings up a 3rd down with 11 yards to go. Hasselbeck takes the snap from under center and is pressured immediately by NT Aubrayo Franklin. Hasselbeck is hit and lets the ball fly down the left sideline. It's batted away by CB Shawntae Spencer, bringing up another 4th down. The punt goes through the end-zone for a touchback.
Haha, We Can Hit Your Quarterback Too, Sometimes: The 49ers start at their own 20-yard line. Alex Smith lines up under center in the I formation and Vernon Davis motions out wide. Gore runs up a hole made by Chilo Rachal and Anthony Davis and picks up 11 yards.
On first down, it's play action to Gore, and then Smith tries to go back to him over the middle, but is slightly pressured and he makes a bad throw, bringing up second down. On the next play, Smith throws across his body to Delanie Walker on the left sideline for five yards, but he drags the linebacker another four yards before being brought down. The 49ers are met with a 3rd down with inches to go. Smith lines up under center and it's a run to the left side to Gore. Earl Thomas comes in on the blitz and falls down after witnessing Gore's happy feet. Gore does a little dance, makes a little love, get's down tonight (uh huh uh huh) and picks up the first down and a little more for the 49ers.
For the short, yet impressive gain by Frank Gore, the video is here!
With another first down, the 49ers are nearing the 50-yard line. Smith drops back, and has pressure in his face. He dumps off to Ginn on the right sideline, who is pushed out of bounds after four yards. 2nd and 6, from under center, it's another pass. this one to Vernon Davis, who breaks a tackle, but can't get many yards. He picks up three, bringing up another 3rd down for the Niners. We reach the two-minute warning.
From the shotgun, Smith stands in the pocket, deals with the pressure in his face and tosses it to Frank Gore over the middle, who picks up the first down. Smith hurries up the offense and takes another snap from the shotgun, but it's an incomplete pass on a dumpoff to Gore after he panics. On the next play, Smith has relatively good protection, but for some reason tucks it and runs right into a defensive player for a nine yard loss, fumbling the ball, but the 49ers recovered. Great. 3rd and 19 for the 49ers. The Niners, at the 48-yard line, are now running out the clock. They take the snap with 2 seconds on the play clock, and Smith dumps it off again. For some reason. To Gore, who gets around 12 yards, which of course is not enough. The 49ers line up to punt the ball. After the punt goes out of bounds, the Seahawks start at the 17-yard line.
With Seven Seconds To Go (I'm Crying): The Hawks line up in the I-Formation, run it, and Haralson makes the tackle for a loss. The first half comes to an end.
HALFTIME: Uhhh, this is lame. Both teams have around 20-something yards in rushing and around 25-something yards in passing. Yeah, great start, this one. Madden doesn't have half time shows, but in my head the half time show consists of the 49ers Gold Rush cheerleaders and whatever stupid bird pun-named cheerleaders the Seahawks have playing in their own 11-on-11 football. In my head, the Gold Rush are up 21-0 by the time the 15-minute halftime show is over, but I think we all know that everyone in that stadium won. I imagine the 49ers were getting a much different half time show in the locker room, but it did also include partial nudity. Singletary needed to illustrate another point and didn't have a whiteboard handy.
After The Locker Room Mental Scarring: Ted Ginn is back to return the kick and takes it from the one. He gets to the 20-yard line, again. Smith comes out there and lines up under center, singleback formation, It's a hand off to Frank Gore, who runs up the middle and picks up the first down and more, making two players miss. It's a sixteen-yard run for a 49ers first down.
From the I-Formation and Moran Norris on the field, it's another run to the right, and Gore picks up four yards, making two players regret running into him by giving them a death choke with his rather large thighs. The next play is from the gun and Ted Ginn runs a curl route over the middle. He turns, is open, Smith fires, but Ginn drops it as he's hit hard from behind. Ginn could be seen attempting to avoid contact with the player, the ball, the ground, and also the inside of his pads to his skin. 3rd and 6 for the 49ers.From the shotgun, it's a run to the left side for Gore. With no blocking. Singleback. Gore loses a yard and Jimmy Raye kills himself. The 49ers bring out the punting unit on fourth down. It's fielded at the eight by Tate, and he makes several players miss and gets good blocking and makes it out to the 31-yard line.
I Hate This Game: It's a nine yard run from Forsett, who is horribly overrated in this game in the trucking department, as he absolutely lays out Manny Lawson. 2nd and 1, and the Seahawks are showing run again. They don't run, of course, and it's a bass to Baker on the flat. It's a seven yard gain, because the 49ers suck. First down for the Seahawks.
It's a run that gains nothing on first down. 2nd and 11, it's another run on second down, and Willis gets through the line and forces a fumble on Forsett. Aubrayo Franklin goes all limp-leg and falls on top of the ball, with it seemingly wedged in his massive gut, he gets up, runs one yard, and falls down with exhaustion. The 49ers get the ball on the fumble recovery.
Fat Guy With A Little Ball: From the shotgun, Smith hands off to Gore, who runs through the middle of the line and picks up seven yards. 2nd and 3 to go, Smith hands off again to the left side, behind Norris, Gore gets the three yards and not much else. Still, it's a 49ers first down with a minute and a half to go in the third quarter.
The next play is an end-around run to Josh Morgan, who turns up the middle of the line and picks up five yards. The 49ers are now on the Seahawks 24-yard line.
Smith, from under center in I-Formation, hands off to Gore again, who breaks a tackle and picks up the first down and more, getting nine yards. Cris Collinsworth rants on about Gore and his ability to fit things into holes, at times getting every inch he can into that hole, even when there are no holes. Hm ...
The 3rd quarter comes to an end and the game is tied at 0-0. The 49ers have 91 tota yards with 7 first downs. They have two times the time of possession as the Seahawks do.
4th Quarter, Suckas: The 49ers begin the quarter with a first down in the red zone. It's from the shotgun, and it's a handoff to HB Brian Westbrook, who doesn't get much blocking, but gets three yards to his credit. 2nd and 7 to go, the 49ers, from the 11-yard line, handoff to Westbrook again from the I-Formation, and he picks up five yards. 3rd and 2 now, with seven to go for a score. The 49ers pitch it left to Westbrook, who is asked to do too much on the play, breaking two tackles. He picks up one yard, and the 49ers are left with 4th and 1 on the 6-yard line. The team lines up to kick the field goal. It's good, and the 49ers lead the game 3-0. Nedney kicks off, and Forsett takes it from the end zone to the 15-yard line before he's brought down by S Taylor Mays.
What, Punk? You Think You Can Get Three Points? COME AT ME!: The Seahawks line up with four wide, and Mike Williams is hit immediately for a 15-yard gain on the right side. My boldness before the first sentence looks a little silly now. Willis brings Williams down on the play. First and 10 on their own 43-yard line for the Seahawks.
They line up in I-Formation, and it's a pitch left to Forsett, who picks up four yards before being brought down by Michael Lewis. 2nd and 6 to go. Under center, Hasselbeck throws an incomplete pass into the back of LB Manny Lawson. 3rd and 6 for the Seahawks. They go shotgun, and it's an underneath pass to Deion Butler, who picks up five yards bringing up a Seahawks 4th down and one. The Seahawks are going for it and are showing run. They run it, and Forsett smashes into the line. He battles hard, and breaks a tackle from Patrick Willis.
Only he thought he was being tackled. In reality, Patrick Willis was stripping the football. As Forsett watched the ball fall from his hands, he turned to look at Willis, who nodded at him in a "That's right, I'ma ride yo [site decorum] the rest of your career ... by the way, did you want some candy?" kind of way. The ball drops, and Michael Lewis dives onto it before another bunch of Seahawks players pile on. It's a fight for the fumble, and it's brutal. I see kicking and scratching. Pete Carroll is shouting to have some eye-gouging happen. I'm pretty sure I heard a few "Yo momma," jokes, but in the end, Michael Lewis came away with the fumble recovery.
After Patrick Willis Is Justin Forsett's Daddy: With 2:34 left to go in the game, it's a run to the left side by Frank Gore, and he picks up two yards. The 49ers take their precious time in the huddle, and the clock winds down to the two minute warning.
From the shotgun, it's a draw play to Frank Gore, and the Seahawks take a timeout after Gore picks up another two yards. 3rd and 6 for the 49ers. It's another handoff, for four yards, and it's not enough. The Seahawks take another timeout and the 49ers bring out the punting unit. 1:52 remains on the clock and I'm a little nervous. Lee puts the ball through the end-zone to negate Golden Tate.
Colinsworth Is Talking About Comebacks, So I Muted Him: From under center, Hasselbeck is not pressured much at all, and fired deep downfield. Shawntae Spencer gets in front of it, but the ball bounces out of his hands in what would have been an easy pick in real life. 2nd and 10 for the Seahawks. Hasselbeck handles the low snap, and is hit by Isaac Sopoaga, but he manages to get the pass off beforehand and it lands on the ground without issue. 3rd and 10 with 1:30 left in the game. From the shotgun, Hasselback gets the ball, and is immediately pressured by S Reggie Smith, who gets the big hit on Hasselbeck. As he's falling, he throws to an open Mike Williams, but it's too low and Williams falls to the ground, unable to handle it.
4th down and 10 to go, with a minute and twenty-six seconds left in the game. Matt Hasselbeck once again takes the snap from the shotgun. He's pressured from the right by Justin Smith, and Hasselbeck throws it desperately to the right side. It is tipped out of bounds. Turnover on downs with 1:21 to go in the game.
Please Run Out Some Clock: Seattle burns their last timeout on a 49ers run that goes nowhere. 2nd and 10. The 49ers line up in the victory formation and take a kneel. Then they run it for some reason, picking up 11 yards. Awesome. 4th down with inches to go. The clock is going to wind down ... but the 49ers decided to kick a field goal. With three seconds left on the clock, Nedney boots a 27-yard field goal while motioning provocatively towards the Seahawks mascot and illustrating the terrible things he plans on doing to him later, and the 49ers win this game 6-0.
The Old Spice Swagger Player of the Game is S Michael Lewis, who was in on three tackles, one tackle for loss, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.
Final Score - San Francisco 49ers 6, Seattle Seahawks 0
|0 (+2)||Turnovers||2 (-2)|
|3-9 (33%)||3rd Down Conv.||0-4 (0%)|
QB Alex Smith 6/10 37 YDS 60%
QB Matt Hasselbeck 6/13 64 YDS 46%
HB Frank Gore 16 carries, 83 YDS, 5.1 AVG
HB Justin Forsett 10 carries, 28 YDS, 2.8 AVG
WR Mike Williams 2 REC, 31 YDS
HB Frank Gore 2 REC, 18 YDS
LB Lofa Tatupu 6 SOLO, 1 AST,
DT Brandon Mebane 3 SOLO, 2 SACK
LB Patrick Willis 3 SOLO, 3 TFL, 1 FF
SS Michael Lewis 2 SOLO, 1 TFL, 1 FF, 1 FR