I told myself if this difficulty mode in Madden continued with me having little trouble, two things were apparent: A: the rubber band mechanic that I have grown to hate in this game has been toned down and B: a different difficulty would need to be enforced. Why? Fooch has me doing these at the cost of my sanity. It's not enjoyable unless I get to watch Madden's broken mechanics manifest before my very eyes.
Booting up franchise though, I realized we had the Ravens. While in real life they aren't very good, this franchise was started at the beginning of the season, meaning they aren't NEAR as atrocious (I'm not sure of the exact difference, but I think they couldn't be as bad as they have coming out of the gate). I also noticed something else:
Joe Flacco was out for six weeks with a dislocated hip.
Given the way the game has almost given up against me, I figured this was another attempt. But then I felt sympathy, I felt remorse for the poor A.I. programmed into Franchise mode. It couldn't be this easy could it? Then I checked who their starter was in Joe Flacco's absence: Matt Schaub. As in, benched for Case Keenum and a record setting pick sixes thrown (thank to Tramaine Brock). That Matt Schaub. If this were ever close to real life, it's blatantly obvious the Ravens can't pass at all in this game. Not with Matt Schaub behind center. Basically they can't pass period.
Therefore, neither will I.
For this game the 49ers can only run the ball. This includes extra points and punts as well. If it's not a run play, I can't do it. This probably means lots of banging my head against the wall. This means I'm going to fail an awful lot. This means, this is not going to be easy. Let's do this!
The Ravens received and using logic, I forced a 3 and out. From there I used my newly revised Jimmy Raye playbook to take the ball downfield with Carlos Hyde. Three 4th down conversions and around 80 yards later, I rushed Hyde in for the first score, and again for a two point conversion. With my quarters, it left only 1:30 on the clock.
And Matt Schaub curiously nailed Jimmy Smith on a dime from his next offensive play to put the score at 7-8.
Remember when I said Madden was getting fair?
Time was out at that point and the half ended. I was unsuccessful taking the ball back down and turned it over on the 50 yard line. From there Schaub...passed. Like, 80 percent of the time. And he hit everything. It wasn't long until Forsett caught a ball in the endzone along with running it in for a two point conversion.
With 10 minutes of a game left, I stormed down the field and on my last play in regulation, put Colin Kaepernick into a pass fake and ran it in (yes, those are legal). Unfortunately, my next play resulted in Baltimore stopping Bruce Miller from toting the ball in, this wasted 24 minutes of my life that I would never get back again.This is why I typically reset early.
This is where things got interesting. After receiving, Matt Schaub again started airing the ball out (WHY?!). I was able to get the defense to show up and force a field goal.
This were the only points Baltimore would score.
From there I again did a long drive that took the entire half. Three converted 4th downs later, I had Hyde running in for a score and a successful two point conversion.
At the start of the half, I again started doing more run, run, run...and that third run basically was it. Why? Because Hyde ran for about 70 yards for a touchdown (READ: Awesome).
Baltimore again gave the ball back and I chipped away with rushing averages of 8 yards per play. My final touchdown concluded with a short burst by Jarryd Hayne. 24-3. Make matters more sweet, the commentary talked about how Hyde was closing in on the single game rushing record. Ugh.
Final Score: 24-3
The Ravens, really, really, really suck against the run. Well, if we're talking Madden terms. Carlos Hyde finished with 267 yards rushing...which is pretty funny. Even in my losing attempt, I was chipping off five or six yards more often than not. Other than that, I think this game was a gimmie for me, since I was up against Matt Schaub of all people. There's not much more to say other than playing these games with handicaps is kinda fun. I'll probably ramp the difficulty up next week, but if you have a funny handicap I should slap myself with when I play Seattle next week, list it below and I'll find something.
Let's see how the Ravens do in our simulation later today.