The Seattle Seahawks are rated 90. The San Francisco 49ers are rated 81. This means that to beat Madden 16, I actually will have to hope for Madden 16 to glitch. You see, Madden games don't like it when a lower ranked team wins. We somehow broke the game in Arizona, and we did minimal tries in Green Bay (including a reset after Sharice Wright picked off Aaron Rodgers. No way I'm gonna win like that). Already though, I just think this is going to give me problems.
But that's not the half of it. Due to the fact it took me only a couple attempts to beat Green Bay and New York, I've decided that I don't suck as much at this game as initially thought. Therefore, we've upped the difficulty one slot. This brings a whole new mess of problems, mostly that the computer simply isn't going to let me win easily. I'm also invoking another handicap this week. Why? Because this is the Seahawks and I love doing what I shouldn't do.
Running is not allowed. All plays must be a pass play.
I know what you're thinking: "Doesn't Seattle have a good secondary?" Yes, and I also have too much of my sanity left. So, difficulty is raised, and no plays other than pass plays may be called, with the exception of punts and field goals.And before you say the secondary has had issues now, this was made at the beginning of the season, before any adjustments could be made.
God, help me.
The Niners deferred and quickly got a punt in their favor. I expected the Seahawks to ram it down my throat, instead, the Niners themselves were more accurate to real life than I ever saw in a football sim. For instance, a pass where I clearly choose the deep route to Anquan Boldin, was intercepted halfway en route by none other than Vernon Davis. Boldin was wide open, Davis was not as much. Why the AI decided to do this makes perfect sense given the Rams game I saw last year.
Shockingly enough, I was able to move the ball down field and score a touchdown. Granted, I had to run a deep flood out of shotgun a few dozen times to make up for all the sacks Kaepernick was taking, but I felt good.
Unfortunately, the game wasn't going to let this be easy. While I managed to get Marshawn Lynch to fumble the ball a few plays later, Kaepernick somehow threw an interception on 2nd and 10 to none other than Richard Sherman. What's weird is how this is an interception. Take a look:
Hey, I'm no expert, but that ball curiously looks like it's in the ground. First, kudos to E.A. for letting the Hawks get away with bad calls, but also for having that excellent graphical touch. Hearing how the commentary says the ball sailed right into his hands only seals the deal.
So yeah. The Hawks tied the score up. On the next possession, I again managed to throw the ball downfield with a few lucky catches to come away with another TD. By the time the 3rd quarter rolled around, I figured I had this (problem, I still have to throw, I can't run or kneel). I felt oh, so great when Dontae Johnson intercepted Russell Wilson. I felt oh, so angry once Kaepernick chucked a pick six the following series. Funny how not only the Seahawk defender magically gets in front of my receiver, but my receiver does NOTHING to tackle him. Great job, A.I.
Now, in the 4th quarter, I managed to kick a field goal. This game was all but over in the last 3 minutes except for two problems: I couldn't run the clock out conventionally (running is not allowed) and the game did its usual Madden sabotauge. Let me explain, in the final 3 minutes the following happened, in order:
False start, offense
Kaepernick took a sack, was injured and taken off the field. I later found this was a "Severe" injury and decided to leave Blaine Gabbert in.
Blaine Gabbert threw a phantom pick. Phantom because the guy was open and somehow the computer just made a nice leaping dive that ended with them running down the field. Once tackled, it was only a matter of time before Russell Wilson hit every thing that either was in quad-coverage or just wide open.
Now yes, I'm well aware if I ran the ball like a normal guy I would have won. But dammit, if you're gonna beat the Seahawks, you're gonna do it right--by torching the secondary and punching them right in the stomach.The worst part was this was 25 minutes of my life wasted that I'll never have back again.
This was a lot shorter. After receiving, Seattle proceeded to use Marshawn Lynch to not only break EVERY solo tackle (this is not an overstatement), they also used him to juke around the line and take off around the sides. My wonderful A.I. didn't even notice he was going a different direction. This led to a Seattle touch down.
The following series, I wound up going 3 and out and punting away. Once with the ball back, Russell Wilson completed a deep pass to Jimmy Graham...but he caught it out of bounds. While I managed to win the challenge (that's something even more tough than the original Battletoads). The game never moved the ball back to the Seattle 30 yard line. I guess the game expects you to never win a challenge, and in the rare instances you do--well it never was programmed to move the ball back.
The Seahawks, obviously scored again. I reset. Which leads us to:
I learned one thing in my 3rd attempt against Seattle: running an I-formation and a tight end option is absolute kryptonite for the Seattle secondary. I don't know how many times I nailed Vernon Davis of all people for a 20 yard gain, and got myself a few touch downs. Sure Kaepernick was crap and the Madden rubber band tried to sabotauge me with 3 picks, but I'd say Vernon was pretty awesome for once. Anquan Boldin caught everything else. Hell, even Vance McDonald helped me seal a 21-10 win against the Seahawks without a single running play. Even though I took more sacks than most people take vitamins.
To hell with this. Handicaps are not coming back unless it's like the Ravens where I'm stuck playing against Matt Schaub of all people. So far, the Vikings win for most attempts, but if you adjust the early game we have, this was a total grind for me.
The Seattle secondary really wasn't that great. Sure, I had problems, but I was throwing on every. Single. Play. Considering I could run multiple hail marys to perfection (ok, an all-go out of shotgun if you want to get technical), we have crossed into a harder difficulty (remember, I fully admit to sucking at this game), and I'd say this secondary isn't that scary. But of course, this is Madden. We'll see how our simulation turns out tomorrow when I'm not being a total idiot playing this game and see what happens.
In any case, in our franchise we're at 6-0, and the Hawks...well the Hawks aren't in last place like real life.
Isn't fantasy fun?