So in our franchise mode, it turns out Jay Cutler was injured and out for this game. This resulted in Jimmy Clausen coming in as the starting quarterback. In real life, Clausen is making rounds with the Baltimore Ravens, but video game land, Clausen has not yet been waived by the Bears organization. While I considered slapping myself with a handicap this week given the QB change, I forgot I demoted Colin Kaepernick in favor of Blaine Gabbert, which has made the game significantly more challenging, for the wrong reasons.
With the Bears, they have Matt Forte. Who, in Madden, can juke around the entire line and go for 20 yards or more. To even things out with this, Madden has made Clausen play like Tom Brady, completing every pass he tries. Ahhhhh the Madden AI.
I was a bit confused as to why Jimmy Clausen started plays in the gun right out of the gate, and I realized why: The dude would not miss a pass, period. Now granted, my defenses were totally caught off guard with this and Alshon Jeffery in man coverage is going to mean problems, but I couldn't even sack the guy.
It didn't help matters much when my pass rush did break the line, they'd just either stop or in one instance, Glenn Dorsey just came within feet of sacking the Bear's QB and turned the other way. I'm not kidding, almost there for a sack, and Dorsey just turned around and ran back over the line of scrimmage
It goes without saying this pass-happy offense quickly nailed a 30 yard floater to Alshon Jeffery to quickly tick me off. When I got the ball, I wound up shanking a 20 yard field goal (how, one could guess).
I got to the last three minutes of the half where Matt Forte took a handoff and ran all the way around my casino blitz and ran it 60 yards for a TD. Well at least this game didn't go to the final minutes.
The AI realized Jimmy Clausen was Jimmy Clausen this time around and quickly got the Bears off the field with a three and out. It also forgot Blaine Gabbert was Blaine Gabbert (remember, the stats in this game are based on the stats prior to week 1), and let me just throw darts all over the place. After going for it on 4th down with Bruce Miller and running it 12 yards for a TD, I was feeling pretty good.
Then Clausen went nuts again. Not once did the bears line up in anything that wasn't shotgun (who does this guy think he is? Peyton Manning?), and rush it down the field before the half ended for seven points.
This is the part where I sort of assume this game will go to the last 20 seconds where Madden pulls out a miracle making me waste another hour of my life. But that wasn't the case.
Upon getting the ball to start the half, I had a 3 and out that was made because Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis couldn't hold onto the ball. It's always funny since I see the AI never miss catches like this, yet my guys routinely do it. Especially when the game is close.
Once he got the ball back, Clausen continued lining up in the gun and rarely took a snap under center. His erratic throws led to a nice punt, and a Carlos Hyde 30 yard TD run to put the game at 14-7. From there, I just said "To hell with it" and blitzed the crap out of Clausen, I didn't have much success with a sack, but his receivers started mimicking mine, not catching obvious catches.
Only 4 more weeks of this.
Strangely, I can usually find more about a team in our undefeated games than I do in the simulation. The simulation is convinced the 49ers are terrible (they are) enough to not even cross the 50 yard line. I notice much more in these that seems to translate to real life, minus running backs juking the entire line or AI glitches.
But I really could not find anything. It's hard to gauge the offense when Jimmy Clausen of all people is leading it (which is dated, but what can you do?), and leading by running everything out of shotgun.
On the other hand, the defense allowed a lot and most of everything that led to me not getting points were the hits after the catch that seemed to always jar the ball loose. Very un-Fangio like.
So I don't know what to take from this other than we have another win and we're still undefeated in video game football fantasy (which is really all we have to grip nowadays).
As always, let's see how the simulation turns out.