Isn’t it great when Madden is wrong? Last week, the game predicted a 20-10 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Well the game wasn’t completely wrong. If rounding up, there were 30 points scored in that game. Except they were all by one team. The team Madden though would lose.
That will take us to this week. With Madden down 0-1 in its scores, let’s see what it can give us for this matchup.
Quarter Length: 6 minutes
Players removed: Anthony Davis (49ers)
The Panthers received and deployed Jonathan Stewart to run through the 49ers and pick up a 1st down. On 3rd and 7, Cam Newton dropped back for his 2nd pass of the game and nailed Kelvin Benjamin with a 60 yard bomb to the 1 yard line. Benjamin was covered by both Antoine Bethea and Jimmy Ward. Surprisingly, the 49ers defense made a good goal line stand on Stewart’s first two attempts to punch it in, making the Panthers running back lose yardage. On 3rd down, Cam Newton nailed Ted Ginn Jr in the corner of the endzone for the first score. This obviously isn’t the playoff game from a few years ago.
Score: 7-0, Panthers
The 49ers got the ball and deployed a running attack...that began with a 4 yard loss. Not much to build on there as the 49ers went three and out following a terrible Gabbert sack where he just stood there to get sacked by Kody Ealy.
Make matters worse, with the 45 yard punt by Bradley Pinion and the 10 yard return by Ginn, the Panthers got to start the drive on their 44 yard line. The first play was a 10 yard run by Jonathan Stewart and the quarter ended.
A holding penalty on Carolina seemed to wake up the 49ers defense as they started swarming the ball carriers again but allowed a 18 yard pass to make it 4th and 2. This, of course created a 4th down field goal...which was made, of course.
Score: 10-0, Panthers
The 49ers began another rushing attack. Carlos Hyde got a 1st down on the first play from scrimmage, and then led it to a 3rd and 1. I bring this up because the commentary said that there was no way you would want to run it on 3rd and 1 here.
The 49ers ran it right up the gut and gained about 6 yards. Afterwards the commentary talked about how that was the right play and obvious. I thought it was kind of funny.
Back to the game. After the second 1st down, the running game was stuffed by the Panthers defense, on 2nd and 10, Gabbert tried a dumb screen pass which resulted in a loss as well. Following the two minute warning, Gabbert took another dumb sack and the 49ers punted.
All of it led to another 49ers punt which left the Panthers starting on their own 5 yard line. With 38 seconds to go, the Panthers went 3 and out and Andy Lee was left punting out of his own endzone.
The 49ers finally went into a fast offense (well, as far as Madden is concerned) and took it up just past midfield before stalling. With no timeouts and 10 seconds left, Blaine Gabbert hit Torrey Smith with a nice 28 yard pass....in the center of the field.
The clock ticked down and we went to halftime.
Despite a nice pass to Quinton Patton that inspired hope, Torrey Smith dropped a nice pass on a slant route that probably would have gotten mad yards. The 49ers went 3 and out and gave the ball back to the Panthers.
3rd and 11 was looking for a hopeful three and out, but a Devin Funchess completion after Cam Newton rolled out of the pocket to escape Ahmad Brooks led to 40 yards. Funchess finished the job on the very next play with 20 yard touch down pass that let him strut into the endzone.
Score: 17-0, Panthers
The niners almost went 3 and out, but a pass interference call on James Bradberry on the 18 yard line gave the 49ers their best field position all day. A false start to start the next play dug the 49ers back into a hole, however. After a couple nice passes, Gabbert threw a pick into the endzone with no 49ers in sight to give the ball back to Carolina and close out the quarter.
Carolina’s first 3 and out let them punt the ball back and give the 49ers another chance to put points on the board.
The 49ers crossed midfield again, but were plagued with drops by Torrey Smith and Quinton Patton on 3rd and 4th down respectively.
The Panthers took over on their 45 yard line and didn’t even bother passing the ball, rather letting their running backs gash the 49ers all the way into the 10 yard line. DeForest Buckner nailed Cam Newton on his first and only dropback to force the Panthers to kick a field goal. With 1:10 left, this is pretty much done.
Score: 20-0, Panthers
Blaine Gabbert finally woke up and nailed Torrey Smith, Jeremy Kerley and Quinton Patton for 10 yards a clip, but everything else was getting batted down. On the Panthers’ 10 yard line, Gabbert took a sack on 4th and 4 and possession went back to Carolina with 10 seconds left. A simple rush and this was over.
Final Score: 20-0, Panthers
Um, no. While I think the 49ers getting out of Carolina with a win is definitely a stretch with where this team is, shutouts are very difficult to achieve. Especially in the NFL. In this simulation, the 49ers defense was absolutely gashed in ways that don’t seem possible. While it was nice to see DeForest Buckner getting a sack towards the end, I see the team getting at least one touchdown. Even if it is garbage time.
It’s also funny seeing the 49ers huddle up in Madden between plays.