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Madden 18 simulation: 49ers-Cowboys

Does Madden predict another heartbreaker?

If there’s ever a game I want the 49ers to dominate in (besides the Seahawks) it’s the Dallas Cowboys. While the rivalry has toned down lately in place of some other NFC West rivals, my years as a child still leave a nostalgic enjoyment when the Cowboys do badly. It’s the same reason I probably have more resentment towards the Green Bay Packers than I should (a certain quarterback from that team gave me a very bad childhood).

The problem is the Cowboys are a much better team than the 49ers are at the moment. Still, with a rookie QB in the game, we could be pleasantly surprised. The good part of C.J. Beathard’s first start is there isn’t much film on him, which provides teams with a disadvantage. The book of Beathard will be made quite soon, but that could help this Sunday, provided he’s not terrible. Let’s see what the numbers say.

Quick housekeeping updates

Surprisingly, the way we’ve done the simulations this year has been more accurate than seasons past. The score usually gets inflated in one game, but the margins seem to be close. Last week the 49ers were supposed to lose by one point to Washington, and they ended up losing by two. Last week it was predicted as 23-22, it wound up being 26-24. The point is, I can toot my horn that I got things adjusted right where things don’t get too crazy. Madden is far from perfect, and we all know my hatred towards the series and the games, but I think we got it where we aren’t laughing at it’s craziness anymore.

Notable inactives for 49ers: Kyle Juszczyk, Aaron Lynch
Notable inactives for Cowboys: Chidobe Awuzie
Quarter Length: 6:00
Games Simulated: 3

Jaquiski Tartt makes his presence known

The 49ers safety had himself some games. In two games he recorded an interception and in the other one he had a fumble recovery. He did not make live easy for Dak Prescott as he also had a sack in each game. Tartt has impressed in reality and lived up to his draft predictions as a ‘Big-Bodied Thumper’.

Ezekiel Elliot is held in check

The Cowboys running back has dodged any cuts in playing time due to suspension so far, but he couldn’t dodge the 49ers defense. Elliot averaged 103 yards on the ground and only 20 yards in the air. That may sound groan-inspiring, but holding Elliot to those numbers is something similar to LeVeon Bell—they just find their yardages. Getting only a bill at least keeps him from being a god on the field.

C.J. Beathard isn’t bad

With an average of 60% and 267 yards, the 49ers rookie quarterback wasn’t awful at all. He recorded just one interception in three games. Though he did fumble it a couple times in another game, it was saved by Carlos Hyde. He also managed two touchdowns in each game I simulated. This isn’t a bad start by the 49ers rookie and it’s about what I hope for on Sunday. We’ll see a lot of mistakes, but if he can protect the football, that’s all we can ask.

Final score 24-23, Cowboys

Yep, it’s another heartbreaking, one-point loss, and once again, it seems believable. I’d like to point out that the scores are technically tied. The 49ers had 23.3 points and the Cowboys 23.6, but rounding them up leads to this final score. Again, it’s not that the 49ers are losing, but how. If they can keep staying in games like this to the end, it’s a matter of if the team still stands behind Shanahan.