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Simulation Saturday: 49ers-Cardinals on Madden

With all these injuries, can Madden get it right?

Well, Madden predicted some high scoring games last week, but I figured it’d be a close one and it wound up being a high scoring game, but a close finish.

But it really didn’t predict much of anything. There’s no way a video game is going to predict a finish like that last week, much less a crucial PI call to turn things around.

This week, we have the Arizona Cardinals who are dealing with their own injury issues. What would be a reunion with the offensive line of 49ers past will wait as Mike Iupatti is headed to IR and Alex Boone most likely won’t see the field as of this writing. Arizona still has our kickers.

Notable inactives for 49ers: Eric Reid, Reuben Foster
Notable inactives for Cardinals: Alex Boone
Quarter Length: 6:00
Games Simulated: 3

49ers were strong:

In each game, San Francisco seemed to be holding their own as the games went on. And the 49ers certainly tried to give these away. In one game, San Francisco would get off to an early lead by 7 points, getting derailed shortly thereafter with a Brian Hoyer interception returned to the 49ers goal line-the 49ers wound up getting blown out in the end 34-9. Another game the 49ers offense was derailed by Hoyer fumbling and you could see what was coming—except the 49ers wound up grinding things out and winning 17-16.

Solomon Thomas was a beast:

In the first game, there was not much heard from the 49ers 1st round pick, but in the second and third games ran, Thomas was a force to be reckoned with. He recorded two sacks in each of the last two games and snatched a fumble by Carson Palmer in Game 3 to put the 49ers on the seven yard line. He also batted several passes away from the line of scrimmage before they could cause issues. Solomon Thomas is expected to have more playing time with Tank Carradine on IR, and this could be the best we could hope for if he balls out like this.

Besides Thomas, DeForest Buckner clocked one sack in each game and several hurries.

Brian Hoyer was not:

Despite one game where Hoyer had a 73 percent completion percentage, he continued to struggle. Cracking 200 yards only once. His final averages were 139 yards, with a 55 percent completion rate and 1 interception per game. That’s not horrible, but it’s not inspiring either.

Average Score 23-16, Cardinals

Keep in mind, this average is thrown off by the first game ran, a 34-9 drubbing the 49ers suffered. The 49ers actually won two out of three games against the Cardinals. Close (7 points and 3 points), but they still won. I wouldn’t say they ‘won’ the turnover battle, but their turnovers gave them much better field position. The defense also clamped down on Arizona’s frequent 4th down plays to give good field position on those as well. It’s not like Brian Hoyer could be depended on in any of this. If the 49ers were to win, which is a good possibility given the Cardinals’ own injury issues, I see it being something like their second game 22-19.