The NFC Championship Game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers is rapidly approaching. It is time to look to virtual football to help us prepare the big game. This week’s Madden 15 simulation created some very interesting results.
Two injury-related roster modifications were made before the simulations were done. The first was to drop Aaron Rodgers speed rating by 25 points because of his torn calf. His mobility is going to be limited because of the injury, and that is the best way to mimic that in Madden.
I also removed Justin Britt from Seattle’s starting lineup and replaced him with Alvin Bailey. Britt is questionable for Sunday’s game. This was done because it is impossible to know in what way Britt might be limited by his injury. Replacing him with a backup that isn’t as good seemed like a fair way to create a generalized drop in effectiveness.
After that the computer took over and did the rest. Every game was simulated with using the “super sim” function. The sliders were set to their defaults, and the difficulty was set to All-Pro.
Because I don’t know how it might affect the results, I alternated which team the controller was set to for each game. This way, the controller was set to each team about half of the time. (Seattle had one more since there was an odd number of simulations.) There wasn’t any noticeable difference, but I just wanted to be careful.
I got bored after simulating the game 25 times. The game sims don’t take long, but transposing all the stats into the spreadsheet for averages was a pain. Between that and the long load times before and after each game, I simply couldn’t take it anymore.
Here is some statistical data on how these 25 games finished. All stats other than wins are averaged to be per-game stats.
As you can see, Madden 15 believes heavily in the Seahawks in this game. It has Seattle scoring over eight more points per game, and committing more and a full turnover less per game.
One thing to note though, is that five of Green Bay’s seven wins were blowouts. In those games, the Seahawks committed 12 of their 16 turnovers. When the Seahawks held onto the ball, they typically won.
In Seattle’s biggest wins, it was almost always the running game that led the way. In one game in which the Seahawks won 42-17, Marshawn Lynch has 242 yards rushing. In another that finished with a 39-3 score, Lynch rushed for 231 yards.
Overall, what can we learn from this? Absolutely nothing. While fun, Madden isn’t a very good tool for simulating the actual NFL. While it is nice to know that this program thinks the Seahawks are going to win this one, I wouldn’t recommend racing out to bet real money on the game based on this simulation.
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