Madden GM challenges for the bye week


The NFL bye week for that Seattle Seahawks means a lot of free time for 12s. Filling that time can be can be a challenge. Ok, that’s a lie, but why waste an excuse to play more some more Madden?

This was an idea that I originally posted a few years ago. I created some challenges to test your skill as a general manager. These challenges are tough, but possible. If you’re really wanting to test your skills, try the “expert mode” versions of each.

First a couple rules:

  • Offline coach connected careers only here. Don’t bother with money-driven owner mode.
  • Sim every game. The goal is to test your skills as a GM, not at how well you can control your players.
  • Use all default setting unless the challenge tell you to change one.

Now that we have that out of the way, on to the challenges!

The #1 Offense

This one is straight forward: pick a team that currently has an awful offense (San Francisco is a great choice), and build it up to the point where it is consistently the No. 1 offense in the league. Trade away your best defensive players for offensive weapons if you have to. The goal here is build a dominant offense that would put the “greatest show on turf” to shame.

Expert Mode: Win a Superbowl with the #1 ranked offense and the #32 ranked defense

Hint: Offenses are ranked by total yards. Pass the ball, and be aggressive. Pick your scheme’s accordingly.

Hint: Same goes with the defense. You need more possessions. Be aggressive. Giving up big plays doesn’t matter, but turnovers are a huge help.

The #1 Defense

Pick a team that has an awful defense (The Colts make a good choice), and build it to the point where it is the #1 defense in the league every year. This is just like the No. 1 offense, only slightly tougher. If your offense is really bad, your defense will be on the field a lot more and it’ll hurt your ranking. You wont be able to sell off all your offensive talent to build your defense here.

Expert Mode: “The Trent Dilfer” – Win a Superbowl with the No. 1 ranked defense, and a QB with no better than a 75 rating.

Hint: Run the ball on offense. A lot. If you shorten the game, the defense will give up less yards.

Hint: Choose your defensive scheme wisely. Some are easier to dominate with than others.

The Expansion Team

This one takes some time to get set up. Before you start your career, go into rosters and clean house. Trade away or cut every player who’s skill is over 75, and everyone who makes more than 600k per year.

Add players with an overall rating in the 60s who are in the last year of their contract. You’ll probably have to cut over 40 players, and sign just as many. It’ll take some time. If you have less than $90 mil of free cap space, you almost certainly missed a few players.

At this point, you can start your career. Be sure to import that roster. You’ll want to turn off coach firings for this one, since going 1-15 when the owner expects you to make the playoffs will lead to a short tenure as coach.

Sim past the entire first season. All of those expiring contracts will be gone. The few players that are left are will create a roster similar to one just after the expansion draft. Get ready for a challenge. This one is tough, since free agents won’t want to sign with your team.

Goal: Build the team up from nothing and win at least one Super Bowl

Expert Mode: Leave coach firings turned on a manage not to get fired in the first couple of seasons.

Hint: Don’t go crazy in free agency the first 2 seasons. You’ll run out of cap room before your team is ready to compete. Only sign young players who’ll still be around when you’ve managed to draft a core that can win.

The Seahawks Challenge 

This is essentially the the No. 1 defense challenge above, but specific to just the Seahawks. You have to convert Seattle’s 4-3 defense into a 3-4 powerhouse. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Many of Seattle’s players don’t fit a 3-4.

Expert Mode: Instead of the 3-4, do the same thing with the Tampa-2 scheme and playbook.

Hint: Avril and Irvin make good stop-gap 3-4 OLBs, but you’ll want to move them for the real thing when you get a chance.

Hint: If you’re doing the Tampa-2 expert version, you’ll have to trade away Kam Chancellor. You’ll find he wont be productive in that zone based scheme.