The 2019 NFL regular season has concluded, and that means the NFL playoffs are finally here. This weekend’s slate of games features four of the top Wild Card matchups in recent memory. So, what better way to get ready for this weekend’s action than to check out our Madden 20 Wild Card Weekend simulation?
Let’s take a look at how Madden sees Wild Card Weekend playing out.
- Time: 15 Minutes, Accelerated Clock
- Difficulty: All-Madden
- Gameplay: Simulation
Saturday, January 4th
#5 Buffalo Bills @ #4 Houston Texans, ESPN
The Texans have one of the better rosters in Madden with some of the most skilled players at key positions. However, Buffalo’s defense is tough and their dual-threat QB is straight cheese in this year’s game. This was destined to be one of the top games of Wild Card Weekend and the simulation did not disappoint.
For most of the first half, both teams struggled to get anything going offensively. Early in the first quarter, both teams would settle for field goals. The passing game was non-existent until midway through the second quarter. The first big play of the game came on a 45-yard reception from Deshaun Watson to DeAndre Hopkins. Three plays later, Hopkins would once again go up and pluck the ball out of the air on a beautifully executed fade on CB Tre’Davious White. 10-3 Texans.
With time running down in the first half, Buffalo strung together their most impressive drive of the game. With under 45 seconds to go, Josh Allen faked the handoff and scampered right for the 25-yard TD.
10-10 at the half.
Both teams exchanged punts back and forth for most of the third quarter. However, it was only a matter of time before things picked back up. On third and 12 from their own 34-yard line, the Bills ran a perfectly executed HB screen that saw Devin Singletary take the ball 64 yards to the house. 17-10 Bills. Houston would punt on their next possession, so the Bills would lead with one final quarter to play.
If the third quarter was all Buffalo, Houston won the deciding fourth quarter. On their first possession, Watson would once again look to Hopkins — as he did for most of the game — completing a WR screen that Hopkins took 45 yards to the house. Both defenses would settle in and make key stops with the game on the line. With Buffalo driving late in the fourth quarter, Allen tried to force a ball into double coverage that was taken to the house for the TD. A J.J. Watt strip-sack would finish the game as the Texans advanced to the divisional round.
Final Score: 24-17
MVP: DeAndre Hopkins – 9 catches, 154 yards, 2 TDs
#6 Tennessee Titans @ #3 New England Patriots, CBS
If anyone has familiarity with playing in Foxborough, it’s Titans’ QB Ryan Tannehill. Of course, New England was forced to play on Wild Card Weekend thanks to a Week 17 loss to the Miami Dolphins. Nevertheless, this was one of the most painful simulations I’ve ever had to watch.
Things looked promising early on for the Titans as Tannehill started the game red hot, completing seven consecutive passes. And after a long Derrick Henry run, the Titans would score first and go up 7-0. Sadly, that was the last time Tennessee would reach the end zone in this game, as it was all New England from that moment forward.
The Patriots did everything and anything they liked offensively — perhaps virtual Josh McDaniels was subconsciously interviewing for the Browns vacant HC position. But in all seriousness, it went from two evenly matched teams to the Patriots playing on rookie.
Tom Brady successfully drove the Patriots down the field on four straight possessions, finishing each drive with a TD pass. Heading into the half, the score was 28-7 New England.
New England got the ball in the second half and continued their dominance. Sony Michel broke three tackles on his way to a 44-yard TD and put the Patriots up 35-7. Tennessee would answer with a promising drive but settled for a field goal. That would be the last chance they had at mounting a comeback as the Patriots’ defense hunkered down and prevented the Titans from doing anything else.
Final Score: 42-10
MVP: Tom Brady – 18/25 289 yards, 4 Touchdowns, 1 Interception
Sunday, January 5th
#6 Minnesota Vikings @ #3 New Orleans Saints, FOX
I’m pretty sure everyone remembers watching Stefon Diggs turn upfield in what is now known as the Minneapolis Miracle. This time, however, this important matchup will be played in the Superdome and there’s no question the Saints are seeking revenge.
This was probably the best of the four simulations, and both teams wasted very little time. Minnesota elected to receive, and on the very first play from scrimmage Dalvin Cook took a counter left side for a 75-yard TD. Both teams would go three and out, with what appeared to be a defensive struggle brewing. That was until Drew Brees found Jared Cook down the seam for a 37-yard reception. Two plays later, Alvin Kamara slipped behind the defense on a wheel route, tying the game at 7.
The Vikings’ next possession was a methodical one and took significant time off the clock. However, it was only a matter of time before Kirk Cousins turned the football over, and after a Cam Jordan strip-sack the Saints had the ball and were looking to take the game over. Brees would once again find Cook in the middle of the field. After two consecutive first-down runs by Kamara, Michael Thomas saw his first chance to flex on the Vikings. The 99 overall wide receiver skied over defensive back Trae Waynes for a spectacular touchdown catch. 14-7 Saints.
The two teams would exchange punts and New Orleans felt good going into the half up 14-7.
New Orleans got the football and had a decent drive brewing before settling for a 54-yard Will Lutz field goal attempt that would go wide right. Minnesota saw an opportunity to respond, and on the first play of the half ran a play that looked eerily similar to the Minneapolis Miracle. Diggs caught a 10-yard curl route, slipped a tackle, and took the ball 48 yards to the house. All tied up.
Both teams would exchange punts, and the Saints would get the ball back with two minutes left in the third quarter. This is where Brees would orchestrate a 12 play, 82-yard drive that would take 6 minutes off the clock. The drive would be capped off with a Michael Thomas toe tap in the corner of the end zone. 21-14.
Minnesota would answer quickly, and in only six plays Cousins would drive the Vikings down the field, finding Adam Thielen for the touchdown. All tied up at 21, with under four minutes to go.
After a nice kick return, the Saints were in prime position to drive the ball downfield and take the lead. However, it only took the Saints one play. Brees found Kamara on the HB slip screen, and Kamara took it to the house for his second receiving touchdown of the day. 28-21 with 2:40 left to play.
The Saints defense locked up Minnesota’s wide receivers on the ensuing possession, and after four consecutive incompletions the Vikings turned the ball over. After two straight runs, Kamara finally broke free, solidifying the victory for the Saints.
Final Score: Saints 28-21
MVP: Alvin Kamara – 18 carries, 115 yards. 5 catches, 98 yards, 2 TDs
#5 Seattle Seahawks @ #4 Philadelphia Eagles, NBC
The last game of Wild Card Weekend didn’t quite live up to the hype like the Saints/Vikings game, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t exciting. The first thing I had to do was make some tweaks to Philly’s roster because it’s currently depleted by injury. Once things were set, the game was ready to begin.
Seattle’s first drive went exactly how many anticipated, using newly signed RB Marshawn Lynch to carry the team downfield. Unfortunately for the Seahawks, they were unable to punch the ball in and were forced to settle for a field goal. 3-0
The two teams would struggle to get anything going for most of the first quarter. It wasn’t until the second quarter, however, that the Eagles started to show new life. Four plays into the second quarter, Wentz found Dallas Goedert for the TD. 7-3 Eagles. Seattle responded quickly and regained the lead after a Russell Wilson to Tyler Lockett 45-yard TD. 10-7. The Eagles would end the half with a field goal, tying the game up at 10.
Philadelphia got the ball back to start the half and put together a 12 play, 6-minute drive that was capped off with a Boston Scott TD. 17-10 Eagles. Both teams would struggle to get anything going offensively as the score remained the same heading into the fourth quarter.
As the clock slowly started to fade, so did the Seahawks’ playoff aspirations. That is until Russell Wilson found D.K. Metcalf deep downfield for a 66-yard TD. Tie game, 17-17. The two teams would struggle to get anything going, and with under 2 minutes left to go the Seahawks gave the ball back to Wentz.
Wentz marched the Eagles downfield, and with under 5 seconds left in the game Jake Elliott came on to attempt a 53-yard field goal. Seattle tried to ice Elliott, but no dice. Elliott, with ice in his veins, kicked it right through the uprights as the Eagles pulled off the improbable victory.
Final Score: Eagles 20-17
MVP: Jake Elliott – 2/2 (45 yards, 53 yards)