This year's game is the most realistic iteration to date, both on the field and all the way up to the owner's box. Whether fans prefer to use their favorite player or control their favorite team while acting as owner, the game is the ultimate football simulation.
The 2013 NFL season is here, so what better way to predict the outcome than to let the ultra-realistic Madden handle things?
That's just what we'll do in the following slideshow through the superb owner mode. Every game of the 2013 season has been simulated, and fans won't believe some of the results.
Who knows, these results could prove to be more accurate than anyone can imagine. We'll just have to wait to find out. In the meantime, enjoy.
Note: All images courtesy of EA Sports' Madden 25 on Xbox 360.
To better understand how the season played out, let's first take a look at the major injuries that ended up having a major impact.
Below are the significant ones that ended seasons prematurely. Injuries are inevitable, but here's to wishing these guys the best on the real field:
|D'Qwell Jackson||Cleveland Browns||Achilles Tear|
|Da'Quan Bowers||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Fractured Kneecap|
|Ryan Tannehill||Miami Dolphins||Achilles Tear|
|Peter Konz||Atlanta Falcons||Broken Tibia|
|Matt Stafford||Detroit Lions||Groin Tear|
|Jared Allen||Minnesota Vikings||Foot Stress Fracture|
Sorted by total yards gained, the total offensive rankings for the 2013 season should not come as a major surprise—especially when we reveal later in the slideshow just how dominant of a year Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch put together.
Seattle also scored the most points per game, but two of the more interesting names in the top eight pictured above are Chip Kelly's Philadelphia Eagles and Andy Reid's Kansas City Chiefs. That's quite the strong prediction form Madden, considering both offense have major question marks.
In case anyone was wondering, the worst offense in the NFL belonged to the Miami Dolphins. The Carson Palmer experiment must be doomed as well, considering Arizona came in at No. 28.
Sorted by total yards allowed, the revamped Kansas City Chiefs came in at No. 1 in both total yards allowed and points surrendered per game.
Kansas City having a top defense is a bit out of left field, but anything is possible with Tamba Hali rushing the passer and Eric Berry in the defensive backfield. The methodical, plodding pace of an Alex Smith-led offense could help to keep the defense off the field as well.
Conversely, the worst defense resided in St. Louis, which is a bit surprising thanks to defensive leaders like James Laurinaitis and Cortland Finnegan.
As far as sacks go, Houston led the way with 50, while Cincinnati was right behind with 45.
There's no doubting it's an offensive league, so seeing typical powerhouse defenses struggle is not all that outlandish.
Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers takes the passing-yardage crown in 2013 according to Madden 25, but he only musters 19 touchdowns.
No names near the top of the list are in any way shocking, but it's interesting to see Kansas City's Alex Smith so high.
Admittedly, the numbers do seem a bit low as five quarterbacks in real life last season threw for over 30 touchdowns. Madden says not one quarterback breaks that barrier in 2013, with Atlanta's Matt Ryan leading the way at 26.
Eli Manning and Carson Palmer (surprise!) led the way with interceptions at 24 and 22, respectively. Chicago's Jay Cutler was the most sacked quarterback (shocking!), as he was dropped 50 times.
The names at the top of the list for leading rushers are not all that crazy—neither is "Beast Mode" leading the way overall.
It's also nice to see CJ2K get close to actually earning his nickname back. There were no other real surprises as far as rushing totals go, but it's clear Madden 25 believes the offensive emphasis is going to switch back to the ground game in 2013.
It appears the Wes Welker-Peyton Manning and Danny Amendola-Tom Brady marriages are going to work out just fine.
Outside of Victor Cruz leading the league in receiving yardage and tying Wes Welker and a host of others with nine receiving touchdowns, the only real surprise was Atlanta's Harry Douglas going for 1,187 yards and nine touchdowns.
New England's rookie receiver Aaron Dobson is apparently in for a big year, as he caught 95 passes for 916 yards and eight scores.
Watch out for Welker, Amendola, Cruz and Randall Cobb next season, as the speedy slot receiver role continues to take the league by storm.
Well, well. Paul Posluszny may not have been acquired by the current regime in Jacksonville and may have a ridiculous cap number at $7.45 million in 2014, but it looks as if he'll earn every penny this season.
Posluszny's tackle total isn't that outlandish for a defense that figures to see the field constantly. It looks as if Carolina's Luke Kuechly is going to continue to improve as well, which is easy to see with the additions of Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short in front of him.
It also appears Minnesota's Desmond Bishop will get redemption. For those wondering, Patrick Willis only appeared in 13 games, Navorro Bowman in 14.
2013's sack leader? Mark Anderson, formerly of the Buffalo Bills. He doesn't have a home in real life, but in Madden 25 he joined Jacksonville and posted 22. If fans want to ignore that, Tennessee's Kamerion Wimbley led the way with 16, followed by Houston's Whitney Mercilus with 15.
Rounding out the list of important stats was Indianapolis' Antoine Bethea, leading the league with seven interceptions.
Madden 25 awards an Offensive Rookie of the Year and Defensive Rookie of the Year for both conferences.
The offensive rookies were a mix of surprise and obvious, with Green Bay's Eddie Lacy winning in the NFC. New York's Geno Smith is a shocker in the AFC, but anything can and will happen in the NFL.
Defensively Barkevious Mingo took home the honors in the AFC, while St. Louis' Alec Ogletree won defensive honors on the NFC side of things.
Here are the numbers.
Madden 25 also names an Offensive Player of the Year for both conferences. Rather than quarterbacks, running backs appear set to take home the top prizes in 2013.
Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy took home top honors in the NFC in Chip Kelly's new offense, while Baltimore's Ray Rice carried the Ravens with his production.
Here are the numbers.
Like at the offensive side of things, Maddden 25 crowns a top defensive star from both conferences for good measure.
As hinted at earlier, Paul Posluszny in Jacksonville takes home top honors in the AFC with almost 200 total tackles, while Bobby Wagner of the Seattle Seahawks takes home the honor in the NFC.
Here are the numbers.
In a mild surprise, Atlanta's Matt Ryan took home MVP honors after leading the Falcons to a 10-6 record.
That's not all that outlandish.
Ryan has plenty of stellar targets to throw to, such as Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez. Further helping his case is the presence of a legitimate running game with free-agent acquisition Steven Jackson.
Quarterbacks, of course, dominated the list of overall MVP candidates, but Ryan pulling away is something that could easily happen in 2013.
Here are the numbers.
Expectations for the Seattle Seahawks entering the actual season are through the roof, so it should come as no surprise the seemingly stacked roster ran away with the NFC.
Two surprises loom large over these final standings.
One is the re-emergence of the New Orleans Saints with head coach Sean Payton back.
The other is Philadelphia flying high with Chip Kelly's offense leading the way. The attack does wonders in a game of Madden, but it will be interesting to see if the effectiveness translates to the real field.
The popular consensus as a team to fall off—after the losses of Anquan Boldin, Ed Reed and Ray Lewis—is still one of the NFL's top teams.
Other than that, business as usual here in the AFC. Interesting to note: Kansas City finished with a 10-6 record—but in that division, paired with a quietly very talented roster, it's not all that unreasonable.
The AFC shows its inferiority here with the Tennessee Titans sneaking into the playoff at 9-7 and the Cleveland Browns as the lone team at 8-8.
Here are the full standings:
Not many surprises here in the first round of the playoffs.
Tom Brady and the New England Patriots move past the Kansas City Chiefs, courtesy of experience, and the Pittsburgh Steelers remain a dangerous team in the postseason.
Atlanta exploded with 257 yards from Matt Ryan to move past a Matt Stafford-less (injury) Detroit Lions team.
Perhaps the biggest shock here is Tampa Bay dropping a 53-burger on the Saints, a team infamous for bad defense. Josh Freeman threw for 237 yards and two scores, while running back Doug Martin added 161 yards on the ground.
All in all, nothing unexpected here in the Wild Card Round.
The divisional round offered a better breed of competition all-around, but once again the results were not all that jaw-dropping.
In a predictable AFC North matchup between Pittsburgh and Baltimore, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger dropped 309 yards and five touchdowns on the hapless Ravens defense en route to victory.
Other notable performances included Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson throwing three interceptions in defeat.
When it matters most, Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger thrives.
And that was the case here as he threw for 234 yards and three touchdowns to advance to the Super Bowl.
The NFC Championship Game was a bit more interesting with Matt Ryan throwing for 247 yards and two touchdowns in defeat. It was Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin who saved the day with 135 yards on just two carries.
At the end of the day, the AFC fielded a typical contender for the Super Bowl, while the NFC once again threw a surprise into the mix.
Weaker conference or not, the AFC sure knows how to get it done in the big game.
Tampa Bay quarterback Josh Freeman (279 yards, two touchdowns) actually out-dueled Ben Roethlisberger (255 yards, two touchdowns), but it was the Steelers defense that shined brightest limiting Doug Martin to just 56 yards on the ground.
Buccaneers Vincent Jackson threw his name in the hat for MVP with nine receptions for 103 yards and a score, but Steelers receiver Antonio Brown bested him with seven catches for 105 yards and a touchdown of his own.
Lawrence Timmons was the star on defense for Pittsburgh with his 12 tackles and two sacks.
According to Madden 25, Pittsburgh is set to shock the world again in 2013 with a trip to the Super Bowl, before hoisting the Lombardi Trophy for the seventh time.
What do you think?
As is the case at the end of any season, firings can—and will—happen. Here are the big names in the coaching world that ended up losing their jobs:
|Tom Coughlin (Retired)||New York Giants|
|Gary Kubiak||Houston Texans|
|Leslie Frazier||Minnesota Vikings|
|Jason Garrett||Dallas Cowboys|
|Rex Ryan||New York Jets|
Here are the noteworthy projected retirements set to happen at the end of the season, per Madden 25:
Wow. Good luck figuring out that Hall of Fame class.
Ray Lewis came out of retirement, as did coach Jimmie Johnson. 2013 and beyond is going to be wild in every regard if Madden 25 is anywhere close to being accurate!
Follow B/R's Chris Roling on Twitter for more news and analysis @Chris_Roling