The Pittsburgh Steelers will take the field against the New York Giants on Monday Night Football. Here’s how the game will go, according to our recent Madden simulation.
Madden 21 was released just weeks ago and I have had a satisfying time playing it and testing my skills online (even though I have not had favorable results). While I was playing it occurred to me, why not see how Madden thinks the Steelers season will unfold through a simulation?
I decided since the return of football is this weekend, I would break down and report the entirety of the virtual Steelers season according to Madden.
Week 1: Pittsburgh @ New York, September 14th, 2020
The Steelers open up their season against a Giants team that has gone through another rehaul in their coaching staff. Former rookie quarterback, Daniel Jones, is now in his second season with a lot to prove. The Steelers, on the other hand, now have the return of Ben Roethlisberger, and a team that could have made a run in the playoffs with him under center as their defense is what kept them afloat last season.
Pittsburgh started off slow with Roethlisberger throwing an interception to Jabrill Peppers on the first drive of the game; which looked scary but the Giants would not capitalize on this. Roethlisberger would later redeem himself with fifty-eight seconds to go by finding his new Tight end, Eric Ebron, for a seven-yard touchdown.
The second quarter was minimalistic until the last two minutes. Juju Smith-Schuster caught a 5-yard touchdown pass from Big Ben with 1:23 to go putting the Steelers up 14-0. However, the Giants responded instantly with Daniel Jones throwing an 11-yard touchdown pass to Dion Lewis with sixteen seconds to go. Then on the return after Lewis’s touchdown, the Steelers returned the ball from the endzone to the one-yard line. That set up James Conner to walk it in with thirteen seconds to go and end the half with the Steelers up 21-7.
The second half began and not until the last four minutes did any sort of offense happen but that was because of what T.J. Watt managed to do. In the third quarter alone, Watt posted 2.5 sacks with some help from Mike Hilton who recorded half a sack. It was spectacular to watch and Watt was once again showing that he was playing right where he left off.
Adam Vinatieri would kick a field goal at 3:28 followed by a Saquon Barkley 1 yard touchdown run at 1:11. Diontae Johnson responded to this by recording a 75-yard touchdown from Roethlisberger at fifty-three seconds putting the Steelers up 28-18 going into the final quarter.
The Steelers defense continued to disrupt Daniel Jones with Bud Dupree recording 1.5 sacks and Steven Nelson also getting half a sack. Daniel Jones and the Giants continued to go three and out and eventually with four minutes to go, Jones was forced to start taking bigger risks. On the Giants’ sixty-six yard line, Jones threw an interception to Joe Haden in which he returned it for a pick-six sealing the game away.
Chris Boswell would kick a seventeen-yard field goal with 1:27 left and besides a garbage-time field goal by Vinatieri and an onside kick recovered by the Giants which set up a ten-yard touchdown to Sterling Shepard, the Steelers sized their first victory of the season.
Final score: Steelers 38 Giants 28
The notable final stat lines of the game for the Steelers were as follows:
Ben Roethlisberger: 322 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception, 112.6 QB Rating, 64% completion rating
James Conner: 19 carries for 97 yards (5.1 YPC), 1 touchdown
Diontae Johnson: 5 receptions for 123 yards, 1 touchdown
T.J. Watt: 7 total tackles, 2.5 sacks
Joe Haden: 5 total tackles, 1 interception returned for a pick-six
Hopefully, the Steelers can replicate this success on Sunday. While there may not be any fans in attendance, we will all be rooting from our couch and yelling at the screen, just like in Madden.