FanSided recently ran a full-season simulation of Madden 23. Here’s where the Pittsburgh Steelers finished compared to other NFL teams.
We all know that the Madden video game franchise isn’t without its flaws. However, there’s something about season simulations that are irresistible to die-hard fans. Recently, Matthew Liebl of App Trigger — FanSided’s site devoted to apps and video games — ran a full-season simulation of the newest Madden video game. The results were alarming.
In this simulation, Liebl charted the records of each team as well as the playoff results and Super Bowl winner. Needless to say, the results of the simulation didn’t turn out anything like what oddsmakers are currently predicting.
Let’s start with the AFC North. In one of the league’s most crowded divisions, The Madden 23 simulating had the Baltimore Ravens taking the cake with a record of 12-5. Surprisingly, the Cleveland Browns took the second-place spot at 11-6 with the Bengals claiming the third seed at 10-7. Because of this loss of divisional games, Madden predicts the Steelers will finish with a record of just 6-11 in 2023. Here’s what Liebl had to say about the stats some of the key players produced in this simulation:
"The Pittsburgh Steelers see a regression following the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger. The team starts Mitchell Trubisky for all 17 games and the results are about what you’d expect; 3,869 yards, 19 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. In reality, I think we see Kenny Pickett take the field for at least a portion of the season.Despite the lack of talent at quarterback and inconsistent offensive line, running back Najee Harris still puts together a solid season with 1,498 rushing yards (5.0 ypc) and 13 touchdowns. The talented Diontae Johnson catches 87 passes for 1,079 yards but only one touchdown.The lone bright spot on a deflated Pittsburgh Steelers roster is T.J. Watt who finishes the season with 21 sacks (second in the league behind Aaron Donald) and 15 tackles for loss."
To be honest, the season stats for these players seem pretty reasonable. It would be a bit disappointing to see Mitch Trubisky throw for just 19 touchdowns with 14 interceptions, but 5.0 yards per carry for Najee Harris is pleasantly optimistic. However, the overall record is not what Steelers fans would like to see this year.
Will Steelers outperform their Madden 23 simulation?
Readers who have followed my work over the years know that I tend to be a realist, so believe me when I say that it’s very reasonable to expect the Pittsburgh Steelers to outperform their record from this Madden 23 simulation. In fact, I fully expect them to do so.
While Trubisky won’t be one of the best quarterbacks in the league, I still think he will be a step up from the 39-year-old Ben Roethlisberger we saw last season. Likewise, the defense should do enough to keep them in most contests this season, and on paper, the roster is more talented than it was a season ago.
I wouldn’t put too much stock into where these teams fell in the simulation. I certainly don’t buy the Cleveland Browns getting 11 wins when Deshaun Watson is suspended for the first 11 games of the season and will essentially be out of football for nearly two years before he sees the NFL stage for the first time in 2022. But this is hardly the least realistic result of the simulation.
Madden 23 has an incredibly talented Chargers team going just 5-12 this year, the Patriots going 5-12, and the Cowboys going 8-9. On the flip side, the simulation has the Panthers finishing with a record of 11-6 and the Jaguars making it all the way to the AFC Championship game.
I’m guilty of being interested in Madden simulations as much as the next person, but I’m thankful to know in this case they don’t have it down to an exact science. I would expect the results of the 2022 season to be very different than what the simulation predicted, and the Pittsburgh Steelers should earn more than six wins this year.