The new version of Madden football is here — Madden 18 — so we fired up the Xbox and popped in the new game to run a simulation of the 2017 NFL season.
Here's how a full season simulation played out, using the latest roster updates and factory settings.
Regular Season Standings:
|AFC North||Browns (10-6)*||Ravens (8-8)||Bengals (8-8)||Steelers (6-10)|
|AFC East||Patriots (11-5)*||Dolphins (8-8)||Bills (6-10)||Jets (2-14)|
|AFC South||Jaguars (9-7)*||Titans (9-7)*||Colts (6-10)||Texans (6-10)|
|AFC West||Broncos (12-4)*||Raiders (8-8)*||Chargers (8-8)||Chiefs (6-10)|
* – Playoff Team
|NFC North||Packers (13-3)*||Vikings (7-9)||Lions (6-10)||Bears (6-10)|
|NFC East||Redskins (12-4)*||Eagles (10-6)*||Cowboys (9-7)*||Giants (7-9)|
|NFC South||Falcons (12-4)*||Buccaneers (8-8)||Saints (8-8)||Panthers (7-9)|
|NFC West||Seahawks (11-5)*||Cardinals (7-9)||Rams (6-10)||49ers (4-12)|
* – Playoff Team
The League Leaders:
Aaron Rodgers led the league with 5,398 yards, 57(!) touchdowns (new league record) and 8 interceptions, completing 476 of a whopping 679 pass attempts (70 percent). He attempted 58 more passes than the next closest player, Matt Stafford, who threw for 4,852 yards, 27 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Tom Brady was second in touchdown passes with 44 (against 14 interceptions) and Drew Brees added 38 TDs (10 INTs).
The breakout QB? Browns rookie DeShone Kizer threw for 4,014 yards, 22 touchdowns and 12 interceptions, completing 60 percent of his passes. Other rookie quarterbacks to see early action were Deshaun Watson (expected), Mitchell Trubisky (again, expected) and C.J. Beathard (yikes). Colin Kaepernick was eventually signed by the Miami Dolphins and played in a few games.
As you'd expect when Aaron Rodgers threw for well over 5,000 yards, a Packers receiver led the league in receiving yards. Jordy Nelson led the way with a league-high 126 catches for 1,509 yards and 12 touchdowns. The Packers actually had the only two players in the league with 100 grabs as Randall Cobb added 103 catches for 1,264 yards (ninth in the league) and a league-high 14 touchdowns, tied with Denver's Demaryius Thomas (65 catches, 1,111 yards). Davante Adams (85 catches, 1,069 yards, 7 TDs) completed a trio of Packers receivers over 1,000 yards.
A.J. Green followed Jordy Nelson with 1,439 yards, with Julio Jones (1,411 yards), Richard Matthews (1,344 yards) and DeAndre Hopkins (1,322 yards) close behind. Denver rookie Carlos Henderson put together the best first year with 1,143 yards and 12 touchdowns on 80 grabs. L.A.'s Mike Williams (63 catches, 859 yards, 3 TDs) was next in line among rookies, followed by Tampa Bay rookies Chris Godwin (755 yards) and O.J. Howard (752 yards).
Falcons running back Devonta Freeman took the rushing title, helped along the way when Atlanta traded Tevin Coleman and opened up a few more carries for Freeman as he collected 1,473 yards and 9 touchdowns on 307 carries. David Johnson was next in line with 1,367 yards and 9 scores for the Cardinals, while the ageless Frank Gore had a 1,300-yard season with 10 touchdowns. Theo Riddick led the league with 18 rushing scores for the Lions, followed by Robert Turbin, who scored 15 touchdowns for the Colts despite just 127 carries for 383 yards.
Dalvin Cook led all rookies with 273 carries for 968 yards and 10 touchdowns for the Vikings. Jaguars 4th overall pick Leonard Fournette ran for 769 yards and 11 touchdowns, and fellow first-round pick Christian McCaffrey was the third-highest rookie rusher with 668 yards and 7 scores for the Panthers. Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott returned from suspension to rush for 759 yards and 13 scores in 10 games.
Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree led the league with 150 tackles while his teammate Aaron Donald paced the league with 25 tackles for a loss. Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham led the league with 20.5 sacks (Browns rookie and No. 1 overall pick Myles Garrett was third with 17.0 sacks).
Chris Harris Jr. led the league with nine interceptions and Chiefs safety Eric Berry was the only player in the NFL with two defensive touchdowns.
Lol. Moving on.
- MVP — Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
- Coach of the Year — Mike McCarthy, Green Bay Packers
- AFC OPOY — Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans
- NFC OPOY — Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
- AFC DPOY — C.J. Mosely, Baltimore Ravens
- NFC DPOY — Brandon Graham, Philadelphia Eagles
Oakland 25, Cleveland 20
Washington 48, Dallas 15
Tennessee 23, Jacksonville 20
Philadelphia 24, Seattle 18
See ya, Cleveland and Jacksonville. Now the playoff field looks a bit more respectable. Washington absolutely clobbers Dallas and Philadelphia takes out Seattle in a one-score game.
New England 29, Tennessee 27
Green Bay 34, Philadelphia 14
Oakland 30, Denver 28
Atlanta 28, Washington 23
Three close games and a blowout. New England and Oakland each get two-point victories over Tennessee and Denver, respectively, and Atlanta wins a close one against Washington. Green Bay sends Philly packing.
Oakland 36, New England 19
Atlanta 36, Green Bay 20
Oakland continues a magical playoff run by knocking off the reigning champion Patriots, and for te second straight season Atlanta takes out Green bay in the Conference Championship.
Oakland 27, Atlanta 12
Yes, the 8-8 Oakland Raiders have made it through the playoffs, knocking off Cleveland (lol), Denver and New England before a matchup against a Super Bowl-hungry Falcons teams. It was the defense who won the day, forcing three Matt Ryan interceptions to take the 15-point win.