Last week’s Madden simulation was the first time it actually felt like Archi Zuber and I were watching a real game of football. Players actually did what you expected them to do, and the coaches made decisions that suggested their I.Q. was higher than a lobotomized weasel that also happened to suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome (the coaching was horrifically bad during the first few sims).

Today’s simulation will feature the Arizona Cardinals vs. the St. Louis Rams in a game brimming with mystery and intrigue (well, not really)!

Will Kevin Kolb continue to be fantasy football’s version of Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, or I guess more accurately Dr. Montana/Mr. Leaf? Does Steven Jackson’s wonky groin (sounds like an STD) allow Daryl Richardson to grab the spotlight and be this week’s Ogletree of the game? Will Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein continue to be their only decent offensive player? Wasn’t Courtland Finnegan the name of a sock puppet on the long running Canadian children’s show Mr. Dressup?

*Note: the part of Archi Zuber will be played by Devang Desai*

First Half Notes

  • Jeff Fisher’s virtual mustache is gloriously rendered in this game.
  • The first quarter was a mess. It was literally two first downs drowning in a sea of three-and-outs. Neither team could get their running game going, Kolb was sacked twice for huge losses, and Sam Bradford acted like his arm would rip off if he attempted a pass that was more than three yards.
  • I’ll say (type?) this again slowly in case you missed it. THERE WERE ONLY TWO FIRST DOWNS ALL QUARTER!
  • “It’s like real life. Bradford’s receivers can’t catch a fucking ball”- Devang
  • In the middle of the second quarter, it had become abundantly clear that Zuerlein was the only player who actually wanted to win this virtual war of attrition. Bradford would accidentally drive the Rams into field goal range (never once getting into the red zone), and Zuerlein would hammer a 45-plus yard field goal. Big Z was automatic. And yes, every successful play Bradford made seemed to be an accident gone right.
  • “They’re running like Barack Obama at the debate last night…not very well”- Devang in reference to the Cardinals’ atrocious running game.
  • The Rams led 9-0 at halftime.
  • Correction: Greg Zuerlein led 9-0 at halftime.

Second Half Notes

  • Early in the third quarter we got our first Larry Fitzgerald sighting. Fitzy caught a 15-yard pass and then seemingly disappeared for the rest of the game. This does not bode well for my fantasy team this week.
  • The Cardinals’ next drive was their only good one of the entire game. Kolb dipped and dunked his way up the field and running back LaRod Stephens-Howling capped off the drive with a 12-yard touchdown run (he broke two tackles, what a badass!). 9-7 Rams.
  • I guess I was being a little harsh in the previous note. The Cardinals next drive was decent, and resulted in a field goal. 10-9 Cards.
  • The next quarter and a half was one of the worst displays of football I have ever seen. Bradford suffered from Completaphobia (the irrational fear of completions) and Kolb decided his best plan of action was to hold onto the football for at least ten steamboats before getting decimated for a gigantic loss. I assume Kolb wasn’t hugged enough as a child and he finds comfort in the warm embrace of a 250-pound linebacker.
  • With 30 seconds left in the game, Big Z hit a 52-yard field goal to give the Rams a 12-10 lead!!!
  • ALL HAIL BIG Z!
  • Kolb had 28 seconds to get the Cardinals within field goal range, and surprisingly that’s exactly what he did. Powered by two long receptions by Andre Roberts, the Cards drove all the way down to the Rams’ 31, and with one play left, looked poised to win the game with a field goal. Instead of kicking the field goal, the Cardinals elected to have Kolb throw for a measly 2-yard gain. You read that correctly, THEY DIDN’T TRY TO KICK THE FIELD GOAL!
  • Time ran out.
  • I cursed loudly at the TV.
  • Final score: St. Louis Rams- 12, Arizona Cardinals- 10

Final Stats

Rams Cardinals
Score 12 10
Rushing Yards 43 70
Passing Yards 172 100
First Downs 7 8
Red Zone 0-0 1-1 (TD)
Time of Possession 16:06 19:54
3rd down conversions 2-11 5-14
4th down conversions 0-0 1-1

Comparables

Passing:

Sam Bradford: 19-31 for 172 yards

Kevin Kolb: 13-18 for 122 yards

Rushing:

Steven Jackson: 17 carries for 43 yards

Ryan Williams: 23 carries for 45 yards

LaRod Stephens-Howling: 5 carries for 27 yards and a touchdown

Receiving:

Lance Kendricks: 6 receptions for 39 yards

Brandon Gibson: 5 receptions for 30 yards

Danny Amendola: 3 receptions for 57 yards

Andre Roberts: 3 receptions for 45 yards

Larry Fitzgerald: 2 receptions for 33 yards

Ogletree of the game: Greg Zuerlein

Final Thoughts

This game was putrid, with the only bright spot being Zuerlein, which kind of makes sense considering 12 of the Rams’ 19 points last week (a 19-13 win over the Seahawks) came from the capable right foot of the man I now call Big Z.

Three things I learned from this simulation:

  1. Sam Bradford thinks that throwing the deep ball will kill the world’s supply of kittens.
  2. The Cardinals would rather lose than try to kick a game winning field goal.
  3. ALL HAIL BIG Z!

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