The start of the new regular season feels incomplete without our first Madden simulation game of the new season. Each week, I will be running a simulated version of Sunday’s matchup and give a breakdown of how the game plays out for the Miami Dolphins.
A few notes before we begin. Each week, I will update the rosters to go with what is happening in the real world. The simulation will be as close to a game as possible, with quarters being set to 15 minutes (not the default in Madden) and on the hardest difficulty. At the end of the simulation, I’ll add my own game-day prediction on how the game turns out.
Without further ado, let’s kick off the Miami Dolphins Madden season!
The Dolphins begin their season with a small victory by winning the opening coin toss and opting to defer to the second half. It’s those small victories that really make or break seasons.
Miami kicked the ball off for a touchback and rookie Mac Jones takes the field for the first time in his NFL career. New England came out with the intention of running the ball in this one, choosing to run on 5 of their first 6 plays. While the running game, led by Damien Harris, started out with a little pep in their step, it was immediately shut down by Miami’s defense which forced the Patriots to punt the ball.
Miami’s offense did not look great to start their first drive of the season. After a short completion to Mike Gesicki, Tua Tagovailoa ended up getting sacked on 3rd down, forcing Miami into a 3 and out. Miami was able to pin the New England offense deep in their own territory, forcing them to start on their own 7-yard line.
In comes Jones for his second drive. On the first play, he hits a new safety valve, Jonnu Smith, for a 10 yard gain. James White ends up going backward on the next play forcing a second and long situation. Jones, who doesn’t see anyone downfield, throws the ball away on second down. It’s 3rd and 12 from New England’s 16-yard line. Jones drops back to pass and makes his first poor decision of his career, throwing it into tight coverage only to be intercepted by Xavien Howard. But wait, Howard doesn’t get wrapped up immediately and ends up returning it all the way for a Miami touchdown!
New England takes over at their own 25 after another touchback and looks to erase their memories quickly. Mac Jones hits James White off a well-designed screen pass that goes for 25 yards, carving up Miami’s defense. Jones then hits Nelson Agholor for back-to-back 13-yard gains which put them into Miami’s territory. Miami’s defense employs its “bend don’t break” mantra, which helps them put a stop to the drive and forces New England to settle for the field goal.
Miami takes over and is able to advance the ball to their own 49-yard line right before time expires on the quarter.
At the end of the first quarter: Miami 7, New England 3