Most fans in Tampa Bay aren’t optimistic about the Buccaneers’ chances in Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints. The team lost a winnable game against New York in Week 1, and the Saints offer a much more formidable opponent in an important division game.
But what does Madden 25 predict will happen when the two teams take to the field this weekend?
(Editor’s note: The game was played computer versus computer in a “Play Now” game, with depth charts changed to reflect injuries.)
The Buccaneers started the virtual contest with the ball, but the drive stalled out on consecutive sacks where no receivers got open for Josh Freeman to throw to. Just like real life, then.
The Saints took the ball deep in their own territory on the first drive, and slowly worked their way down the field. Jimmy Graham was open all drive long (and all game long, really), and it set up a short Mark Ingram touchdown to give New Orleans a 7-0 lead.
The Bucs go three and out on their next drive, and the Saints drive down again and score another short Ingram touchdown. It’s already 14-0 early in the second quarter.
Eric Page brings the kickoff back near midfield, and Josh Freeman finds Mike Williams for two decent gains to get down inside the 10. But Doug Martin’s three consecutive runs can’t find the end zone, and the Bucs settle for a field goal to make it 14-3.
The Saints didn’t waste any time extending the lead again, as Jimmy Graham found himself open at the back pylon with less than a minute to go in the half to make it 21-3 New Orleans.
The virtual Buccaneers then resembled their real-life counterparts on the next drive, as they would throw three short passes and take only 15 seconds off the clock while not gaining a first down, and would punt the ball away. The score remained 21-3 at halftime.
To start the second half, the Buccaneers got their first true stop of the game, forcing a field goal to make the score 24-3.
But the Bucs would give it right back, and the Saints would add another field goal after a Mark Barron dropped interception in the end zone.
Mark Ingram would add yet another short touchdown after a Josh Freeman interception in the fourth quarter, and that would bring the score to 34-3 New Orleans.
The Buccaneers would punt it away, and the game would end with that same score.
The Saints outgained the Buccaneers 461 yards to 244. They also earned 23 first downs compared to the 4 for the Bucs. Tampa Bay was 0-6 on third down, and had 15 minutes less in time of possession.
Josh Freeman was 7 of 16 (43 percent) for 69 yards with 1 interception. The running game wasn’t any better, as Doug Martin carried the ball only 9 times for 31 yards.
Mason Foster led the Bucs’ defense with 8 tackles.
Drew Brees was an incredible 33 of 40 passing with 1 touchdown. Mark Ingram finished off most of the Saints’ drives with his 3 touchdown performance.
Kenny Vaccaro had 4 tackles and 1 sack to lead the New Orleans defense.