Aug 16, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; An NFL Heads Up logo is affixed to the helmet of a Tampa Bay Buccaneers players prior to a preseason game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
The Buccaneers and Jets will play at MetLife Stadium this weekend, but thanks to Madden 25, we can put the virtual versions of each team on the field and see what happens. I ran a simulation of this Sunday’s game on my Playstation 3 version of Madden 25, and here’s what happened.
(Editor’s note: The game was played computer versus computer in a “Play Now” game, with depth charts changed to reflect injuries.)
The virtual version of the Buccaneers jumped out to an early 10-0 lead, as Doug Martin was heavily involved early in the game. He ran for big chunks of yards, and set up the offense in good down and distance situations. Josh Freeman was efficient, throwing short passes to all of his eligible receivers.
September 30, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (93) against the Washington Redskins during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
In the second quarter, the Bucs seemed poised to put the video game Jets away, as Johnthan Banks forced a fumble on a corner blitz, and Gerald McCoy picked it up and ran it back into New York territory. With less than two minutes left, it seemed like the Bucs were ready to make it a three score game.
But Josh Freeman’s Madden 25 likeness made an awful decision and threw the ball right to Antonio Cromartie, and the Jets took over again. But Geno Smith would then throw it right back to the Buccaneers, as Leonard Johnson hauled in a sideline pick to end the scoring threat in the first half.
At halftime, the score was 10-0 Tampa Bay.
The Buccaneers did take a three score lead early in the third quarter, as Doug Martin paved the way for the offense to get inside the 10, where Josh Freeman handled a New York blitz to find Mike Williams in the end zone for a score.
That would be the same score going into the fourth quarter, which is where Madden 25’s random nature took over.
The Jets would add a field goal at the start of the quarter to make the score 17-3.
On the next drive, as the Buccaneers marched down the field, chewing up the clock, Doug Martin fumbled the football and it was recovered and returned for a touchdown. Dee Milliner was the New York defender who caught the lucky bounce and had no one in front of him on the fumble recovery.
The Buccaneers would have more drama on the first play of the next drive, as Josh Freeman would be sacked and fumble the ball BACKWARDS 20 YARDS to the goal line, where Gabe Carimi would fall on it for a safety. The fumble was the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen in a football video game, or in real life football for that matter. Josh was brought down in fairly normal quarterback sack fashion, and the ball just flew out of his hands.
The Jets would then score on the drive earned after the safety punt, as a 55-yard screen pass to Bilal Powell set up a Jeff Cumberland touchdown pass to put NYJ up 18-17. The Jets would go for a two-point conversion, but couldn’t convert.
Josh Freeman would then take control of the offense and start a potential game-winning drive. He would complete his 10th pass in a row to Eric Page on a crucial 3rd and 12 with just over 2 minutes left in the game. He would then find Brian Leonard as a safety valve on the next play and the ball would be moved down inside the 10.
With 1:21 left in the game, the Jets would call a timeout after stopping the Bucs on third down and goal. Rian Lindell would make the easy field goal, and the Buccaneers would go up 20-18.
Mason Foster would then bat down two key passes on the Jets’ next drive, including a fourth down play, and the Buccaneers would hold on to win 20-18.
Here are some key stats:
- The Buccaneers were 6 of 9 on third down.
- Josh Freeman was 18 of 24 for 197 yards passing with 1 TD and 1 INT
- Doug Martin had 16 carries for 98 yards with 1 TD.
- Eric Page led all receivers with 4 catches for 49 yards.
- Lavonte David had 7 tackles.
- Gerald McCoy and Johnthan Banks each had 1 sack.