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Revisiting Madden NFL 16 predictions for the Buccaneers, Winston and Mariota

[EA Sports]

[EA Sports]

In late August, the Tampa Bay Times fired up the PlayStation 4, loaded Madden NFL 16 and simulated the season 10 times.

How did those results match up with the actual outcomes? They weren't perfect, but the simulations hit the mark about as often as a quarterback hitting the slant route against the Buccaneers defense. In other words, Madden was frequently correct.

Here, we'll revisit the results, starting with the game's prediction for the Bucs' overall record.

What Madden predicted: In most simulations, the Bucs finished between 4-12 and 6-10. In their best season, they finished 9-7 but missed the playoffs. It was the only time they finished better than 6-10. Madden predicted the Bucs would score 314.2 points and allow 414.9 points.

What actually happened: After completing a fourth-quarter comeback against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 13, the Bucs were 6-6 and poised to significantly outperform the simulations. But they lost their final four to finish 6-10. Madden underestimated the Bucs' point total (342) by about 30 points but almost nailed their points allowed (417).

• • •

While Jameis Winston started the season with a higher overall rating (81) than Marcus Mariota (78), simulations generally favored Mariota, who had the better average quarterback rating, touchdown-to-interception ratio and completion percentage.

What Madden predicted:

WINSTON
GP COMP % PASSING YARDS TD INT RATING
Average season 14.9 56.3 3,149.4 19.8 13.6 79.7
Best season 16 59 3,684 26 14 85.9
Worst season 16 52 3,185 17 21 65.5

MARIOTA
GP COMP % PASSING YARDS TD INT RATING
Average season 14.0 62.1 2,769.0 19.0 9.8 92.6
Best season 16 66 3,140 31 2 117.2
Worst season 13 59 2,490 13 17 74.2

What actually happened: Winston easily surpassed the simulation averages and turned in a performance that more closely resembled the best season of the batch. He completed 58.3 percent of his passes, threw for 4,042 yards, 22 touchdowns and 15 interceptions, and earned an 84.2 rating.

The game's average forecast for Mariota was spot-on. The Titans rookie completed 62.2 percent of his passes (Madden predicted 62.1 percent), threw for 2,818 yards (Madden: 2,769), 19 touchdowns (Madden: 19) and 10 interceptions (Madden: 9.8), and earned a 91.5 rating (Madden: 92.6).

• • •

The Bucs were one of four teams (Oakland Raiders, Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers) to miss the playoffs in every simulation. In 2015, those teams finished with a combined 24-40 record, and only the Raiders (7-9) managed to avoid finishing in last place in their division. Madden postseason favorites? The Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots.

What Madden predicted: The Seahawks reached the playoffs in all 10 simulations, the Packers reached in nine and the Saints reached in eight. The Patriots won Super Bowl 50 the most often (three times in four appearances).

What actually happened: The Seahawks and Packers didn't dominate the NFC as much as Madden predicted, but both reached the playoffs as wild cards and play this weekend in the divisional round. The Saints temporarily recovered after a 1-4 start but ultimately finished 7-9. If the Patriots beat the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday, they will head to their 10th AFC championship game in 15 seasons and will be one win away from reaching Super Bowl 50.

Contact Thomas Bassinger at tbassinger@tampabay.com. Follow @tometrics.

'Madden' Super Bowl predictions

In simulations of the past 12 Super Bowls, Madden has correctly predicted the winner nine times. It also has correctly predicted the margin of victory four times and been within a point two other times. (Correct predictions in bold.)

2015: Patriots 28, Seahawks 24 (actual: Patriots 28, Seahawks 24)

2014: Broncos 31, Seahawks 28 (actual: Seahawks 43, Broncos 8)

2013: Ravens 27, 49ers 24 (actual: Ravens 34, 49ers 31)

2012: New York Giants 27, Patriots 24 (actual: New York Giants 21, Patriots 17)

2011: Steelers 24, Packers 20 (actual: Packers 31, Steelers 25)

2010: Saints 35, Colts 31 (actual: Saints 31, Colts 17)

2009: Steelers 28, Cardinals 24 (actual: Steelers 27, Cardinals 23)

2008: Patriots 38, New York Giants 30 (actual: New York Giants 17, Patriots 14)

2007: Colts 38, Bears 27 (actual: Colts 29, Bears 17)

2006: Steelers 24, Seahawks 19 (actual: Steelers 21-10)

2005: Patriots 47, Eagles 31 (actual: Patriots 24, Eagles 21)

2004: Patriots 23, Panthers 20 (actual: Patriots 32, Panthers 29)

Revisiting Madden NFL 16 predictions for the Buccaneers, Winston and Mariota 01/14/16 [Last modified: Friday, January 22, 2016 1:39pm]
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