Last week, I decided to see how the Divisional round matchup would go between the New Orleans Saints and the Philadelphia Eagles according to Madden NFL 19. This week, I decided to continue that tradition and see what outcome Madden NFL 19 predicts for the NFC Championship.
This game started off fantastic for the Saints as they controlled the entire first quarter. The Saints received the ball first and did not disappoint as quarterback Drew Brees drove the team down the field before connecting with wide receiver Michael Thomas for a one-yard touchdown. A few drives later, and the Saints would once again find themselves in the end zone as running back Alvin Kamara took a four-yard carry and added six points to the score. Kicker Will Lutz made the extra point, extending the Saints’ lead to 14-0. The Saints’ defense was able to shut down the Los Angeles Rams’ high-flying offense as they failed to put any points on the board in the first quarter.
As dominant as the Saints were in that first quarter, the Rams came storming back in the second quarter. They started off hot as quarterback Jared Goff connected with former Saints’ wide receiver Brandin Cooks for a 48-yard touchdown. Shortly after, the Rams scored once again as running back Todd Gurley II scored a three-yard rushing touchdown. With the score tied at 14-14, the Saints drove down the field on offense once again as wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith hauled in a five-yard pass from Brees. The Rams then connected on a 21-yard field goal and a 22-yard field goal which ended the first half.
The third quarter was a defensive one for both teams as the only score came from a 43-yard Lutz field goal. The Rams’ offense was once again shut down as Saints’ safety Vonn Bell intercepted Jared Goff and allowed the Saints to score the field goal.
The offensive showdown continued in the fourth quarter as neither team was going down without a fight. The Rams scored a touchdown on a four-yard pass from Goff to wide receiver Josh Reynolds. Drew Brees and the Saints answered back quick as Michael Thomas hauled in a three-yard catch for a touchdown. On their next offensive drive, Lutz converted an 18-yard field goal. With little more than a minute remaining, the Rams looked to drive down the field and score a touchdown to the up the score. With the score being 34-27 in the Saints’ favor, the Rams knew that over time would be their only shot. The Rams accomplished their goal as Goff once again hit Reynolds for a touchdown and kicker Greg Zuerlein converted the extra point, tying the score and effectively sending the game into overtime.
The Rams won the overtime coin flip and elected to receive the ball. They effectively drove down the field, yet they were haunted just outside of the red zone as Zuerlein made a 56-yard field goal on fourth down.
The Saints did not squander their opportunity as Kamara made a few phenomenal plays when the team received the kickoff from the Rams. After a series of successful plays, the Saints found themselves on the Rams’ 29-yard line. On the next play, Brees connected with Kamara for a 24-yard gain through the air. Kamara wasn’t done, however, as he took the next handoff and scored a five-yard rushing touchdown, effectively ending the game and sending the Who Dat Nation to the Super Bowl as they defeated the Rams by a score of 40-37.
This game was certainly an offensive shootout as Brees completed 61% of his passes for 389 yards and three touchdowns. However, the young stars of this team, Thomas and Kamara, stole the show from the veteran. Thomas hauled in eight catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns while Kamara rushed for 122 yards and two touchdowns and also added four catches for 76 yards.
Despite the lack of defensive success in this game, defensive ends Cameron Jordan and Alex Okafor still found ways to get to the quarterback as Jordan earned two sacks and Okafor earned one. Vonn Bell showed off his ball-hawking skills as he intercepted Goff in the third quarter.
Hopefully, the Saints will be able to win in today’s real-life matchup with the Los Angeles Rams as they continue to march towards Super Bowl 53.
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