GameSim: Seahawks at Buccaneers

"The Seahawks came into last Sunday's game with the New Orleans Saints under the weight of one the NFL's worst opening day records at 8-20 and had lost every 10 AM PST start since beating the Cowboys in Dallas on October 27th, 2002. Consider those monkeys officially off of their backs."

The Seahawks came into last Sunday’s game with the New Orleans Saints under the weight of one the NFL’s worst opening day records at 8-20 and had lost every 10 AM PST start since beating the Cowboys in Dallas on October 27th, 2002.

Consider those monkeys officially off of their backs.

Seattle won in convincing fashion due, in large part, to an aggressive defense that forced two fumbles, picked off Aaron Brooks once and, most importantly to long time ‘Hawk fans, by exerting constant pressure and stuffing the run game with the front four. If the Seattle D can keep the momentum going against a Tampa Bay offense that looked lost last Sunday against the Redskins, the will be coming home on Sunday with a 2-0 record and a home game against the woeful 49ers and then a bye week.

Things are looking up.

But why take my word for it? Let’s check in with our ‘Ultra Scientific Computer Simulation’, aka Madden 2005.

Before we get to the Tampa Bay game, I’d like to answer a few questions that were e-mailed to me about last week’s game:

Q: Why don’t you run 15-minute quarters?
A: Because the game averages 25 seconds per play which, in the case of a test run this week, resulted in both teams combining for 245 PLAYS and a final score of Seattle 82, Tampa Bay 60.

Q: Have you lost your mind thinking that a video game could give an accurate prediction of a football game?
A: Well, Madden 2005 predicted Seattle 23 New Orleans 5 and the final score was Seattle 21 New Orleans 7. I took some lumps on the Saints boards for using Madden as a gauge for predicting the end results of the game, in particular describing how McAllister was stuffed time and again by the Seattle D but, once again, Madden was right on the money. Which brings us to this week:

The results were obtained by running CPU vs. CPU on Madden 2005 for the Playstation 2 on All-Pro Level with 6-minute quarters.

The Silicon Swami has forecast another Seattle victory, but nowhere near as convincingly as last week’s win over New Orleans. Seattle won 3 of 5 simulations with the average margin of victory of 3 points. On the other hand, the two games Tampa Bay won were the result of a combined 9 turnovers, including two Derrek Brooks sacks resulting in fumbles returned for touchdowns.

In fact, the turnover ratio directly predicted the outcome of each game, with the team that finished giving up the most turnovers on the losing side of the box score.

For Tampa Bay, Brad Johnson had great success play-action passing to Michael Clayton in the slot, and the few running plays that Garner broke were almost universally draw plays.

Tampa’s aggressive defense worked well in all of the games, keeping the Seattle offense out of rhythm for a majority of the time. The Seahawks were able to sustain drives only when Tampa became over-aggressive and blitzed multiple players on 3 receiver sets, letting Hasselbeck find the open man quickly.

On the Seattle side of the ball, Ken Lucas had another phenomenal set of games on the outside average one INT per game, with one returned 102 yards for a score. Chike Okeafor averaged one sack per game for the second straight week.

On the offensive side of the ball, Alexander had a rough time, never breaking 100 yards. For Matt Hasselbeck, it was either feast or famine with the high water mark being a 267 yard, 3 TD performance and the low a 3 INT, one fumble returned for a touchdown debacle that left even the computer simulated Holmgren fuming on the sidelines.

All in all, Madden 2005 foresees a tough, hard-fought game with the team that wins the turnover battle walking off of the field victorious.

Average Final Score: Seattle 20 Tampa Bay 19.

Dylan Johnson writes for Seahawks.NET. He’s also well-known as “NJSeahawksFan” on our Fan Forums. Feel free to contact him at djohnson6004@comcast.net.


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