Simulating Seahawks' 2020 Season in Madden NFL 21

Hitting the sticks on the X-Box One, writer Ty Gonzalez conducted a full season simulation in general manager John Schneider's shoes on Madden NFL 21 to see how the Seahawks will finish in 2020.
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EA Sports’ newest iteration of its Madden NFL series is here and, well, it’s not great. But because we are just so darn excited for football over here at Seahawk Maven, we’ve decided to head to Madden NFL 21 to look into the proverbial crystal ball to see how the Seahawks’ season could shake out.

This simulation was done using the game’s Franchise Mode with EA’s official roster and stock settings on. To make things a little more fun for myself, I decided to play the role of general manager prior to the start of the season. I didn’t do anything too crazy, however. Trying to keep things fairly realistic, I stashed Rashaad Penny, Darrell Taylor, and Colby Parkinson at the bottom of the depth chart until the midway point. I also signed Josh Gordon and Jabaal Sheard to one-year deals, then used some of the Seahawks receiver depth to add to the secondary by trading David Moore to the Colts for second year defensive back Marvell Tell III. After that, it was on to the games.

Week 1: Seahawks 30, Falcons 13

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Seattle opens the season in a big way, jumping out to a 30-0 lead through three quarters. Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense put up 13 points in the fourth, but Russell Wilson’s two passing touchdowns and Shaquill Griffin’s first interception of the year proved to be enough to get the opening week victory.

Week 2: Seahawks 35, Patriots 21

The Seahawks picked off Cam Newton twice - one by Griffin and the other by Quandre Diggs - and pulled away in the second half to secure a 2-0 start to the season. Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde both found the end zone and combined with Russell Wilson for 157 yards on the ground.

Week 3: Cowboys 37, Seahawks 31 (OT)

The first loss of the year stung. After the Seahawks went deep into the fourth quarter with a 31-17 lead, the Cowboys mounted a comeback to tie things up and send the game to overtime, where they won the coin toss and promptly made their way to the end zone to shock the Seahawks at home. While Seattle’s defense was dominated to the tune of 511 total yards, Russell Wilson kept them in the game on the back of a four touchdown, 395 yard performance.

Week 4: Seahawks 20, Dolphins 7

Despite the Dolphins getting out to a 7-3 lead early in the second quarter, this game was all Seahawks. Miami ended up totaling just 194 yards on offense as Ryan Fitzpatrick threw an interception to Tre Flowers and was sacked twice by K.J. Wright and Bruce Irvin.

Week 5: Seahawks 22, Vikings 19

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The Seahawks head into the bye week 4-1 after defeating Kirk Cousins and the Vikings in prime time once again. DK Metcalf hauled in nine balls for 81 yards and a touchdown and Josh Gordon caught his first touchdown of the year on a 24-yard score.

Week 7: Seahawks 28, Cardinals 20

The Seahawks rushed for 172 yards on the ground as DeeJay Dallas ran for his first career rushing touchdown. Wilson needed just 12 completions and 142 yards through the air to notch three scores on the day. The win, however, came at quite the cost for Seattle, which lost Quandre Diggs for the rest of the year to a broken tibia.

Week 8: Seahawks 28, 49ers 21

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The Seahawks jumped out to an early lead on their division rivals and never looked back despite San Francisco’s 14 points in the fourth quarter. It was another good day on the ground for the Seahawks who rushed for 156 yards due largely in part to Chris Carson’s 102. K.J. Wright, Darrell Taylor, Jamal Adams, and Bruce Irvin all notched a sack apiece.

Week 9: Bills 24, Seahawks 16

Both Buffalo and Seattle headed into this game with one loss apiece, and it was the Bills who would keep it that way this week. Wilson struggled, turning the ball over twice and getting sacked four times, and the run game couldn’t get anything going. Josh Allen didn’t necessarily “light it up” either for the Bills’ offense, but was efficient enough to eke past the Seahawks in this overall defensive showcase.

Week 10: Seahawks 31, Rams 17

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The Seahawks get back on track with a win in their first ever trip to SoFi Stadium. Wilson tossed a pair of touchdowns to Tyler Lockett and another to Josh Gordon on 285 yards passing while Seattle’s defense got to Jared Goff three times and limited the Rams’ rushing attack to just 73 yards on the ground.

Week 11: Cardinals 35, Seahawks 28

Even in Madden, the Cardinals still found a way to beat the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Seattle couldn’t run the ball whatsoever, putting up just 46 yards on the board. Wilson carried the Seahawks to a 21-14 lead at halftime, but the offense was suppressed from that point forward, with their only score coming off a Phillip Dorsett kickoff return for a touchdown.

Week 12: Eagles 28, Seahawks 14

The offense just can’t figure it out. With just 251 total yards of offense to show for it, the Seahawks struck first on a rushing touchdown by Chris Carson but went silent until late in the fourth quarter when their fate was already sealed. To make matters worse, Carson Wentz, dealing with a labrum injury, didn’t play in this game. Instead, Jalen Hurts got the nod and put up three touchdowns on 283 yards through the air. This was Seattle’s third loss in the last four games.

Week 13: Seahawks 35, Giants 17

The Seahawks handle their business against a bad team, putting up 396 total yards of offense while limiting Daniel Jones and the Giants to just 242. Carson went for 102 on the ground and found the end zone. Back from a knee injury, Rashaad Penny logged his first score of the season as well.

Week 14: Seahawks 31, Jets 7

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Once more, the Seahawks do what needs to be done against one of the worst teams in the NFL. This time, the Seahawks rush for nearly 200 yards as Carson and Penny both score again, and DK Metcalf secures two touchdowns of his own through the air. Jamal Adams also notched an interception and sack versus his former team. Does he look bored, Gregg Williams?

Week 15: Seahawks 23, Washington 17 (OT)

This one was a lot closer than it probably should have been, but the Seahawks found a way to sneak out of FedEx Field with a win after struggling to put points on the board despite Russell Wilson’s 363 yards passing. Overall, the Seahawks out-gained Washington by 150 yards, but two missed field goals by Jason Myers ultimately kept things interesting.

Week 16: Seahawks 31, Rams 0

Not a fun day to play for the Los Angeles Rams. The Seahawks dominated their division rival for all 60 minutes, limiting Jared Goff and their offense to just 203 total yards and two turnovers. Wilson put up three touchdowns, all to DK Metcalf, who caught nine total passes for 114 yards. This win gives Seattle an 11-4 record heading into their final game of the regular season versus the 12-3 49ers for the NFC West crown.

Week 17: Seahawks 31, 49ers 21

A year after Jacob Hollister was stopped at the goal line at CenturyLink Field in a division-clinching Week 17 win for the 49ers, the Seahawks get their revenge in their home stadium. Wilson wasn’t at his best, only completing 14 passes for 181 yards, but the Seahawks had their best rushing performance of the season with Chris Carson going for 138 yards and a score. Rashaad Penny scored twice on the ground as well, adding his 34 rushing yards to the Seahawks’ game total of 205. With this win, the Seahawks clinch the NFC West and the NFC’s No. 2 seed and will host the 8-8 Rams in the Wild Card round.

NFC Wild Card: Seahawks 31, Rams 28

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Just two weeks after blowing the Rams out 31-0, the Seahawks quickly found themselves in a much different situation, tied at 14-14 come halftime. Los Angeles out-gained Seattle in this game, but two timely interceptions by Bobby Wagner and Bruce Irvin held the Rams up just enough for the Seahawks to stay alive and move on to the Divisional Round.

NFC Divisional Round: Seahawks 34, Saints 17

After seeing how much they struggled against a mediocre Rams team the week before, it was hard not to feel like this could have been the end for the Seahawks. But a 24-point first half from Seattle’s offense forced the Saints in a one-dimensional approach for most of the game, completely eliminating Alvin Kamara from the equation. Once that happened, it was relatively smooth sailing for Seattle’s defense, which held Drew Brees to an 82.9 passer rating on the night.

NFC Championship: Seahawks 35, 49ers 14

In a rematch of one of the greatest games in Seahawks history, this one failed to meet the hype, though it still comes as a pleasant sight for Seahawks fans. After San Francisco drew first blood, the Seahawks went on a 25-0 run with significant contributions from four of their running backs. Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny, Carlos Hyde, and DeeJay Dallas all scored a touchdown each while totaling 186 yards on the ground. Russell Wilson only threw for 123 yards and 13 completions, but Seattle’s offense clearly thrived in spite of that on their way to a date with Patrick Mahomes and the defending champion Chiefs in Super Bowl LV.

Super Bowl LV: Seahawks 38, Chiefs 10

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Can’t say I expected any of this to happen in the sim, but here we are. Seven years after silencing the Broncos’ elite offense in Super Bowl XLVIII, the Seahawks gave a similar treatment to Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. To further state how dominant they were, Mahomes went 22 of 39 with zero touchdowns and FOUR(!!!) interceptions - two by Quinton Dunbar, one by Shaquill Griffin, and one by Jamal Adams. Gonna go out on a limb here and say that probably wouldn’t happen in the real world, but we’ll take it. Russell Wilson wins Super Bowl MVP with 244 yards passing, three touchdowns, and one interception.

Some notable regular season stats: Russell Wilson finished the year with 3,925 passing yards, 36 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. Chris Carson led the team in rushing with 1,120 yards and seven touchdowns. Tyler Lockett caught a team-high 78 passes on 969 yards with five touchdowns, while DK Metcalf led the Seahawks in touchdown receptions with nine on 65 catches and 645 yards. It was another lackluster year numbers-wise for the defensive line with Jabaal Sheard and Bruce Irvin leading the team in sacks with just 7.0 and 5.0, respectively. Shaquill Griffin notched the team lead in interceptions with three.