After shocking the NFL world with a shutout victory over the Buccaneers (something Madden couldn’t have been more wrong on, but who can blame them), the NOLA Saints now turn their attention to the red-hot Miami Dolphins.
Both the Saints and Dolphins are 7-7 and have dug themselves out of tremendous holes. New Orleans was 5-7 just two weeks ago but look at them now! Meanwhile, Miami was 1-7 and left for dead before rising to the occasion to rattle off six straight victories. Both teams are in the playoff picture as of now with the Saints actually IN the postseason and the Dolphins just outside of things in the AFC.
The big story surrounding this game is that it’ll be rookie Ian Book taking the snaps for the Saints. How does he do in his NFL debut?
Madden Simulation – NOLA Saints 17, Dolphins 10
- Ian Book – 14-of-20, 167 yards, INT; 6 carries, 48 yards, TD
- Alvin Kamara – 11 carries, 98 yards, TD
- Mark Ingram – 8 carries, 67 yards
- Tre’Quan Smith – 3 rec, 27 yards
- Demario Davis – 9 tackles
- Cameron Jordan – 2 sacks
- Marcus Davenport – Sack
- Bradley Roby – INT
- C.J. Gardner-Johnson – INT
- Tua Tagovailoa – 17-of-30, 187 yards, TD, 2 INT; 5 carries, 27 yards
- Myles Gaskin – 9 carries, 23 yards
- Jaylen Waddle – 8 rec, 72 yards, TD
- Mike Gesicki – 5 rec, 38 yards
- Elandon Roberts – 5 tackles
- Emmanuel Ogbah – Sack
- Christian Wilkins – Sack
- Xavien Howard – INT
Madden anticipates a closely contested battle between the Saints and Dolphins, which isn’t surprising given the state of both offenses.
Per Madden, the game is pretty slow moving with the teams exchanging punts until midway through the second quarter when Brett Maher puts NOLA on the board with a 42-yard field goal. Maher was the only one to score in the win over Tampa last week and he continues to be the saving grace for the Saints.
Shortly before halftime, the Miami offense also works its way down the field and tacks on a Jason Sanders field goal to tie things up at three points apiece at the half.
New Orleans strikes first in the second half after Tagovailoa throws a pick to Gardner-Johnson on Miami’s first possession of the half. The Dolphins won the coin toss and deferred so they squandered any chance of doubling up on points with Tagovailoa’s pick.
The Saints don’t waste the extra possession in plus territory, as Book scampers into the end zone for the first touchdown of his career and Maher promptly kicks the extra point to put NOLA up 10-3 early in the third quarter. From there, we go back to the teams trading punts until Tagovailoa finds his college teammate Waddle in the back of the end zone to make it a tie game once again at 10-10.
As regulation is winding down and the Dolphins driving to win the game in the final minute, Roby picks off Tagovailoa and returns the pigskin all the way to the Miami 2-yard line. Two plays and 30 seconds later, Kamara takes the ball in for a score and with one second remaining on the clock, Maher kicks the extra point.
The Dolphins get the ball back but are unable to tie things up. New Orleans wins their third straight while Miami’s winning streak comes to an end.