The NFL regular season is right around the corner. But it’s not here just yet, so in the meantime, all we can do is take in crazy predictions.
And we mean CRAZY.
The latest bold prognostication comes to us not from an actual human but through a video game simulation, specifically EA Sports’ “Madden NFL 16,” which hit stores Tuesday. In an attempt to imagine a New England Patriots season starting without Tom Brady, the folks at CBS Sports ran a simulation of the team’s 2015 campaign, with backup Jimmy Garoppolo running the show for the first four games of the season while Brady “serves” his Deflategate suspension.
The results were … pretty weird.
The “Madden” sim has mixed results for Jimmy G, as the backup leads the virtual Patriots to wins over the Pittsburgh Steelers and Jacksonville Jaguars but falls short to the Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys. Brady then enters in Week 6 and leads New England to a 12-4 regular-season record.
But here’s where things get wacky: That four-loss season is only good for a wild card spot, as the Miami Dolphins win the AFC East while led by NFL Coach of the Year Joe Philbin. The sim then has the Patriots getting ousted by the Steelers 34-31 in the AFC wild-card round, which sets up all sorts of shocking offseason news.
So, yeah. Brady retires, Garoppolo is cut and Chuck Pagano takes over as head coach. Seems legit.
If that isn’t enough to make fans in New England cringe, the “Madden” simulation has none other than Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos winning the Super Bowl.
Of course, this entire simulation is completely made up and in no way real, so rest easy, Patriots fans.
Screenshots via CBS Sports